Five Metal Christmas Albums That’ll Rock Your Jingle Bells Off
Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas
Born and raised in a Christian household, Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has long had an affection for all things Baby Jesus-tastic. His band’s 2006 collection A Twisted Christmas offers a splendidly rowdy, yob-rock take upon Xmas standards, with bonus points being awarded to the Noo Yawkers for sneaking the riff to We’re Not Gonna Take It into their balls-out version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful.
Various Artists – We Wish You A Hairy Christmas
Among the many traditional aspects of the festive season – the egg-nog, the turkey, the shitty Secret Santa gifts – who among us hasn’t wished to hear a glut of LA hair metallers bringing their considerable talents to bear upon some Yuletide classics? Happily, We Wish You A Hairy Christmas does just that, with the likes of Warrant, Bullet Boys, LA Guns, ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and Faster Pussycat offering once heard, never forgotten deconstructions of familiar seasonal treats. Sweet baby Jesus, this is powerful stuff.
Scott Weiland – The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Given the late Velvet Revolver / Stone Temple Pilots’ frontman’s fondness for white powder, it was surely inevitable that at some point he’d fancy channelling his inner Bing Crosby on a collection of wholesome Christmas anthems. 2011’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year might not feature many down-tuned sleaze rock riffs, but Weiland’s lush delivery brings a certain poignancy to much-loved standards such as Silent Night, Winter Wonderland and White Christmas.
Various Artists – We Wish You A Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
Featuring an all-star cast – Alice Cooper! Ronnie James Dio! Tony Iommi! Scott Ian! That fella from Ratt! – 2008’s We Wish You A Metal Xmas… is a truly wondrous artefact, with a clutch of ‘for one night only’ metallic supergroups joining forces to deliver imperious versions of seasonal stocking-rippers. The doomy Dio/Iommi take on God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is magnificent, but arguably the album’s most memorable moment sees Lemmy, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl blitzing through Run Run Rudolph. Yule laugh, yule cry…
Halford – Halford III: Winter Songs
“I’ve always said I wanted to produce a Christmas CD,” said Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford somewhat unconvincingly as his solo band unveiled their own Yuletide selection box in 2009. The resulting album, however, was a triumph, with Halford injecting just the right amount of theatrical drama into twinkly classics such as We Three Kings, Oh Holy Night and Oh Come All Ye Faithful without the whole project dissolving into kitschy schmaltz. All together now… ‘He. Is. The. Pain. Keelar!’ Oops, wrong album.