Blade is a five-piece Finnish Hard Rock band formed in 2020. Joker And Clowns is a 10-song album filled with catchy hooks and big riffs. Intricate guitar work pairs beautifully with the rhythms to create a quirky, fun set of songs. Blade brings a modern sensibility to some of the Classic Hard Rock sounds, bringing to mind the heyday of the 80s. Featuring a cover of the Michael Sambello classic “Maniac,” this is a record that will earworm its’ way into your head and take a permanent residence.

Band Members:

  • Pepe Tamminen – Vocals
  • Pekka Viljanen – Guitars
  • Jaakko Paljakka – Guitars
  • Janne Viljakainen – Bass/Keyboards
  • Henrik Hyöppönen – Drums

October 13, 2023 – Inverse Records


  1. Never Stop Rocking
  2. Burning Eyes
  3. Column Of Fire
  4. My Demons
  5. Alone
  6. Hey Dude
  7. Hot And Wired
  8. Joker And Clown
  9. Tell Me
  10. Maniac

The opening riff for “Never Stop Rocking” immediately reminds me of the 80s. I was transported back in time and was thinking Dangerous Toys or Dirty Looks. A minute in and I’m adding Great White and Bang Tango to the list of influences I hear. I have no idea if those bands are even known to Blade, but that’s the impression I get. Let me stress that I am happy about this. Hard Rock from that era was some of the catchiest music you would hear on the radio and still dominates those airwaves even today on many rock radio channels.

“Burning Eyes” adds in keyboards, bringing even more of the 80s into the present. The guitar riffs are solid and dig into the brain, taking up residence even when the record is not actively playing. Whether it’s the bluesy riff of “Column Of Fire” or the power ballad-inspired “Alone,” the guitar work is memorable. The rhythms are solid, powering the tracks from start to finish. Blade is a band that seems to be born in the wrong era, yet still manages to fit into the current soundscape beautifully.

Even the album art brings the 80s to mind. Everything about this record is an almost perfect recreation of one of the greatest eras in music. It does not matter if you were a fan of the music, if you lived during the late 80s, this is what dominated the airwaves and stocked the record store shelves. The nostalgia alone is a great reason to love this record. Speaking of nostalgia, they give us a cover of Michael Sambello’s “Maniac” for good measure. Is there a better way to show you love the 80s than to remake one of the most iconic songs of the era?

Blade is one of those bands that knows exactly who and what they are. They do not try to force anything just to gain a bigger market. Staying true to themselves is how they manage to put out one of the best throwbacks I’ve heard in the last decade.

MZ Ratings:


  •             Guitars – 9
  •             Rhythms – 9
  •             Vocals – 9
  • Songwriting – 9
  • Production – 9

Overall – 9.00