Wednesday, March 6, 2013
REVIEW: THE GREAT KAT - BEETHOVEN SHREDS
Clocking in under 8 minutes, The Great Kat’s newest offering of Shred/Classical music, Beethoven Shreds, will smash your powdered wig to dust before you can say “Bloody Vivaldi.” The album includes thrashing compositions of timeless classical pieces, all played just below the speed of light. These songs would not make these long-dead composers turn in their graves, it would inspire them to stud their skeletons with pyramid spikes and mosh wildly.
For those of you ignorant of her grandeur, The Great Kat has been crushing slaves and devoted fans beneath the weight of her razor-sharp guitar virtuosity and stiletto-heeled boots since the mid-80s. After leaving the Juilliard School of Music and touring the world as a respected violinist The Great Kat decided to aim her talents at the world of extreme metal with one mission: To introduce dimwits previously unaware of the great classical geniuses to their masterworks through the seductive power of speed metal.
The seven tracks on Beethoven Shreds do not believe in taking time to smell the roses; each song slices the rose from its stem with a flaming guitar neck and kills everything in its path, rose clamped between its bared fangs, before one hundred seconds pass. The Great Kat has never had use for subtlety or wasting time. Consistently ranked as one of the fastest guitar players in the world, she has the technical chops to outduel any bloodthirsty immortal wielding a six-string. A flash of her finger calluses must make her most love-struck fans faint.
The highlight of the album, “Paganini’s Caprice #24,” offers the most diverse display of skill. She commands each tempo shift with precision and blistering intensity, burning the strings to ash on both her violin and guitar. It’s an astounding achievement that absolutely needs to be shared. The album also includes deranged versions of such staples as “Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Beethoven’s 5th Symphony” that will inspire a smile from even the stuffiest classical music elitist.
Of the two original tracks, “IslamoFascists” is the only one I felt compelled to listen to multiple times. It rages with great passion and showcases The Great Kat’s hoarse snarls. As heavy metal’s most famous Dominatrix, her other original song, “Torture Techniques,” felt like an ode to her enslaved fan base and will undeniably be playing in the background while some metalhead engages in auto-erotic asphyxiation.
This album may just be the sonic equivalent of that amazing Youtube video you feel compelled to show everyone, but that’s nothing to sneer at. To me, the worst kind of music is totally forgettable. The Great Kat takes familiar songs and beats them with chains, spits acid on them, and injects them with hellfire. I first heard her shred when I was battling acne in junior high, blasting Worship Me Or Die! in my shadowy bedroom in the attic, and I keep coming back to spread the gospel.
The Great Kat has been a polarizing figure in heavy metal, seemingly due to her extremely high regard for her own talent. At her core she is is a seriously talented artist with huge ideas and an undying devotion to self-promotion and her own awesomeness. Seriously, if the album cover doesn't convince you (as it resembles a late-night informercial ad) please read interviews. She claims to be a messiah and says Satan praises her, never the other way around, all while slamming per pinkie hard on her caps lock. Personally, I think modesty is overrated. It takes courage to be this much larger than life, and I’m glad she reanimated Beethoven’s corpse and taught him how to headbang.
You can find The Great Kat on iTunes and Spotify and you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about the grand Shred/Classical goddess here:http://www.greatkat.com/