Saturday, March 30, 2013


The Great Kat is one of the most interactive personalities in heavy music, updating all of her accounts personally to communicate with fans and even mailing autographed specialty photographs celebrating holidays (like this weekend’s fitting crucifixion pose on a blood-splattered cross). She has released several DVDs with music videos and live performances, and “Extreme Guitar Shred” is a collection of six performances with blood, blasphemy, studded bras, and, above all else, shredding.

While the production quality spans from cinematic (like the lurid black and white of “Torture Chamber”) to deranged public access video (“Zapateado”), there is a very Tromatic vibe to the proceedings. For those who aren’t hip to the kings of independent shlock, Troma Entertainment is responsible for The Toxic Avenger and a filmography of splat-stick cult films that wallow gleefully in filth. “Extreme Guitar Shred” carries the same energy as an early John Waters film, where offensiveness approaches tastelessness, and every taboo is celebrated with a guitar solo.

“Torture Chamber” is the first of several songs featuring The Great Kat in dominatrix mode, and the slick video shows her sadistic assaults on her legions of male slaves. If I learned anything from this DVD it’s that being a slave to the Great Kat is not a particularly great gig for someone hoping to live into old age. Her followers are beaten, whipped, forced to eat like dogs from bowls, boiled alive, attacked with massive drill bits, and eventually executed with the same expression of frozen shred-rage the Great Kat has perfected through the years. “Castration” and “Dominatrix” feature similar imagery, though the former includes the best gore, complete with a censored, severed mushroom tip. These three videos, along with her live performance from a Chicago concert, should be watched rabidly by the fans that worship the Great Kat. Not only does she rain fiery words of degradation down on her servants, but she also dispatches her victims with blood slick on her face, fret-burning fingers, and cleavage. These are moments of pure heavy metal excess that, for a dedicated fan of the Great Kat, will be their raison d’être.

The only video I actually feel compelled to warn viewers of is “War.” While the piece matches the “Zapateado” video’s guerilla production value there are also many images and clips of Holocaust devastation and 9/11 footage that may upset some people. While I generally roll my eyes at trigger warnings I feel like this may be the place to say “there are actual corpses on screen.” Even mentioning this may increase appeal to the mondo gorehounds and Faces of Death junkies who seek that sort of stuff out.

While the total running time is modest (13 minutes, not including the special features)I think this is essential for the fans who say they worship their Classical-Shred Messiah. While the outlandish, nightmarish images may distract from the music there’s no denying that when the Great Kat’s fingers spray blood due to her insane speeds on this DVD it is only barely fictionalized. This collection of videos captures the grimy underbelly of heavy metal that intends to shock and alarm, and has a helluva time doing it.

“Extreme Guitar Shred” is now Available on Amazon Instant Video here:

For more information on the Great Kat visit the hub of all Great Kat information:

To visit the Great Kat store and purchase your very own autographed “Shredding Easter” photo go here:

And don’t forget to follow her on Facebook for immediate updates on all news here: