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***2023 repress of the most important early satanic heavy metal album to emerge from Poland, and possibly all of Eastern Europe. The origin of satanic heavy metal, which eventually assumed the title of "black metal," is most commonly linked to the British trio, Venom, who bestowed the name upon the subgenre with the title of its second album in 1982. In the decades since, black metal has undergone several periods of evolution, which have often been cultivated in self-contained, stylistic incubation regions in different parts of the world. In retrospect, one unlikely context of this sort was Poland in the early 1980s, which was dominated by pro-communist martial law, and from which the band Kat somehow emerged. Kat's role in the development of black heavy metal is one that is typically overlooked, but it is one of significance that deserves proper recognition.
Kat was formed in 1979 under the direction of guitarist Piotr Luczyk and in conspiracy with Ireneusz Loth on drums. Shortly thereafter, Tomasz Jaguś (bass) and Ryszard Pisarski (guitars) joined the band, and during the first two years of its existence, this quartet exclusively played instrumental songs inspired by the likes of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and Accept. Although he was not the first vocalist to try out for Kat, Roman Kostrzewski solidified the band with his enlistment in 1981, enabling Kat to take the necessary next step of performing songs with vocals.
Coincidentally, during the year of Kostrzewski's addition to the band, Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law throughout Poland in an effort to suppress any and all anti-communist sentiment in the country. Thus, Kat's formative years were set against the backdrop of military rule that sought to censor the very types of expression that Kat intended to propagate. However, as is often the case, the artistic suppression that characterized life behind the Iron Curtain instead led to a greater urgency for rebellion, as evidenced by the darker turn taken by the post punk and new wave genres that were popular at the time. Similarly, Kat's musical direction became increasingly focused on themes related to satanism, murder, and vampirism, among others of the same ilk. This confluence of events would therefore result in Kat's role as a pioneer in the development of the black heavy metal subgenre, albeit to a less recognized degree than its British contemporaries in Venom, whose "Welcome to Hell" opus was released that very same year.
Housed in gatefold jackets with high gloss and black pocket. Includes a 24″x24″ double sided poster.