The Great Kat burst onto the speed metal scene in 1986 with the frenetic shred guitar energy of her “Satan Says” EP. After graduating from the renowned Julliard School of Music as a scholarship student violinist, The Great Kat would later establish herself as one of the fastest guitarists in metal.
Beethoven has been a near constant focus for the veteran virtuoso with prior releases “Beethoven Mosh” and “Beethoven On Speed” (Not to mention “Digital Beethoven On Speed”).
With “BEETHOVEN SHREDS” you get seven over the top tracks of speed metal insanity clocking in at just over seven minutes. The album’s opener Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight Of The Bumblebee” is played with finger-blistering, blazing speed and intensity. Ludwig Von Beethoven’s famed “5th Symphony” is next and is another exercise in all out shred dominance from the able fingered dominatrix herself, The Great Kat.
Next we have an original composition with “Torture Techniques” featuring the guttural pipes of The Great Kat amidst a foundation of death metal riffery and synthesized percussion. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto #3” is next and is another multi-faceted, melodic facemelter. “Islamofascists” features some excellent neo classical riffing with another very brief onslaught of death metal vocals. “Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” blends a harpsichord and a thrash metal beat as the accompaniment for The Great Kat’s virtuosic ability. Paganini’s “Caprice #24” closes out the album with a barn storming rendition of the 19th century violinist’s composition.
If you’re familiar with The Great Kat’s prior works, this album is a welcomed addition. How many artists alter or change their sound, ultimately alienating their fan base in the process? The Great Kat has remained extremely consistent throughout the years. My only minor critiques are that the accompanying booklet could be cooler, I wished the drums weren’t completely synthesized and I wish the CD had more tracks.
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