Kat & Roman Kostrzewski at Progresja, Warsaw, Poland
|Event:||Kat & Roman Kostrzewski at Progresja, Warsaw|
Kat & Roman Kostrzewski @ Progresja, Warsaw, Poland by jupitreas (11)
Every fan of metal music should make it a point to spend some time at smaller, lower-profile gigs of relatively less known bands. Although often a show such as this can turn out to be a melting pot of mediocrity, there are occasions when the exact opposite is true. The DIY aesthetic, the hardcore fans and the hungry musicians sometimes simply offer a hell of a lot more than seasoned veterans who now feel like they don't need to try as hard when playing a club gig.
Now then, Kat is not exactly an unknown band, particularly in Poland. On the contrary, they are the equivalent of a Polish Slayer or Metallica, a comparison all the more relevant to the Polish public due to the fact that the Iron Curtain in the 80s made it difficult to follow the careers of the American thrash titans as closely as one would like. With this said, today not that many people enjoy this band's music as they used to and they are of a much lower profile than many other Polish metal bands that rule the metal airwaves these days (thinking of Vader, Decapitated, Behemoth etc. here). All of this definitely made approach the show with mixed feelings. Would Kat turn out to be one of those older bands just going through the motions? Or would they play as if they needed to conquer the world all over again from the beginning? Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised in the end; however, let me write a few things about Kat's support bands first. After all, this was a small local show, so their performance was just as important as that of the main star.
Blade Of Terror
The first band to take the stage was the quite unknown Blade Of Terror. Although obviously still a young and inexperienced band, they managed to warm up the crowd quite well. Blade Of Terror played a fast paced, old school kind of thrash with plenty of death metal influences, as well as a smidgen of black metal thrown in. Without a doubt, their kinetic show was a good way to start the night and their performance was quite passable, if not actually outright impressive. The band clearly has potential; however, when they closed their short set with a cover of Sepultura's "Territory" it became quite clear that their songwriting prowess simply isn't up to par with the greats. Well, the cover was actually performed very well and was clearly appreciated by the few people who made it to the stage for the first support; however, I still think unknown bands should be careful about covering songs that might put their own stuff in an unflattering perspective...
Up next was Chain Reaction, a groove thrash band from Warsaw that is slowly becoming more and more famous. They owe this budding popularity to frequent gigs and performances that can be described as quite exhaustive. Basically, the band is very intense from the very first note till the last encore and this approach more than makes up for the small songwriting issues or vocals that occasionally lack polish. The band and particularly the vocalist is also extremely animated on stage, running around, taunting the audience, talking in between songs etc. This is exactly what one would expect from a serious band that is hungry for a career and Chain Reaction deliver this with flying colors.
Kat & Roman Kostrzewski
Finally, it was time for the main attraction of the night: the legendary Polish thrash metal band Kat, or actually, Roman Kostrzewski (their vocalist) and an entirely new band made up of both other old-timers and some talented young guys. Let me explain - due to some tensions within the band, Kostrzewski and drummer Ireneusz Loth left without legally securing the name for themselves. The remaining members of Kat continued recording with a new vocalist; however, their output was generally derided by critics and fans alike, which caused them to go on hiatus amidst a shroud of infamy. In the meantime, Kostrzewski and Loth continued touring as Kat & Roman Kostrzewski to overwhelmingly positive response amongst Polish fans. Long story short, this version of Kat was the one worth seeing.
And worth seeing they were! Kat & Roman Kostrzewski's show was very varied and satisfying to fans of various approaches to metal. Sure, the band played a few old-school fast thrash metal anthems; however, the show also comprised of some surprisingly (for me) modern sounds, as well as some very well executed atmospheric songs that had the whole venue singing along with the lead vocalist. The sound was clear and every punishing riff was easily audible. The musicians were also clearly very proficient and knew how to excel at every approach that they undertook during the show.
Nevertheless, it was the eclectic frontman Roman Kostrzewski that was the most entertaining and attention grabbing member of the band on stage. The man's movements, faces and mannerisms must really be seen to be believed. If not for the short conversation I had with him after the show, I would have left this gig fully convinced that Mr. Kostrzewski is suffering from some kind of mental illness or at least that his brain is by now completely fried by drug abuse. Well, apparently this is simply the way he acts on stage, nevertheless, I found his antics to be thoroughly entertaining and worth the price of admission.
With Kat & Roman Kostrzewski's varied show, it became very clear to me that this night was one very well spent. We got to hear thrash in three different styles and just as importantly, there was a very palatable sensation of being part of a small group of like-minded individuals that enjoy lesser known bands. The sole low point of the night was the quite pathetic attendance. Progresja is not a large club and yet it was quite empty and it was possible to walk right up to the stage at any point of the show. Shame. Shows like this have their own unique and special appeal and too many people missed out on it.
Thanks go to Jakub Krzeszowski for making this review possible
||Written on 10.12.2008 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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