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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Great Kat, The - 2002 Wagners War
Great Kat, The - 2002 Wagners War

The Great Kat - vocals, guitars, violin
Jeff Ingegno - bass
Lionel Cordew - drums

Named earlier this year as one of the top ten 'fastest shredders' of all time by Guitar One magazine, The Great Kat finally seems to be earning long overdue recognition as one of the most innovative talents in the metal world. This acheivement has put 2002's Wagner's War' in the spotlight somewhat as perhaps previously unaware listeners might have been compelled to see what the fuss is about. The Kat has been around for some time however, releasing numerous albums of brief but destructive thash, mingled with classical elements, as she reworks orchestral classics to her favour at warp speed. 'Wagner's War' was created out of The Kat's reaction to the 9-11 acts, this time the usually leather clad dominatrix Kat sporting miltary garb on the albums artwork, in one photo clutching a victims decapitated head.

The Songs
True to form Kat has kept matters short and to the point. 'Wagner's War' 's seven tracks run at eleven minutes, the seven songs divided up into three acts. Act One begins with Kat's reworking of Wagner's 'The Ride Of The Valkyries', before leading into an original composition 'War'. This demonstrates everything The Kat is renowned for, an incomprehensible slice of guttural thrash that would take even Slayer down a notch or two. 'Terror' continues in the same manner, the lyrics damning the terrorists responsible for the heinous acts of several years ago. Act two 'Revenge' opens with 'Punishment', which sees Kat utilising what sounds like a harpsichord at maximum speed. You tend to wonder how Ingegno and Cordew are able to keep up. 'Humiliation' features some S & M lyrics to yet more back breaking thrash before leading into Act Three, 'Victory'. Kat reverts back to rearranging classical standards, this time Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody #2' and Sarasate's 'Zapateado', both featuring an array of various instruments played with as much precision and quickness as Kat accomplishes on guitar. To be honest there's so much going on in the brief pieces it's hard to focus on one particular instrument. The latter however sees the violin as key component.

In Summary
To the uninitiated this would appear to be noise. But for those who know, it is simply the sound of an individual committed to fulfilling her vision of merging classical music and metal to the farthest extreme whilst retaining melody. While neo-classical metal is hardly an innovation in itself, The Great Kat is attempting in it in a way that is more groundbreaking than most before her, piling on the speed and technical detail and pushing it to the limits. Many find it easy to concentrate on her extreme image, but it's the sheer force of her music which is the most pleasing aspect. In 'Wagner's War' she gets through in eleven minutes what many so called thrash acts can't do in a career, let alone an album.


Track Listing:
Act One
01 The Ride Of The Valkyries
02 War
03 Terror
Act Two - Revenge
04 Punishment
05 Humiliation
Act Three - Victory
06 Hungarian Rhapsody #2
07 Zapateado

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