|The Great Kat - 'Beethoven Shreds' (TPR Music)|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Wednesday, 13 November 2013 03:40|
"Worship Me or Die!" demanded The Great Kat in 1987 via her studio debut of the same name. Over a quarter of a century later, possibly surprising to some, but there are people still worshipping at the English-born guitar virtuoso's altar and, you'd suspect, unbelievers dying for their lack of faith.
The Great Kat's back catalogue is littered with furious takes on the music of classical icons; 'Wagner's War', 'Rossini's Rape', even 'Bloody Vivaldi', though it is with Ludwig van Beethoven that this particular entrant in every "fastest guitarist of all time" poll's allegiance lies.
1990's 'Beethoven On Speed' album was followed, some six years later, by the 'Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed' EP; the latest release on the racks contains music from the 'Beethoven's Guitar Shred' DVD, and is called, most appropriately, 'Beethoven Shreds'.
Wrapped in the cover art that has become synonymous with The Great Kat, a brawl of cleavage, teeth, stockings 'n' studded wristbands, 'Beethoven Shreds' has a running time of just several minutes - blink your ears and you'll miss it.
Not only is The Great Kat an infamous guitar shredder, but also a classically-trained violinist, graduating from the prestigious Juilliard School for the performing arts: both instruments are given strenuous workouts here, the results a blur of seminal notes aflame with molten metal.
'The Flight Of The Bumble-Bee' sounds like a furious, frenetic, otherworldly opus, its follow-up, Beethoven's '5th Symphony', a brain-melting, eyeball-popping, tooth-loosening senses killer. Bach's 'Brandenburg Concerto #3' is slightly slower - positively breakneck in its subtlety - but no less technically astounding, while Paganini's 'Caprice #24' and Bach's 'The Art Of The Fugue' whizz past in a collision of astounding ability and absurd ideology, the results ridiculously entertaining.
There are two original compositions on offer too; 'Torture Techniques' and 'Islamofascists', the former a thrashin' workout detailing the art of pain-giving, the latter a more technical attack, both blessed with The Great Kat's demonic vocals, and running for under two minutes combined.
Swindon, the place of The Great Kat's birth, is hardly riddled with legends; Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues perhaps, actress/singer/timelord assistant Billie Piper, Page 3 girl Melinda Messenger - if there's any justice in the world the humble town in Wiltshire will pay tribute to a proper hero, a guitar hero, and erect a statue of its favourite daughter of darkness, mouth agape, fingers set to stun, ready to shred...