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tokyo blade logoI have no idea what the seeming obsession that some of the NWOBHM bands had with Japanese culture. It’s not like it is today, mind you–it’s just when it comes to an exotic sounding names for metal groups in the 70s/80s era, a bit of Oriental spice seemed in order. I have no idea where to go with this┬ápompous sounding opener of mine, so let’s just move on to Tokyo Blade, shall we?

Starting life first as White Diamond,then Killer, and then Genghis Khan before settling on Tokyo Blade in 1981, they released their first album as a self-titled in 1983 (titled Midnight Rendezvous here in the States because…reasons), while sharing stages with the likes of Metallica and Venom. Frequent lineup changes and a couple of hiatus periods, along with some sound changes over the years, and the band is still chugging along.


Night Of The Blade

Dirty Faced Angels




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YEAR OF METAL titlegirlschool logoWhen one thinks of all-girl bands from the 1970s, chances are the first name to spring to mind is The Runaways. And I wouldn’t blame you, seeing as they’ve been receiving a bit of nostalgia revival the past few years (having a song on the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtrack didn’t hurt, I’m sure). But, when it comes to all-lady helmed METAL bands that could hold their own with the likes of Motorhead, you would be hard pressed to find anybody that would top Girlschool.

Brash, brazen, and definitely the opposite of pink and frilly, I wasn’t kidding about the whole “hold their own with the likes of Motorhead” thing, as they released not just one, but three split vinyls with them back in the early 1980s. That’s what puts them on the list, here.

“Demolition Boys”

“C’mon Let’s Go”

“Screaming Blue Murder”



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blitzkrieg_logo_72dpiBlitzkrig is another NWOBHM band that I first heard about by way of Metallica–their cover of the song “Blitzkrieg” was one of my favorites off of the Kill ‘Em All repressing.

Originally formed in 1980, with little breaks and lineup changes through the decades, Blitzkrieg is still going at it with vocalist Brian Ross as the sole remaining original member.



“Pull The Trigger”



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YEAR OF METAL titlesaxon band logoWhen it comes to classic NWOBHM bands to hold a tight influence on the metal community at large, Saxon ranks up there alongside the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, whether fans of metal know it or not. After forming in 1976, they proceeded to released three classics of the genre, as well as producing one of the undisputed call-to-arms Metal-Head anthems in the song “Denim And Leather”, while having influenced bands as diverse as Metallica, Megadeth, Skid Row, Pantera, Motley Crue and Sodom, among many, many others.

Judgement Day

Stand Up And Be Counted

Denim And Leather


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YEAR OF METAL titleraven band logoRaven is a bit unique in the list of NWOBHM bands in that they never went away and then came back due to nostalgic renewal. After forming in 1974 by brothers John and Mark Gallagher, they’ve kept chugging along mostly in the underground (with a brief stint on Atlantic records which was less than ideal, let’s just say), producing hard rocking heavy metal all the while, and notching up twelve studio albums under their belt. They also have a bit of notoriety as being the band that a young and hungry Metallica opened for in 1983, on what was called the Kill ‘Em All For One tour.

Hell Patrol

Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Mind Over Metal

NWOBHM JANUARY – Tygers Of Pan Tang

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YEAR OF METAL titletygers of pan tang logoThis has to be one of the coolest names for a band ever. If I didn’t already know that Tygers Of Pan Tang was a band name, I would have assumed it was the title of a Kung Fu exploitation movie from the 1970s.

Anyway, Tygers Of Pan Tang is another NWOBHM band that many an old Metal-Head recalls fondly, with several other bands listing them as influences. But, unlike some of the other bands listed, instead of having only a small handful of releases, Tygers Of Pan Tang have been rather prolific, releasing six studio albums between their initial run in 1980 thru 1987. That’s not counting the three compilation albums and one live album released in that period.



Do It Good



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YEAR OF METAL titleJudas Priest LogoThis may technically be a cheat, as Judas Priest was formed during the Proto-Metal era that included the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. But, you’d be hard pressed to find any Metal-head who thinks of Judas Priest as anything other than one of the mascots of the NWOBHM era. If you look up Heavy Metal in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Judas Priest. And if you need to ask what kind of influence they had on the metal community, just pick up a copy of British Steel and hit infinite repeat on your media player of choice.

Hell Bent For Leather

Breaking The Law

You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’


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