Kat, in Polish language, means... executioner. But this is the review of The Great Kat’s DVD. Katherine Thomas, since it is her real name, self-called The High Priestess of Guitar Shred. She is a Juilliard School of Music graduate violinist and guitar virtuoso. Katherine was mentioned in the following pools: „50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time“ (Guitar World Magazine), „Top 10 Fastest Shredders of All Time“ (Guitar One Magazine) and „The 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes“ (Classic Rock Magazine). Elle Magazine called her one of the „12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists“ next to the likes of Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Jennifer Batten, Nancy Wilson, Orianthi and others. All these titles will not seem to be strange, when we realize that Katherine also played the violin on Carnegie Recital Hall.
The Great Kat’s identification mark is blending classical music with shredding, thrash and speed metal. Its proof is clearly audible and visible on the DVD „Beethoven’s Guitar Shred“. The core of the material are Shred Videos. Her version of „The Flight of the Bumble-Bee“ is performed at 300 BPM with the total madness and furious mastery. She can smoothly compete with Tiago Della Vega - a Brazilian guitar virtuoso extraordinaire specializing in alternate picking technique. He is officially the world’s fastest guitarist (Guinness claim ID 211729) who performed „The Flight of the Bumble-Bee“ at 320 BPM. Coming back to The Great Kat’s videoclips, another one is „Torture Techniques“ - an extreme, thrashy and bloody track with sadistic and torture elements and controversial text. Niccolo Paganini’s „Caprice #24“ is a neoclassical extravaganza with electric guitar and violin parts. „Blood“ is a red-coloured clip with demonic and chaotic vocal by Katherine herself. Ludwig van Beethoven’s „5th Symphony“ is actually an excerpt from this opus with all parts sped up to the maximum. „Islamofascists“ is a pure mayhem with anti-terrorist message. Shred Videos are crowned with Johann Sebastian Bach’s „Brandenburg Concerto #3“ performed on six guitars and three violins with baroque setting.
The second part of the DVD are Shred Bonus Features, e.g. Hot Shred Bits 2 with photos and slides. A very intriguing bonus is the section called Shred Geniuses with images and descriptions of world’s greatest geniuses done by Katherine: Gioacchino Rossini (opera composer and King of Crescendo who had a mental disorder), Edgar Allan Poe (alcoholic writer who wrote „The Raven“ among others), Joan of Arc (woman warrior who was called a witch and burned at the stake), Galileo Galilei (inventor, astronomer and rebel who was convicted of heresy), Madame Curie (a Polish revolutionary woman scientist who discovered radium and died of radiation), Theodore Roosevelt (U.S. President), Hieronymus Bosch (painter of sinful, freakish, devilish and bizarre art), Richard Wagner (notorious womanizer and opera composer of „The Ring“), George Washington (1st U.S. President), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (musical genius and child prodigy who was allegedly poisoned by his rival Antonio Salieri), Johann Sebastian Bach (genius baroque composer who went blind, fathered 20 children and died composing the musical notes: B. A. C. H.. heard in „The Art of Fugue“), Ludwig van Beethoven (greatest classical composer who wrote „Symphony #9“ while deaf) and, finally, Katherine Thomas (shred guitar and violin virtuoso revolutionary and, self-appointed, The New Beethoven). This part of the DVD is finished with the videoclip „Metal Fugue: Bach’s The Art of the Fugue“ that is a metal version of this fugue with heavy riffs and harpsichord-sounding keyboards.
The third part of „Beethoven’s Guitar Shred“ is Shred Kartoon including the cartoon version of „The Flight of the Bumble-Bee“ with insane musical background. In spite of its title, it is surely not meant for children. Summing up, if you like a maniacal and possessed kind of shredding neoclassical metal, this DVD will crush your bones and damage your nervous system without any doubt. At your own risk!