Various Artists - We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year
Armoury Records
Hard Rock / Metal
12 songs (51'07)
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Marty
This new compilation is yet another in a seemingly long list of albums with "metalized" versions of Christmas carols that has surfaced over the years. It all started with the Merry Axemas instrumental CDs that came out in the 90's to more recent metal flavored Christmas albums including Twisted Sister's Twisted Christmas a couple of years ago. We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year was put together by Wendy Dio along with Bob Kulick and Brett Chassen with an all-star cast of singers and musicians from the world of hard rock and metal including members of Foo Fighters, Queensryche, Dio, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, ZZ Top, Dokken, Kiss, Ratt, Styx and Toto just to name a few. With some rather odd pairings of vocalists and musicians, this all works well for the most part; if only for the sheer novelty of hearing some Christmas classics like you've never heard them before - revved up and supercharged with lots of ripping power chords and shredding lead guitar work and getting the full metal treatment in the process.

Jeff Scott Soto gets things underway with We Wish You A Merry Christmas where the word "merry" is often replaced with "metal" and both Bob and Bruce Kulick (Kiss) on guitar. One of the odd parings sees Lemmy crooning the Chuck Berry classic Run, Run Rudolph with Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top) on guitar and Dave Grohl (Foo-Fighters) on drums. Even Alice Cooper gets into the act with a very sinister version of Santa Claws Is Coming To Town complete with heavy and ominous riffing and Alice's classic sneer. Wendy Dio had a hard time convincing husband Ronnie James Dio to get involved. Apparently he doesn't do Christmas songs. But the arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with Tony Iommi on guitar was enough to convince him to do it. With an interesting and doomy sounding Sabbath style arrangement complete with big, thick and ominous riffs and a killer lead solo by Tony Iommi, this one's easily one of the best on the album. Other highlights include Doug Pinnck (King's X) doing Little Drummer Boy with George Lynch and Billy Sheehan in which George unleashes a wicked solo as well as Tim "Ripper" Owens tackling the Leiber/Stoller classic Santa Claus Is Back In Town. Not one of the more popular Christmas songs, this one's very soulful and heavy with some great guitar work by Steve Morse. Testament's Chuck Billy unleashes his death growl on Silent Night with a truly shocking - yet hilarious thrash/death metal treatment of the classic Christmas tune with some excellent guitar work by both Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Jan Donais. Stephen Pearcy of Ratt does Grandma Just Got Run Over By A Reindeer with a very Queen-like guitar riff. Others include and energetic and riff infested Silver Bells with Geoff Tate (Queensryche) doing the vocals, Deck The Halls with Oni Logan (Lynch Mob), Rockin Around The Christmas Tree with Joe Lynn Turner and Styx's Tommy Shaw doing the John Lennon classic Happy Xmas (War Is Over).

Overall, this is a fairly decent collection of "metalized" Christmas tunes. It's great to have other interpretations of these songs, as we really do get sick of hearing the same traditional versions year after year. With a number of metal Christmas albums out now, the novelty is really starting to wear off yet this particular collection has a few new twists and novelties of its own to make for an enjoyable holiday listen. Not to be played at a normal "traditional" family Christmas dinner, this one's for the metalheads to help them get through the Christmas season. Whatever your beliefs, have a safe and happy holiday season and all the best from my family, the extended family and myself to you and yours. Here's to another great year (2009) for metal.......Cheers!

Killing Songs :
We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Santa Claws Is Coming To Town, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Silent Night
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Various Artists that we have reviewed:
Various Artists - Brutal Africa: The Heavy Metal Cowboys of Botswana reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Servants of Chaos II reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - In Mordor Where the Shadows Are - Homage to Summoning reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Various Artists - A Light in the Black : A Tribute to Ronnie James Dio reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Various Artists - Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple's Machine Head reviewed by Stefan and quoted No Quote
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