Twisted Sister seemingly opened the floodgates for a new batch of hard rockin’ Christmas tunes when they released their album, “Twisted Christmas” in 2006. “We Wish You A Metal Xmas, and a HeadBanging New Year” has more hard rock and metal stars than any other Christmas compilation in history (Yes, even more than Monster Ballads Christmas from 2007). With that being said, it has to be awesome right?!
For the most part it is, and I would go so far as saying they have one upped, “Twisted Christmas” with this compilation.
First and foremost, I am a Jeff Scott Soto fan and he can do little wrong in my eyes. He helps rock out this rocking version of “We Wish You A Merry (Metal) Xmas”. My step daughter likes this one too. I caught her singing “We Wish You A Metal Christmas”.
You either have to love or hate Lemmy Kilmister. His rendition of “Run Rudolph Run” is pretty fun for the most part, but you know what to expect from his vocals. I have officially started a new holiday tradition by singing “Run Rudolph Run” in my best Lemmy Kilmister voice. What a great way to annoy the spouse and siblings.!
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is a creepy and cool rendition of this tune. Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi make this sound like a lost Black Sabbath cut.
“Silver Bells” is one of the weaker moments on this disc. Geoff Tate’s lack of vocal fortitude really shows up badly on this song. He can’t hit the notes that this song requires, and that is a shame. He used to have an awesome voice, but it is severely lacking here.
Dug Pinnick from King’s X turns in a semi soulful version of the Little Drummer Boy. George Lynch adds some pretty tasty guitar licks to this version.
You have to love Ripper Owens. He may not be the best singer in the world, but he can really metalize Christmas songs like no one else. Steve Morse provides the tasty guitar licks on “Santa Claus is Back In Town”, and Ripper drives it home with his metal screams. I love it!
Chuck Billy destroys “Silent Night” with his death metal growl, but I think this is more tongue in cheek, than anything else. I can’t say I ever expected to hear a death/thrash metal version of “Silent Night”, but the unit of Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse and John Tempesta somehow manage to pull this off. The shredding on this tune is pretty awesome.
Every time I hear “Deck the Halls” I think it is Geoff Tate back for another dose. It is actually Lynch Mob’s Oni Logan. I don’t know if is just me, but his voice also sounds worse for wear here. I don’t remember him sounding anything like this in the 90′s.
RATT’s Stephen Pearcy pulls off a pretty good version of “Grandman Got Ran Over By A Reindeer”. As it turns out, Pearcy has a pretty good voice for this tune. Who would have thought that?
As a whole, I have enjoyed this CD, and have replayed this quite a bit . This is easily the best hard rock Christmas CD released in 2008. Buy it!!
- We Wish You A Merry Xmas – (Jeff Scott Soto, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Chris Wyse, Ray Luzier)
- Run Rudolph Run – (Lemmy Kilmister, Billy F. Gibbons, Dave Grohl)
- Santa Claws Is Coming To Town – (Alice Cooper, John 5, Billy Sheehan, Vinny Appice)
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – (Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright)
- Silver Bells (Geoff Tate, Carlos Cavazo, James Lomenzo, Ray Luzier)
- Little Drummer Boy – (Dug Pinnick, George Lynch, Billy Sheehan, Simon Phillips)
- Santa Claus Is Back In Town – (Tim Owens, Steve Morse, Juan Garcia, Marco Mendoza, Vinny Appice)
- Silent Night – (Chuck Billy, Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse, John Tempesta)
- Deck The Halls – (Oni Logan, Craig Goldy, Tony Franklin, John Tempesta)
- Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer – (Stephen Pearcy, Tracii Guns, Bob Kulick, Billy Sheehan, Greg Bissonette)
- Rockin’ Around The Xmas Tree – (Joe Lynn Turner, Bruce Kulick, Bob Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright)
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – (Tommy Shaw, Steve Lukather, Marco Mendoza, Kenny Aronoff)
Produced by: Bob Kulick and Brett Chassen
I still remember the day when I heard Pull Me Under on the radio for the first time. I was out of town for business in Detroit. The DJ didn’t say who it was, but I was immediately blown away. I had to know who this was, and quickly.
Images and Words was the release that opened up the world of progressive metal for this listener. At the time of this album’s release, glam metal was on the decline. