THE GREAT KAT – Wagner’s War

THE GREAT KAT - Wagner's War


TPR Music
Release date: May 22, 2002

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The Great Kat; self-proclaimed musical genius, Ludwig van Beethoven reborn and God/Goddess (she hasn’t really decided which gender, but judging by the outfit and apparent cleavage display, “female” seems to spring to mind). Apart from a mountain of ego, numerous performances, a handful of albums, and lessons in various guitar magazines, she is most of all Katherine Thomas … and apparently she’s one of many who where shocked and furious by the inhumane terrorist attacks on New York on 9/11, 2001. Fueled by her fury, she released Wagner’s War in 2002, an album which just recently dropped into the Metal Express Radio mailbox.

The Music

Wagner’s War gets its title from the opening track, which is an up to speed version of the famous theme in Richard Wagner’s classical opera “”. It has been the ambition of The Great Kat to merge Classical music and Metal, taking it to a whole new level of virtuous perfection. With regards to Classical music’s influence on Rock and Metal since its infant days, her twist is perhaps neither revolutionary, nor does it seem to add anything considerable to the old Classical masterpieces, on this album represented by feature composers such as (the aforementioned) Richard Wagner, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, and Pablo Sarasate.

The Great Kat’s idol is Ludwig van Beethoven and she modestly calls herself Beethoven reincarnated and the only virtuoso since he passed away in 1827. However, Beethoven is not represented on Wagner’s War, in spite of all the hearsay about his bad temper.

Sticking to the subject, Wagner’s War offers 7 tracks, divided into 3 acts, all supporting The Great Kat’s wrath on the terrorists behind the fatal 9/11 attacks. There is shredding up and shredding down, big time whammy bar yanking and a voice not of this world (but of the one where nightmares are true). In-between the whipping beat, the Classical themes grasp at any remaining straw of structure. It’s fast, it’s furious and it’s possibly down to every fraction of a note accurate, but it’s a lethal overdose of notes more than anything.

The Band

There is no doubt The Great Kat knows her instruments (she handles both electric guitar and violin and a handful of sequencers or synthesizers). If able to pick her phrasing out from the blood-dripping, smudged up mix, you will find her racing through the Classics faster than you could say Slartibartfast! Take away the make up, S&M outfit, and the suffocating ego, and you would find a skilled musician.

Along with her are Jeff Ingegno (bass) and Lionel Cordew (drums), both hyperventilating as they try to keep up with the blistering speed. Hats off: they actually manage to keep up during the 11 minutes and 8 seconds this entire nightmare lasts!

The Verdict

Ever heard of the fine line between genius and insanity? Maybe The Great Kat hasn’t, because it’s pretty much impossible to spot any shred of genius in Wagner’s War. Furthermore, The Great Kat’s war on terrorism is not likely to cause any casualties on either side, except for those laughing themselves to death when lending a moment to Wagner’ War. Speaking of the dead, if you listen carefully to the silence after the last track is over, a soft rumble followed by a sigh can be heard. That would be Beethoven turning in his grave.


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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