Klassic Top Kat

You may well be forgiven if you thought that The Great Kat had been tamed over the years, gracefully aging through her nine lives. Whilst in the 1980’s and 1990’s she prowled around toying with, and snarling at journalists with her infamous outbursts, she went slightly AWOL near the end of the decade, however she is back!Behind that raging beast is a pure musical genius, and let’s not forget she graduated from New York’s prestigious Julliard School. As happy playing fast-paced renditions of classical pieces, like the school show-off, she then slips into her own brand of ferocious shedding-thrash like the teen-rebel that she still is, and probably always will be…

Following on from her DVD of a few years back, ‘Extreme Guitar Shred’, we have this new DVD, ‘Beethoven’s Guitar Shred’. Now whether you are a fan of classical music or not, there is no doubting that it is a clever and complex genre of music that can be peaceful, beautiful, powerful, triumphant and superior all at once. These things can all be said of The Great Kat (real name Katherine Thomas), and she certainly know exactly what she is doing.

Now ‘The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee’ has been recorded by a few rock artists before, namely Extreme (who proved that they were more than words with this instrumental), and the self-proclaimed ‘kings of metal’, and at one time ‘loudest band in the world’, Manowar. However The Great Kat plays this version at lightening speed that it’s impossible to see her fingers moving up and down the fret, add to this that she duels with herself by playing it on both the guitar and violin, and you will be tipping your proverbial hat to her. The next song is one of her own, ‘Torture Techniques’, as we see that she alternates between classical rendition and own music throughout the seven songs. It’s a real beauty and beast mix, as ‘Torture Techniques’ is a brutal musical assault mixing up thrash music with the quick’n’dead shredding that we come to expect, and of course the video is of a man being tortured, naturally.

Again, ‘Paganini’s Caprice #24’ is fantastic with the self-dualing of guitar and violin again, it’s a bit like the Devil snarling through a speeded up version of ‘Amazing Grace’, whilst blood spurts around the video. This leads us nicely to the next song that is entitled, ‘Blood’, whereby The Great Kat is able to play the guitar so it sounds like a cross between a hysterical woman and a cackling-laughing witch. After this I am truly disturbed, and I think I might have to ring my mum…’Beethoven’s 5th Symphony’ would have the guy turning in his grave, although it’s unclear as to whether this would be through pain or admiration. However, ‘Islamofacists’ is really something else. We have the great hyperactive shredding that we’ve come to expect, over a video that depicts hooded men in black having their throats cut. One for the kids, I’d say…Now in the final song, ‘Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3’, I’m slightly disturbed again, but for a completely different reason, normally covered in blood and snarling The Great Kat is someone to be feared, and obeyed however here dressed in pink and white silk and lace, the softer feminine side is shown. I’ll say no more. Sure she is still snarling, but we can accept that! Musically the song is layers upon layers of intricate fast guitar playing that will make grown men and women sell there guitars and take up the penny-whistle instead.

On the bonus’s we have a video called, ‘Hot Shred Bits 2’ with pictures of The Great Kat flashing on the screen to the soundtrack of her guitar shredding. Whilst in, ‘Shred Geniuses’ we have flashes of everyone that The Great Kat admires and thinks is great including herself…Then in ‘Metal Fugue: Bach’s The Art Of The Fuge’ we have more electrifying guitar playing. The finally we have ‘Shred Kartoon’ which is a cartoon of The Great Kat playing, ‘The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee’ which is..er, interesting…

Love her or hate her, The Great Kat is a musical enigma bringing together what some might consider God’s soundtrack and the Devil’s music in a raging war. It’s hard to know which side is best, and indeed whether one could, or should be a winner. Mixing up both great styles of musical not only bridges the gap between a large gulf of the genres, but proves that it’s fine to like both types of music. Great stuff.