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Tokyo Blade: Fury

Like so many bands from the NWOBHM scene Tokyo Blade have had their ups and their downs, and their break-ups and their make-ups. Impressively given the myriad of members they’ve had over the years, the current quintet that make up this outfit, Andy Boulton on lead guitar, John Wiggins playing rhythm guitar, Andy Wrighton providing bass, Steve Pierce on drums, and lead vocalist Alan Marsh, all have a history with the band dating back to their early, formative years. That togetherness comes across strongly on Fury, the twelfth album from this outfit and their third since Marsh returned after a decade away.

With a sound born on 2018’s Unbroken and reaffirmed by 2020’s Dark Revolution, those still presuming that Tokyo Blade play straight up NWOBHM will be surprised by the forthrightness of the heavy metal served up here. Fury, as its name suggests, isn’t mucking about, with its go for the throat ethos making a mark right from the off. Across the album there are numerous little jumping off points, but with in your face romps such as “We Fall Down” being this release’s real stock in trade, the guitars are truly to the fore. Here and elsewhere, you can’t help but be struck by how tightly locked in place Boulton and Wiggins are and when they decide to trade lead lines on the Thin Lizzy inflected “Heart Of Darkness” you are left in no doubt that they’re an attack to be reckoned with.

Marsh, while possibly a little one dimensional in the way he attacks his vocals, really does have a warmth in his arsenal that breaks through, although I have to admit that for me, the mix doesn’t really do him many favours, with some moments on Fury feeling a little cumbersome and jumbled and also adding a rough edge to the vocals that simply doesn’t need to be there - Marsh is agile and aggressive enough without that extra ‘help’.

That small quibble aside, it’s really quite tough to pick holes in an album that never dips in terms of quality, although that said, from “Man In A Box” and “Blood Red Night” through to “Static” or “When The Bullets Fly, while there’s absolutely no filler, neither is anything truly 100% killer. That, in many ways also maybe explains why an album that lacks for variance finds itself being nearly 80 minutes and 15 tracks long. Hand on heart, I can’t tell you which songs I’d personally remove from Fury, because nothing here is subpar and yet for any straight up metal album to be worthy of holding this amount of material it needs to have a little, maybe a lot, more to say than this one does.

And yet, Fury is a good, verging on being a very good metal romp from a band who have been there, done it and sold a load of t-shirts along the way. Fans of their most recent material will lap this up, while anyone else with an ear for hard hitting, straight up metal will also find this album to their liking.

Track Listing
1. Man In A Box

2. Blood Red Night

3. I Am Unbroken

4. Disposable Me

5. Eyes Wired Shut
6. Cold Light Of Day

7. We Fall Down

8. Heart of Darkness

9. Kill Me ‘Till I’m Dead

10. Life Leaves A Scar

11. Message On the Wall

12. Nailbomb

13. Rhythm Of The Gun

14. Static

15. When The Bullets Fly

Added: January 28th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Fury @ Cherry Red
Hits: 1058
Language: english

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