Around a year after its release on CD/digital, 'Unbroken', the new album from NWOBHM comeback merchants, Tokyo Blade, is being released by their label on vinyl. Rather apt, I guess, seeing as the band originally came to be in the pre-CD/pre-digital, analogue era of music. Limited to a first run of only 500, a copy's turned up for review here at Metal Discovery, so it's provided me with the opportunity to not only see if I stand by my previous review (it's always fun to re-evaluate music a few months down the line), but whether or not Tokyo Blade's music benefits from the analogue format?
On the latter point, it most certainly does. Tokyo Blade's classic metal sounds are brought to warm analogue life on this vinyl edition. And on the former - I stand by every word I previously uttered about this rather fantastic album. To reiterate one of my key observations about 'Unbroken': "...the album feels as if itís all about the songs, rather than floundering aimlessly through desolate, self-indulgent nostalgia. Itís classic metal, for sure, but exercised within a sense of songcraft that isnít all about self-mimicry."
However, something rather peculiar and inexplicable is going on with the tracklist. Of the eleven tracks, only eight have made it onto the vinyl. So, 'The Man in Black', 'Stings Like an Open Wound' and 'My Kind of Heaven' are absent. Even stranger is that on the inner sleeve, ten tracks are listed ('My Kind of Heaven' is the absentee here), with lyrics for each of them. Iím clueless as to whatís gone on, but the bandís online apology for the vinyl edition taking longer than expected might shed some light; the delay was apparently ďowing to a technical problem at the pressing plant and the backlog it causedĒ. Perhaps this review copy is not the final release version and one of an initial batch engendered by result of a ďtechnical problem at the pressing plantĒ? Maybe not. Either way, itís poor show. As such, Iíll exercise benefit of the doubt and still award this 8/10 because the music (albeit in truncated form) is still very much worth it. Although Iíd advise anyone contemplating buying this to thoroughly investigate what's what before committing to a purchase.
UNBROKEN (VINYL REISSUE)
Review by Mark Holmes
5th July 2019
SIDE A: 1) Devil's Gonna Bring You Down; 2) Bullet Made of Stone; 3) Burn Down the Night; 4) No Time to Bleed
SIDE B: 1) Dead Again; 7) Bad Blood; 8) Black Water;
10) The Last Samurai
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"Tokyo Blade's classic metal sounds are brought to warm analogue life on this vinyl edition."