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Wagner's War

Great Kat

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Album Review

Accusing the Great Kat of subtlety would probably be an insult, but there's no worry that there's going to be any need for that kind of talk here. Following the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Kat focused on the emotional aftermath, specifically thoughts of revenge (a topic that looms large in both metal and, naturally, opera). It's easy to draw a line between Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries" and heavy duty confrontational metal, but Kat has taken the battle cry of the Valkyries and made her own follow-ups much more direct: "War! Bury them alive! Kill! Kill! Murder the mothers! Slaughter the bastards!" and "Punish him! Spit on Him!" (the latter so capitalized in the lyric sheet to underscore the intensity, but you only have to listen to it to know the capital letters are there). Of course, all three acts of this cycle ("War," "Revenge," and "Victory") are delivered at a breakneck pace, with Kat supplementing her classically trained guitar and violin skills with a full MIDI band, especially on the three classical pieces. It's not your typical metal, but then again, the Great Kat isn't your typical metal star.

Biography

Genre: Metal

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Guitar virtuoso the Great Kat was born Katherine Thomas in Swindon, England. After her family moved to Long Island, Thomas began studying music, taking up piano at age seven and violin two years later. Thomas won a scholarship to Juilliard and studied classical music, but upon graduating with honors, she took up heavy metal guitar in addition to violin and retooled herself as the Great Kat. Billing herself as the "High Priestess of Shred Guitar" and "the Reincarnation of Beethoven," the Great Kat...
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Wagner's War, Great Kat
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