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  • Artist: The Bang
  • Label: Svart Records
  • UPC: 6430050666132
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 10/24/2016

    Surely one of the most unsung bands in the history of American hard rock music, BANG released three full-length albums for Capitol Records in the early 70’s, that criminally sank without a trace. Capitol artist development at the time just did not know what to do with the band that was often called America’s answer to Black Sabbath.

    A killer review by Amazon customer, T. Kasuboski - Lead Vocalist of RAZOR FIST
    Since there wasn't a review consisting of much information regarding the historical content of this release I figured I'd try to answer the questions some of you reading this may have. First off, BANG-"Death Of A Country" was the first album BANG recorded. It was recorded in early 1971 at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL (quite a high-end studio). Following the completion of "Death Of A Country" the album was then used to shop around for a record deal. BANG was successful and signed a four LP deal with Capitol Records in late '71.However, despite the fact that "Death Of A Country" was exquisitely recorded and produced, as well as impressive enough to garner BANG a four LP deal, Capitol thought the album was a bit too conceptual and raw (i.e. heavy, not poorly recorded) to offer as the public's first taste of the band. So this total gem, in my opinion the best album BANG would record, was placed on the shelf and in 1972 the band released two albums, their debut LP "Mother/Bow To The King" and their most well known album, the self-titled "Bang" LP. Their third and final album release for Capitol would be '73's "Music" LP (arguably BANG's most tepid and least impressive work).It is an utter tragedy that following "Mother/Bow To The King" (or even the "Bang" LP) that "Death Of A Country" was not removed from the shelf and released. Not only would it likely have been their most critically well-received album, but it also would have been the perfect building block follow up to "Mother/Bow To The King" (displaying elements of that LP's electrified post-psych folk stylings while also giving many hints of the stoned out, proto-"metal" of the "Bang" LP). Furthermore, I feel many 70's hard rock/proto-metal historians would be more keen to hold BANG up as a serious force in the world of early 70's American post-psych/heavy rock had the triumvirate of "Mother/Bow To The King", "Death Of The Country" (which Capitol simply should have released as BANG's debut album to start with) and "Bang" all ben released within the span of '71-72. Unfortunately, Capitol Records chose otherwise and the truly fantastic piece of hard-hitting, lyrically charged, drug damaged example of post-60's psych meets heavy, early stoner (or as magazines at the time like Creem would have put it. "downer") rock that is the magnificent "Death Of A Country" LP was cruelly left unreleased until the 21st Century.But better late than never!!! I was shocked at how much I dug this album. As a long fan of the legendary "Bang" LP I always felt that despite that LP's killer Sabbath-level riffage and punked out approach that there had to be a BANG recording with a more robust production, great song cohesion (due to the quality of of the songwriting on "Death Of A Country"), and generally with just a bit more of an overall impact (not that "Bang" is not enough to make the listener take notice of, were this the case would it would not be the cult legend that it is recognized by many as today). "Death Of A Country" was exactly the "missing piece" I was looking for...It may not have as much Sabbath-styled riffage as the "Bang" LP, however, in totality, I feel "Death Of A Country" is both a darker and heavier listening experience. It is obvious that the material (being the band's first) was just primed to be recorded and the production captures this enthusiasm for this material just perfectly. It is a record intended to make a statement...It succeeded in that it was sufficient to convince Capitol Records to sign BANG to a quite impressive contract, however due to the decisions of record industry bureaucrats (whom I feel quite simply felt "Death Of A Country" was too dark and possibly dangerous) it did not hit the eardrums of the rock world circa '71 as it should have. Had it, who knows what may have transpired for the band...So quite simply if you are a fan of the legendary "Bang" LP or "Mother/Bow To The King" LP and have NOT heard "Death Of A Nation" I cannot emphasize strongly enough how great an album "Death Of A Country" is! Essential for BANG fans, but also for all fans of early 70's American post-psych, high and highly electric performances, which dealt with the existential realms and in doing so produced dark, bleak, but often highly compelling heavy rock. So pick up a copy of BANG-"Death Of A Country" (as well as 72's "Bang" and "Mother/Bow To The King" LPs if you don't already have them) and when "Death Of A Country" arrives take your mind (or if you weren't around then, your imagination) back to 1971 (the year where the "flowers in your hair" idealism of the 60's trip was severed by a more cynical and bleak outlook towards the new decade) and a trio from Pittsburgh's first trip to the studio. Put the disc in (make sure the volume is HIGH), take a few tokes, press play, and have your mind blown by the lost masterpiece that is "Death Of A Country"...

Bang - Death of A Country (2 LP) (2016) (Blue Vinyl)