|Classic Review: Kat - 666|
Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
Year released: 2007
Originally released in: 1986
Review online: October 4, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 4.42/5 (88.42%) (19 Votes)
Do I wish I had known about this reissue sooner. 666 got the royal treatment from Nuclear War Now! Productions, which is probably the label with the best quality packaging currently in the business, and unfortunately I was too late to get the "Die Hard" edition (I try not to miss those NWN! Die Heard editions nowadays.) Still, even the regular LP reissue is of top quality, a 180gr vinyl with new cover art and a gatefold cover, and even a large poster all set to evilize your wall. Lyrics are included, but they'll just look pretty until I learn some Polish. ;)
666 is purely and simply a masterpiece of evil Speed/Thrash. Had this come from a Western country (remember, this was back in 1986 when things didn't flow so well between East and West), this album would probably have pushed down some of the most revered Speed and Thrash releases of the time. It's that good. This album has a very raw and haunting sound - it almost sounds like it was recorded in a large metal container (in a good way), just about everything here has a reverberating metal touch to it. I can't from memory recall hearing such a sound on an album. The singer has a rough voice that also has that metallic edge, resonating in such a way that it seems to be coming from beyond. At times he even sounds a little like Udo, but with a more powerful, slightly less gruffy voice. He's not the greatest singer you'll ever hear but damn, I don't think anyone else could have fit the raw power and evilness of this music - his screams from beyond the depths of hell are simply bone-chilling at times. You'll still hear his "Satan! Satan!" screams days after you've played this sucker.
Kat do not break any speed barriers here, mostly working their way through mid to slightly fast-paced material. There's even a song - "Czas Zemsty" - that is a little on the ballad side, but these guitars scream "metal" even at their most melodic, so this is far, far from sounding remotely like any kind of cheesy ballad, trust me on this one. It gets much heavier and rawer as it progresses, and the singer's "mellower" (ah!) voice remains hauntingly cold through and through. The guitar work occasionally reminded me of Accept-style twin-axe attacks, just on a more satanic and evil-sounding note. Despite its satanic overtones and raw power, the music is almost as catchy as what was released by the best Heavy Metal powerhouses of the time. Fast guitar riffs, awesomely wicked and powerful soloing that'll literally lift you off your feet (or your couch, if that's your thing.)
The album has a deliciously old school sound that gives the impression the recording is even older than it is, but in a good way - it's that timeless sound that just doesn't get old, from a time when touching up with digital gizmos and overpolished production still hadn't polluted the metal world. Yeah, I'm showing my age - sue me. Words cannot do an album such as 666 justice, it has to be heard. If raw, savage, evil-sounding Speed/Thrash is your thing, then this is it. Happy hunting.
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