The Great Kat - Beethoven’s Guitar Shred DVD:
Classical, metal, leather and hellfire!
June 2, 2:22 PM
The Great Kat is a woman to be feared! No, it has
nothing to do with her serpent-like, near-distensible jaw. It does not
involve her being a musician first established in the 1980s and never
disappearing, despite metal’s faux pas image through the 90s. And
honestly, it is also not her psychotic, emasculating, dominatrix image.
No, all of that is purely incidental. Why The Great Kat should be feared
is because her hyper-blasting, neo-classical, whirlwind guitar playing
is so precise and intense, that listening to loudly just might rupture a
few ear drums.
Since erupting on the scene in the mid 80s, Kat has released seven CDs
of classically-faithful and adrenaline-fueled instrumental (and
sometimes vocal) metal. Realizing the attention span of the average
metal fan interested in extremely fast music, most of her compositions
clock in around two minutes each. That is not to say that she cuts
corners; not by a long shot. Taking melody and structure into strict
account, Kat’s music is almost surgical. One listen to any of her
releases and it is immediately apparent; this woman really is a better
guitarist than most men ever were. In fact, her soloing might just be a
direct influence on Dragonforce’s current formula of speed-laced
fret-board gymnastics. Oh, was it mentioned that she is also a graduate
of the Juilliard School of Music and plays the violin just as fast?
This brings us to her new DVD,
Beethoven’s Guitar Shred.
Comprising seven videos and a slew of bonus features, the DVD is a
portable clinic of seemingly inhuman guitar antics, juxtaposed against a
fervent respect for the classical masters.
The Flight of the Bumble-Bee
Paganini’s Caprice #24
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony
Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3
Three tracks (“Flight”, “Beethoven”, and “Paganini”) originally appeared
on Kat’s classic 1990 album Beethoven on Speed, “Blood” is from 1998’s
Bloody Vivaldi, and
“Torture Chamber”, “Islamofascists” and “Bach” are previously unreleased
(or new) compositions. The entire video selection runs an approximate
8-9 minutes if watched back-to-back. During that time, the viewer
becomes surrounded by a vicious assortment of imagery; from dominating
torture, blood, fire, anti-terrorist sentiments – all wrapped in an
oddly tasteful, hyper-classical visual feast.
Bonus features include a gallery of press and live images, a who’s who
of classical geniuses (musicians, politicians, writers, and scientists),
a mini-clinic entitled Bach’s The Art of the Fugue, and a Beavis and
Butthead-inspired animated video of “Flight of the Bumble-Bee”. The
whole DVD runs approximately 20 minutes, so it is not really a lengthy
investment, like some other bands that seem to ramble incessantly for
multiple hours. It runs in, slams your head against a wall for the
duration, and then rushes out, leaving you bloodied, bruised, and
wondering exactly what it was that just kicked the snot out of you. It’s
a good time!
Beethoven’s Guitar Shred is the follow-up to Kat’s 2005 DVD release
Guitar Shred, which features a similar composition of videos and
features. Unlike its predecessor, Beethoven unfortunately does not
contain any live footage.
Sure, she might come across as a bit on the insane side, but she
undoubtedly displays an appreciation and understanding of classical
composition that only a handful (at best) of modern musicians are
capable of grasping. People have a hard time moving beyond her
flamboyant image, but her obvious talent shines through. Pick this DVD
up if not for the education alone.