SAMURAI - Sacred Blade - UK Ebony Records 12" LP Vinyl Album

This album "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade" is the debut/first full length album by this NWOBHM band and was released in 1984. The album was released on Ebony records and produced by Darryl Johnston who also engineered two dozen of heavy metal albums between 1982 and 1990. Samurai was a British Heavy Metal band from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales and formed in 1980. They have been active from 1980 until 1987 , during this period they released two official studio albums: "Sacred Blade" in 1984 and "Weapon Master" in 1986.

This web page has photos of album covers, inner sleeves, record labels together with production details, musicians and track-listing.


High Resolution Photo samurai sacred blade uk nwobhm

Album Description:

"Samurai - Sacred Blade" marked the band's first full-length endeavor, showcasing their raw energy, intricate guitar work, and powerful vocals. The album embodied the essence of the NWOBHM sound, which combined the aggression of punk with the technical prowess of traditional heavy metal. With a relentless drive and a passion for their craft, Samurai's music resonated with fans of the genre and helped solidify their place in the British heavy metal scene.

The album's production was helmed by Darryl Johnston, a notable figure in the heavy metal industry. Known for his engineering work on numerous albums during the 1980s, Johnston brought his expertise to "Sacred Blade", ensuring that Samurai's sound was captured with the utmost precision and intensity. His collaboration with the band resulted in a well-balanced mix that showcased each member's instrumental prowess while retaining the raw, unfiltered energy that defined their live performances.

"Sacred Blade" features eight tracks that encapsulate the spirit of Samurai. From the thunderous opening of the title track to the blistering solos and driving rhythms of songs like "Attack" and "Living on the Edge", the album is a relentless assault on the senses. The band's songwriting displayed a keen sense of melody, complemented by powerful and anthemic choruses that invited audience participation. Tracks such as "Flight of the Nazgul" demonstrated the band's ability to craft epic compositions, immersing listeners in a sonic journey.

Throughout the album, the band's musicianship shone brightly. Guitarists Kev McGuire and Tony Richie delivered blistering riffs, intricate harmonies, and face-melting solos that showcased their technical prowess and their deep understanding of the genre's traditions. Bassist Paul Britton provided a solid foundation, locking in with drummer Mark Lopez to create a driving rhythm section that propelled the music forward with relentless energy. Vocalist Mike Dolan's powerful and commanding voice soared above the instrumentation, delivering the band's lyrics with conviction and emotion.

Despite the undeniable talent and promise showcased on "Sacred Blade", Samurai faced the unfortunate fate of many bands in the tumultuous music industry. Internal conflicts, lineup changes, and the shifting tides of the heavy metal scene led to the band's disbandment in 1987. Nevertheless, their legacy lives on through this seminal album and the mark they left on the NWOBHM movement.

For fans of the genre and collectors of vinyl, the "Samurai - Sacred Blade" 12" LP stands as a cherished artifact. The album's cover art, depicting a samurai warrior brandishing a gleaming sword against a fiery backdrop, captures the essence of the band's ferocious sound and lyrical themes. As the needle hits the grooves and the opening notes of the title track fill the room, listeners are transported back to a time when heavy metal was in its prime, and Samurai's "Sacred Blade" was a testament to the power of the genre.

SAMURAI - Sacred Blade 12" Vinyl LP
Thumbnail of SAMURAI - Sacred Blade album front cover

Ebony Records EBON 24 , 1984 , Made in England

"Samurai - Sacred Blade" is the debut album by British heavy metal band Samurai. Released in 1984 on Ebony Records, it embodies the raw energy and technical prowess of the NWOBHM movement, featuring powerful vocals, intricate guitar work, and anthemic choruses. A cherished artifact for metal fans and vinyl collectors.

