Speed Metal / Neoclassical metal • United States — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of
The Great Kat is the stage name of Katherine Thomas, an English-born, Long Island NY raised, musician best known for her speed metal interpretations of well-known pieces of classical music. Most feature her using the electric guitar, but some have her on violin. Thomas is in fact a classically-trained violinist, graduating from the Juilliard School and touring for a time playing conventional classical music before crossing over to metal.

According to her website, Guitar One magazine listed her as one of the "Ten Fastest Shredders of All Time", and many media reviews of her work have praised the speed and clarity of her playing. Her classical background, technical skills and self-promotion are sometimes compared to Yngwie Malmsteen.

Kat's public persona, as portrayed in her publicity photos and videos, is influenced by the BDSM community and more specifically that of a dominatrix, albeit in a somewhat over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek manner. She publicly
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THE GREAT KAT Discography

THE GREAT KAT albums / top albums

THE GREAT KAT Worship Me or Die album cover 1.92 | 2 ratings
Worship Me or Die
Speed Metal 1987
THE GREAT KAT Beethoven on Speed album cover 1.27 | 2 ratings
Beethoven on Speed
Speed Metal 1990

THE GREAT KAT EPs & splits

THE GREAT KAT Satan Says album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Satan Says
Speed Metal 1986
THE GREAT KAT Beethoven on Speed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Beethoven on Speed
Speed Metal 1990
THE GREAT KAT Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Digital Beethoven on Cyberspeed
Speed Metal 1996
THE GREAT KAT Guitar Goddess album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Guitar Goddess
Speed Metal 1997
THE GREAT KAT Bloody Vivaldi album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Bloody Vivaldi
Speed Metal 1998
THE GREAT KAT Rossini's Rape album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rossini's Rape
Speed Metal 2000
THE GREAT KAT Wagner's War album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Wagner's War
Neoclassical metal 2002
THE GREAT KAT Beethoven Shreds album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Beethoven Shreds
Neoclassical metal 2011

THE GREAT KAT live albums

THE GREAT KAT demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

THE GREAT KAT re-issues & compilations

THE GREAT KAT Total Insanity album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Total Insanity
Speed Metal 2008

THE GREAT KAT singles (0)

THE GREAT KAT movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Extreme Guitar Shred
Speed Metal 2005
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Beethoven's Guitar Shred
Neoclassical metal 2009


THE GREAT KAT Beethoven on Speed

Album · 1990 · Speed Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
"I'm only about 200 years ahead of my time! Let's see how fast you can catch up, moron! Wake Up! The Great Kat is the Beethoven of the 21st century!!!"

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the delusional world of The Great Kat. The above quotes are taken from the liner notes of 'Beethoven On Speed'.

Rather than partaking in methamphetamine, poor old Ludwig Van would be sticking pencils in his ears to ensure he remained deaf if he'd ever heard this. Put simply, The Great Kat can play fast, but that is basically her only saving grace.

The Great Kat was trained at the famed Julliard music school in New York, as a violinist. Who knows how she got there if her violin playing is anywhere near as awful as her songwriting.

This is basically a novelty album. What you get are high speed thrash (or "hyperspeed", as Kat would like to call it) versions of a number of well known classical pieces, interspersed with some random guitar noises and pointless shouting which pass for original songs.

There are two versions of Beethoven's fifth symphony, perhaps the most famous few notes in all of classical music. The first is fast, which is why it is called "Beethoven On Speed", the second is slower with a bit more crunch, hence the title "Beethoven Mosh". It is probably note-perfect, but sounds wrong. It is not a song that lends itself to the electric guitar.

However, Kat did manage to pick a few winners here. Chopin's "Funeral March (Piano Sonata in Bb Minor)" is probably the best of the lot. The main theme of the song is retained quite faithfully, augmented by a pipe organ and multi tracked solos. Paganini's "24th Caprice" is also given fairly respectful treatment. Kat also has a go at Rimsky-Korsakoff's "Flight Of The Bumblebee". It might be fast, but it's a mess. It sounds like it has been sped in the studio. Manowar's "Sting Of The Bumblebee" is far superior.

Elsewhere, Kat actually pulls out the violins, both acoustic and electric, attempts to write a guitar concerto, and generally messes about trying to be offensive. There are about two and a half good riffs outside the classical remakes, and the songwriting and vocals are so bad they should never have been recorded. The liner notes are full of great screeds of stupidity, including a Great Kat I.Q. test. The humour is not humorous.

If this STILL sounds appealing to you, do yourself a favour and seek help. Trust me on this. The rest of the album makes an evening listening to Kenny G sound inviting.

THE GREAT KAT Worship Me or Die

Album · 1987 · Speed Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
"Worship Me or Die" is the debut full-length studio album by US heavy/thrash metal act The Great Kat. The album was released through Roadracer Records in 1987. The Great Kat is the brainchild of classically trained violinist Kat (Katherine Thomas) (guitars, vocals, violin). For the recording of this album she brought in Tom von Doom on bass and Adam Killa on drums.

The music on the album is heavy/speed/thrash metal delivered with fast-paced shredding solos and "I" form lyrics. You know the kind that says "I´m the meanest bitch on the planet", "I will kill you" and "I will do this and that to you". I really hope these lyrics are tongue in cheek because otherwise they stink of heavy metal clichés of the worst kind. The musicianship is on a pretty high level and especially the speed of the guitar playing is pretty impressive. When that is said, it´s about the only impressive thing about the album. You´ll have to look for a long time to find more generic and completely forgettable riffs. When it comes to the guitar solos which are usually extremely fast played, they are very one-dimensional scale runs and completely disregard melody or hooks of any kind. To top it off Kat is not a very skilled vocalist and her attempt at sounding raw falls flat on it´s face.

So there are very few features on "Worship Me or Die" that save it from complete failure and it ain´t the songwriting which is also on an amaturish level. All in all I hope this is a gimmick of some sort although I fear that "Worship Me or Die" is actually a serious project. No matter what it is, the quality of the music is simply so low that a 1.5 star (25%) rating is warranted. When a 30:14 minutes long album feels like it´s at least an hour long, you know something ain´t right.

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