Heavy Metal Christmas albums
I wrote a very short post on metal Christmas songs a few years ago, but it gets a lot of hits around this time of year. Here it is if you have never read it before.
Doing a Christmas song on an album is one things, but doing a whole album devoted to the holiday is another thing entirely in my opinion. While I don't a problem with doing one Christmas song on an album, I do tend to frown on a whole album on the theme. Not for dislike of the topic, but partially because most of these type of albums fall flat and because I think in some cases the artists' time could be better spent working on some original material.
Now there are different types of metal Christmas album which normally end with different results and most of them are bad.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra are probably the first name that pops if you are forced to think of metal Christmas music. Obviously the most popular of this kind if only because they are only ones who have done the most releases of this type of music. The holiday season rolls around and this project pops out another album and it shows up at Wal-mart, indie record stores and everyone in between. Now I think they are often seen as being a serious act. To me the results are mixed. Okay, they can play and some of the music works, but about half of it is often dry and pretentious. To me the big question on this act is did this need to be done? I really don't think the metal or music community would have lost anything had this project not existed. That's not a slam, but just a rather obvious observation.
Aside from TSO the other sort of popular approach for Holiday music is veteran hard rock bands either as a whole or in one time projects covering traditional Christmas songs. Twisted Sister had a surprise hit doing this a few years ago with what was essentially a joke album, but it fit with in their personality. Unfortunately other acts like Helix tried to do a whole album of holiday favorites with far less enjoyable results.
Then you get the compilation albums that might have a band doing one song or maybe a group pulled together to do just one song for this album. These tend be like the tribute albums that have been so common over the last fifteen or so years. Meaning that they are normally mixed bags with a few good songs, a few horrible ones and a number that fall somewhere in between.
Who do these albums appeal to? Are there really that many hard rock/metal fans that just get that holiday cheer feeling and they want to Jingle Bells done by their favorite hair band? Possibly, but more than likely it's people who like certain acts to the point where they will listen to them sing anything. That last idea is sad to imagine, but I guess that happens.
***Feel free to ad your thoughts on hard rock/metal Christmas music.