Music Genre:

 Heavy Metal NWOBHM 

Album Production Information:

The album: "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade" was produced by: Darryl Johnston

Darryl Johnston, a prominent figure in the music industry, is best known as the founder of Ebony Records , a renowned record company specializing in heavy metal music, particularly the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) genre. Born on June 12, 1955, in London, England, Darryl Johnston's passion for music began at an early age.


Growing up, Johnston was drawn to the powerful and energetic sound of heavy metal. He immersed himself in the music scene, attending concerts, exploring various subgenres, and developing a keen ear for talent. Recognizing the immense potential and rising popularity of NWOBHM, he saw an opportunity to contribute to the movement by establishing a platform for talented bands to showcase their music.

In 1982, Johnston took a leap of faith and founded Ebony Records. With a clear vision and determination, he set out to sign and produce promising heavy metal acts, aiming to provide them with the exposure and support they needed to flourish. Ebony Records quickly gained a reputation for its commitment to the genre and its dedication to nurturing emerging talent.

Throughout the 1980s, Darryl Johnston worked tirelessly, producing numerous heavy metal albums that would go on to become classics in the NWOBHM canon. His collaborations with bands such as Chateaux , Grim Reaper , Savage, Blade Runner , Samurai , and Fast Kutz showcased his keen ability to identify and cultivate exceptional musicians.

Under Johnston's guidance, Ebony Records became a beacon of the NWOBHM movement, championing the raw energy, powerful riffs, and melodic intensity that characterized the genre. The label's commitment to quality and artistic integrity contributed significantly to the growth and success of the heavy metal scene during that era.

Johnston's work at Ebony Records extended beyond album production. He took a hands-on approach, involving himself in various aspects of artist development, marketing, and promotion. His dedication and meticulous attention to detail played a crucial role in shaping the careers of many aspiring musicians.

By the late 1980s, as the musical landscape began to shift, Darryl Johnston decided to pursue new endeavors outside of the record industry. He left Ebony Records in 1987, but his contribution to the NWOBHM movement and his lasting impact on the heavy metal scene continue to resonate to this day.

In retrospect, Darryl Johnston's legacy as a visionary founder and producer at Ebony Records remains deeply etched in the world of heavy metal history. His passion, commitment, and unwavering support for NWOBHM bands helped shape the genre and paved the way for countless artists who followed in his footsteps.

Though his time at Ebony Records was relatively short-lived, Darryl Johnston's influence on the music industry endures. His unwavering dedication to heavy metal and his invaluable contributions to the NWOBHM movement solidify his place as an influential figure in the genre's evolution.

Sound/Recording Engineer(s): Darryl Johnston

This album was recorded at: Ebony Recording Studios, Hull, England

Album cover design: Terry Greer


Record Label Information:

 Ebony Records EBON 24

Media Format:

 12" LP Vinyl Stereo Gramophone Record
Total Album (Cover+Record) weight: 230 gram  

Year & Country:

 1984 Made in England
Personnel/Band Members and Musicians on: SAMURAI - Sacred Blade
    Band-members, Musicians and Performers
  • Craig Ridsdale - Lead Guitar
  • Huw Lewis - Lead Guitar
  • Len Williams - Vocals
  • Neil Rogers - Bass
  • Mike Davies - Drums
Complete Track-listing of the album "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade"

The detailed tracklist of this record "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade" is:

    Track-listing Side One:
  1. Fire of Hell
  2. Attack
  3. Rock Steady
  4. I've Got What You Need
    Track-listing Side Two:
  1. Fire in your Eyes
  2. Spirit Woman
  3. Survivor
  4. Gotta Rock Tonight
High Quality Photo of Album Front Cover  "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade"
High Resolution Photo samurai sacred blade uk nwobhm  
Album Back Cover  Photo of "SAMURAI - Sacred Blade"

High Resolution Photo samurai sacred blade uk nwobhm

High Resolution Photo samurai sacred blade uk nwobhm  

Note: The images on this page are photos of the actual album. Slight differences in color may exist due to the use of the camera's flash.