We got our hands on The Great Kat's “Beethoven's Guitar Shred” DVD. It features close-ups of her rapid finger work in music video formats. If you like the musical revolution of metal/classical fusion, you'll love it. Fair warning to classical purists: you'll find the music (and probably the visuals, too) to be abrasive.
The main highlight of the DVD is the “Shred Videos”:
- The first song and main theme to the DVD is “The Flight of the Bumble-Bee.” The video shows a bright set with flora in saturated color. This is your chance to see her play both the guitar and the violin with equal skill and speed.
- “Torture Techniques” is the first non-cover song on the DVD. This is where The Great Kat's dominatrix persona really comes out in a screaming S&M dungeon set.
- It looks like the Great Kat had fun with a green screen of fire in “Paginini's 'Caprice #24.'” This is yet another example where we see her show her mastery on both guitar and violin, complete with the imagery of blood on her face, religious themes, red filters, and strobing lights. The speed of the violin and guitar somehow makes me think of the themes in Charlie Daniel's Band's “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Tenacious D's “Rock Off.” If a devil/demon figure waged a bet on musical prowess, she would win.
- The next original work is “Blood.” As a testimony to the frenzy of her shredding, the storyline of this next video is a blur of blood drinking at a murder scene with various religious scenes.
- We watched “Beethoven's 'Fifth Symphony'” next. The video clips look more like live performances with a band with a brief theme of lightning and an image of Beethoven. The notable part of these visuals are the fun angles. You'll be chained to your TV with this shiny new metal version.
- The last Great Kat original on this DVD is “Islamofascists,” which is sure to be controversial. It looks like a set of a terrorist organization. Prisoners are fully covered and wind up with slit throats. With a little research, you can note that during an interview with Brian Rademacher on Rockeyez.com, The Great Kat said she wanted to “wake up the world to realize that the most important issue is the war on terror and stopping the Islamic extremists from spreading their religious insanity to the modern world! That’s the whole point of art, to wake up the masses.” It's hard to deny that being a zealot of any doctrine can become dangerous in the hands of the wrong people and it is true that art is meant to change the world.
- The Great Kat saved my favorite video for last, which is “Bach's 'Brandenburg Concerto #3.'” It looks like a set for boudoir photography with a masquerade theme; with ribbons, flowers, satin, and pink colors (eww not pink!). However, it's a brilliant juxtaposition of femininity to put against her usual brutal attire. Furthermore, you get to see The Great Kat shred on 6 different guitars due to the splitscreen panels. They also play around with what appears to be a posterize filter.
In addition to awesome videos, there are “shred bonus features." The “hot shred bits 2” is a montage of images from the music videos and promotional images. “Shred geniuses” contains biographical pictures and short explanations of her inspiration in music, science, literature and history in general. It's very fast cut, so you may need to pause it a few times to read the descriptions. We have done that for you.
- Gioacchino Rossini: Opera composer, “King of Crescendo”. Had a mental disorder.
- Edgar Allen Poe: Alcoholic, tortured writer of “The Raven”: “Once Upon A Midnight Dreary...”
- Joan of Arc: Woman warrior. Called a Witch. Burned at the Stake.
- Galileo Galilei: Inventor, astronomer and rebel. Convicted of heresy.
- Madame Curie: Revolutionary Woman Scientist. Discovered radium and died of radiation.
- Theodore Roosevelt: U.S. President. Asthmatic weakling turned bully. “Speak softly and carry a big stick.
- Hieronymus Bosch: Painter of sinful, freakish, devilish and bizarre art.
- Richard Wagner: Opera composer of “The Ring”. Notorious womanizer.
- George Washington: 1st US President, Father of the country, “I cannot tell a lie.”
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Musical genuis. Child prodigy. Allegedly poisoned by rival Salieri.
- Johann Sebastian Bach: Genius Baroque composer. Went blind. Fathered 20 children. Bach died composing the musical notes “B. A. C. H” heard in “the Art of the Fugue”
- Ludwig Van Beethoven” Greatest classsical composer. Composed the greatest classical masterpierce, “symphony #9” while deaf
- She then lists herself and says: "Shred guitar and violin virtuoso revolutionary. The new Beethoven."
Anything not mentioned? According to an interview in the Aquarian Weekly by Nick Perkel, she was inspired to change her attention to the metal scene by a music video from Judas Priest. She said, “The Juilliard School encouraged and trained me to be an aggressive, competitive, unrelenting, technical violin virtuoso!”
Metal Fugue: This is The Great Kat's version of “Art of the Fugue” by Bach. This is a simple green screen video showing an electric star burst background and her headbanging to the music she makes.
A fun extra feature is the Shred Kartoon. This is a cartoon version of the video for “The Flight of the Bumble-Bee.” They drew the same set as the real video, but with distorted perspectives. We don't want to give too much away from this experience.
Don't ignore the shred online option. This has information about her website and hotline. According to that same interview with guitarinternational.com:
Jesse: The Shred Hotline mentioned on your video: What can callers expect when they call in?
The Great Kat: All Kat Slaves wanting to interact with The High Priestess Of Guitar Shred can call the Shred Hotline at 631-549-7578. If the Queen of Speed feels like blessing Kat slaves with Godly brilliance, the The Great Kat will actually call them. Otherwise, leave a message.”
We called it and said “we're not worthy, we're not worthy!” We're still waiting for a return phone call.
Despite the brevity of content (just shy of ten minutes in length), The Great Kat's "Beethoven's Guitar Shred" features several entertaining videos that'll make you say "WTF?" - whether you care for her music or not. This is one musician that this writer would love to see live.
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