Kat is a Polish heavy metal band formed in 1979 in Katowice, Poland.
In Polish "kat" means executioner. KAT is one of the most important bands in Polish and East European heavy metal overall, and is also mentioned as one of the main precursors of thrash. KAT's most famous album is "Oddech wymarłych światów" (The Breath of Extinct Worlds), considered an opus of Polish heavy metal.
The band is best known for tracks "Czas zemsty" (Time of revenge), "Łza dla cieniów minionych" (A tear for the shadows gone) and "Wyrocznia" (Oracle).
Band historyKAT was founded in 1979 by guitarist Piotr Luczyk. Firstly he invited drummer Ireneusz Loth to the band, and shortly after, they were joined by bassist Tomasz Jaguś and another guitarist, Ryszard Pisarski. They played instrumental music influenced by hard rock bands, mainly Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath. In 1981, during the first edition of the Silesian Rock festival, the band found a singer, Roman Kostrzewski. The line-up was filled out by guitarist Wojciech Mrowiec and in 1984 KAT released the debut single "Noce szatana / Ostatni tabor" (Polish for The Nights of Satan / The Last Train). Robert 'Lor' Milewski wrote the lyrics of both songs; since then Kostrzewski became the lyricist, incorporating poetry, Polish folklore, and mysticism. The band performed on toured with Hanoi Rocks.
In 1986 KAT released their debut album, Metal and Hell with a Belgian productions company named Ambush Records with the producer Jos Kloek. A Polish-language version of this full-length was released as a limited album the same year, however, the Polish version of the album was named 666. Soon after, Wojciech Mrowiec was fired from the band. In 1987 KAT performed twice as a support band for Metallica in Katowice's Spodek. This show was documented on KAT's live album 38 Minutes of Life. At that time they also supported Running Wild, Helloween, and Overkill.
A year after the concerts with Metallica, KAT released the next full-length album in 1988, "Oddech wymarłych światów" (Breath of extinct worlds). After this a conflict stirred up between Luczyk and Koszewski, and the band went on hiatus. KAT renewed their activity in 1990 and in 1992 played with TSA and Acid Drinkers at the Jarocin Festival. Two years later, some songs played previously at the Festival appeared along new ones on a new album, Bastard (1992). In 1994 in Wisła a new album entitled "Ballady" (Ballads) was compiled and recorded in a Christian Studio - Deo Rocording, which proved to argue against the publics' and journalists' accusations of Satanism. It includes KAT's ballads from previous albums, previously unreleased tracks, and two completely new songs. Józef Skrzek (SBB) was a guest keyboard. In that year, Metal Mind Productions re-released the three first of Kat's albums. Kat sued the company and, after a few years, won the case.
In 1996, KAT released the albums "Róże miłości najchętniej przyjmują się na grobach" (Roses of love best flourish on graves), following this the conflict between Luczyk and Koszewski re-ignited. This conflict was so prominent that it resulted in the following album "Szydercze zwierciadło" (The Mocking Mirror) being recorded with all band members recording separately without even seeing each other in the studio. After this album, the band stopped its activity. Luczyk focused on other musical projects and Koszewski formed a new band Alkatras. Unfortunately, in 1999 Jacek Regulski died in a motorcycle accident. After strong convincing from Slawomir Dziewulski (manager), Luczyk agreed for a joint tour under the name KAT; the finale of this tour was a joint show with Iron Maiden and the release of the album and DVD Somewhere in Poland in 2003.
Straight after the release of Somewhere in Poland, in 2004 the band decided to fire drummer Ireneusz Loth, and singer and lyricist Roman Kostrzewski. Mariusz Prętkiewicz replaced the former drummer; Jarosław Gronowski joined as a second guitarist (he substituted Luczyk during the "Szydercze zwierciadło" tour, since Luczyk did not want to participate due to bad organisation of the tour ), and Henry Beck became the new singer. The new lineup released Mind Cannibals in 2005. The lineup changes were very controversial, and band's fan base actually split in two, because Roman Kostrzewski and Ireneusz Loth also created their own band, and continue to perform since then, as a cover band.
After recording Mind Cannibals, the band went on tour around Europe (playing together with, Six Feet Under), but did not play in Poland, and later performed on tour with Helloween.
Between 2005 and 2014 KAT went on hiatus, and in 2014 returned with the release of an acoustic album - "Acoustic - 8 filmow" where Maciej Lipina performed as a guest vocalist, as Henry Beck formed his own band, and Adam Harris Jasinski (who was discovered by Luczyk at a cover festival) played as the new bassist. Finally, the new line-up was formed in 2016, Henry Beck was replaced by Qbek Weigel as vocalist. With the new line-up, KAT signed a worldwide contract with a German productions company Pure Steel Records and released their newest album titled 'Without Looking Back' in April 2019.