The Great Kat: Beethoven on speed
22/08/12 || Sokaris
The Class6(66)‘s aren’t all winners:
There are a lot of albums that aren’t worth the plastic and vinyl they’re manufactured onto but are worth remembering for different reasons. There are important moments in metal history. They might exist as complete and total fuck-ups but that doesn’t make them not important. All of the prior cases were examples of hugely influential acts making monumental and misguided albums. This time around, however, we’re looking at a notable musician known as The Great Kat. Remember that notable doesn’t necessarily mean good. No one has ever seriously mistaken her work as important in metal’s musical development but her sideshow act has garnered her a sort of ironic notoriety. She’s more the kind of band that some dumbass movie producer would’ve created in the 80’s to play in the background of some shady nightclub while the main characters look on in terror. There are parodies that come off more sincere than this.
In 1990, Roadrunner/Roadracer Records released, among many other badass albums, Artillery’s “By inheritance”, Deicide’s self-titled debut, “Swallowed in black” from Sadus, Obituary’s “Cause of death“ and “The eye“ by King Diamond.
Oh, and this abomination. How did something this wretchedly awful earn a place on what once was probably the best label roster in metal? I suppose enough coin was squeezed out of this train wreck that it was worth it for a few years. It might have been the bloody imagery, the tits, the aggressive marketing of this woman as a delusional headcase without any kind of grasp on reality, the (woefully unrealized) promise of the skills of a trained collegiate musical scholar or the novelty of classical music played on electric guitar. Or probably the tits.
I’ve decided to include my own Great Cat, Ichi (as in “Ichi the Killer“), to weigh in on this footnote in the annals of musical abortion. His comments are presented as picture captions in Impact font, as is typical for feline-Internet communication.
1. Well, the only parts that are even remotely tolerable are the ones where she’s just adapting classical music. She doesn’t add anything and does a piss-poor job at capturing any kind of emotional qualities of the originals. It’s just a “hey, look what I can do” six string spazz-fest that serves no purpose beyond being irritating novelty music. I suppose the mid-paced lines tend to actually sound like an attempt at writing a riff but the best anything here gets is generic.
5. There’s really nothing wrong with the production in and of itself, it’s mostly that the guitar just hovers on this headache-inducing tone and the vocals just seem dumped on top. I can’t blame whoever the poor bastard that had to mix this crap, it’s not like a legendary production style would make this listenable. Drums are full and audible and I don’t remember hearing bass over the constant white-hot pain of the lead guitar.
2. What a goddamn mess. She can play really fast. I hope you don’t want anything else. There are some backing riffs but that’s all they are, backing parts that serve as much purpose as the decor on a porno set. The bulk of the lead guitar playing (nearly all of it) is like a sonic representation of an unending circle jerk, the kind where no one’s satisfied at the end. Maybe there’s technique in the playing, it’s all way too obnoxious to warrant any kind of genuine regard.
2. Some kind of mix of half-assed grunt/shriek slapped over the track haphazardly. You’d think going to college for music you’d glean how to arrange a coherent rhythm for a vocal line, but I guess that class was full.
I’m not even going to bother rating this. Seriously, it’s that unimportant. If you met a random guy at a bar and he told you he played bass in a somewhat known metal band it’d probably pique your interest. You’d ask who and he’d reply The Great Kat.
6. They’re actually fairly decent. In fact, it’s probably a considerable feat that the drummer featured here was able to arrange and perform these lines to this garbage. That’s not even taking into consideration the fact that he had to work with an out-of-touch egomaniac and since her name and abyss-like perpetually screaming mouth are on the album covers she probably gets to call the shots.
1. I am the Great Kat, I’m really great, I kick all kinds of ass, I’m totally crazy and I’m really great. I’m so great and I’m violent and you should worship me because I’m totally crazy and super great. Oh, and racism (see “Made in Japan”… or don’t). Also I’d really like to revisit my point of being great earlier.
1. Kat with her mouth open. Go ahead and check out the results for “the great kat” on Google Images . I hope I’m not making fun of some kind of medical condition she’s suffering from. I wouldn’t want to be insensitive or anything. Tacked on because the label had a design department and damnit they’re going to use it, is a random image of Beethoven and some super radical 80’s layout artifacts left over from some Trapper Keeper mockups. In a way this cover is perfect, it lets you know that you’re getting tacky novelty as opposed to any kind of genuine artistry.
Hey Ichi, do your impression of a Great Kat photoshoot!
Not bad, but I think you have to unhinge your jaw like a snake to really get it right. Otherwise you’re not intense like her.
2. Run of the mill, unimpressive sickly pink and it’s not handled age well. Just like the flaccid penises buried underneath the hairy beer guts of Kat’s “slaves”.
2. The back of the CD presents another photo of the featured musical abomination, grimacing but admittedly looking pretty hot. Too bad that doesn’t count for shit when your music is this bad.
Overall and ending rant
I think it’s pretty telling that I more or less thought of this review before I decided which album to address. None of the actual music is important on any of these releases. The “artist” known as The “Great” Kat is a thinly spread joke without a punchline. She is a gimmick without backing but even worse is that her obvious talent is completely wasted. She’s a bit of a tragedy, in that in her years of study and hours of practice she never managed to learn the slightest about how to write a song and she’s determined never to learn how.
In metal we’ve gone into the void, into the pit, into the pandemonium and into the grave. This one goes into the goddamn litter box.
- Released: 1990
- Label: Roadracer
- Website: www.greatkat.com
- Kat: vocals, guitars, violin
- No one knows or cares: bass, drums
- Beethoven: grave rolling, looking constipated on the cover
- 01. Beethoven on speed
- 02. Flight of the bumble-bee
- 03. Funeral march
- 04. God
- 05. Sex and violins
- 06. Gripping obsession
- 07. Worshiping bodies
- 08. Total tyrant
- 09. Ultra-dead
- 10. Revenge of the mongrel
- 11. Kat abuse
- 12. Made in Japan
- 13. Beethoven mosh (5th symphony)
- 14. Paganinni’s 24th caprice
- 15. Guitar concerto in blood minor
- 16. Back to the future: For geniuses only