Genre: Heavy Metal
Label: Lost Realm Records
We live in the early 20’s and globalization is a fact making us no longer wonder why the majority of kids or teenagers nowadays are listening to music via YouTube or why on Earth there’s a wave of making rap or hip-hop music as a desperate cry of today’s youth for rebellious creation. 40 years ago though Heavy Metal fever was making the youth or Europe and America sweat for revolution or money (or both)! Belgium stands in the heart of Europe and couldn’t be far from priming the pump when its youth were hungry for riffs and headbanging.
In September 1984 guitarist Lorenzo Augusti together with bassist Dominique Sourbron, guitarist Leon Klawitter (ex-Westfalen), singer Mike Travis and drummer Jos Looyens put together a promising new metal scheme in Genk under the strange (for someone that wouldn’t know that all its 5 members had different nationalities) moniker of Nation. Mike Travis quickly left the group and Lorenzo Augusti also took over the singing. With the change from Jos Looyens to Alberto ‘Berto’ Rossi, another musician from Westfalen joined the group. This first and seemingly solid line-up recorded a first, three-song demo in 1985 featuring 3 songs: ‘Stage,’ ‘It’s Coming Down’ and ‘Riding Free.’
A year later, René Vandebroek took over bass duties. Then guitarist Leon Klawitter left the group, so the remaining trio had to record the second demo in mid-April. Nevertheless, Nation were able to perform in the famous “Dynamo Club” and produced the third demo in the same year with another (again trio) line-up.
Meanwhile, Roger Grossard from Westafalen played the bass. But he soon left the band for Shoan. Tired of the many line-up changes, Lorenzo Augusti split-up the band, but formed the group again in 1987. Ultimately, however, only he and drummer Tony Gijbels went into the studio to record the fourth band demo. A final demo entitled ‘First-Move’ was recorded in 1990 featuring 2 tracks: ‘Earthquake’ and ‘The Needle’ recorded by Augusti along with Mark Robeyn on guitar, Flip Boonen on bass and Mario Goosens on drums.
In the mid-1990s, Lorenzo Augusti was in the formation 3 Ain’t Bad, which were renamed Strangehold, then to Argos and finally now known as Cryi. Nation on the other hand performed successfully in 2012 at the ‘Metal Legacy Festival’, a festival dedicated to Belgian cult bands.
For a band that actually never had the opportunity to release a full length, to collect their demo recordings in one compilation without sounding out of joint and the final result to be so (rock) solid and compact is probably a small triumph! Nation is one of the cult bands of the thriving ‘80s Belgian scene that managed to record some guitar driven aspiring to be ‘hit’, as ‘Stage’, ‘Hellfighters’, ‘Queen Of Rock’ or ‘Riding Free’ and ‘Heavy Metal Sound’ could have been singles if the band had the proper circumstances to release a full length studio album in the right timing. They had the talent, the potential, the riffs, the Accept-like aura and (mostly) the songs, but unfortunately failed to escape the cult status.
Finally Lost Realm Records cut it on CD, in a limited edition that contains all their 14 recorded demo songs, fully remastered for a better sound experience and a 16 page booklet with detailed biography and rare photos! Limited to 500 copies.