Extreme Guitar Shred - The Great Kat review by The Grim Ringler

Extreme Guitar Shred – The Great Kat

Extreme Guitar Shred – The Great Kat

Wagner’s War – CD


As a kid I never really had an interest in being a musician. Not really. I loved music (a love affair that’s only grown over the years) but I never had the itch to play. I always admired the hell out of anyone who could. Just as I admired the likes of Joe Satriani who blended incredible talent with a knack of writing genuine songs instead of excuses to show off. I hadn’t really been that interested in the virtuoso side of music for a while but was able to get a copy of The Great Kat’s DVD Extreme Guitar Shred and her CD Wagner’s War to check out.


The first thing you notice about The Great Kat is her attitude and persona. This is a woman who isn’t afraid of her sexuality and in using it as a means to further her art. It’s hard not to admire someone who acknowledges and embraces their sexuality and uses it to their advantage. I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t distracting from her talent though. Getting past all the quotes and the blurbs, The Great Kat is a very talented guitarist. Able to transform moments from classical music into speed metal and put her own mark on it while doing it, The Great Kat sets herself apart as not just a guitarist but a virtuoso in her own right. The videos are a mixture of jingoistic idealism and dungeon fetish, the only theme running through them being the talent and attitude of Kat. The videos are amateurishly made (the big problem I have is that the two things you want to see – Kat in her outfits and her guitar playing) are never really featured but just glimpsed. I appreciate the artistic ideas they are showing off but they don’t really capture the songs and do little more than dilute the talent of this person. The biggest omission though is perhaps some more extensive live footage. Again, Kat is someone you want to see in action, reveling in her character (I say this as I think that The Great Kat is a character and that the woman behind it is using the character to gain a fanbase and show off her talent, kinda like GWAR is a means to an end for the people involved as much as it is something fun to do) and showcasing her skills. Unfortunately we only get a brief glimpse into what a concert for her is like. So the DVD, more than anything else will give you but the briefest of glimpses into the world of The Great Kat, serving more as a primer or crash course than a really fan oriented product.


The CD – Wagner’s War is pretty interesting itself. Taking the music of classical composer Wagner The Great Kat (once trained at Julliard!) adds her own personality and mark on the songs. If I had one wish it would be that there was more here to explore. I am not a speed metal/death metal fan really but it’s hard not to be drawn into the sheer enthusiasm and talent The Great Kat displays. The CD is a scant twelve minutes though so it’s hard to get a real feel for any of the songs here, feeling as if you are just seeing what she can do as they end. The songwriting definitely needs some work lyrically – very, very minimalist stuff here – but the talent is undeniable.

I had a hard time at first trying to figure out what I felt concerning The Great Kat. The DVD is too short, as is the CD, giving only glimpses into someone that needs and deserves more time to really show their stuff. And I hoped for a day when she wouldn’t need to show her body in order to generate interest in her work. But you know what? Who the hell am I? I admire the hell out of someone who wants to do something differently and wants to be a bit of a pioneer.


There are people like Gen from the Genitorturers and I am sure others (god, a few come to mind now that I mention it) that are trying to create images of sensuality and horror - Revulsion and attraction and that is basically what we have with The Great Kat’s image. But she has something a lot of the others don’t, and that’s a strong talent that is still forming. I appreciate her passion and persona even if I don’t get into the work itself that much. If I had one wish it would be for better production on her releases and longer songs so she can really show what she can do with both guitar and violin. The persona is a bit much if you aren’t into extreme gore, images of torture, and basically aren’t looking for a bit of S/M in your speed-metal, but for those out there into this, or into guitar artists The Great Kat has exactly what you’re looking for. From the press on her site, and the talent featured here, it’s obvious she’s starting to turn some heads. Here’s hoping that this is only the beginning for her.


The DVD and CD are both bit too short, and a bit amateurish in production (and lyrics I fear), but these are definitely worth a look if you’re into more extreme metal. There is too much talent and passion here to ignore The Great Kat, and if the music won’t grab you, maybe her scantily clad for will, which seems to be exactly what she wants. And as a sidenote – three cheers for someone this ballsy and confident in what they are doing, who they are, and their place in music. Cocky? Yes. Refreshing? Absolutely.


CD – 6

DVD - 7




7 out of 10 Jackasses
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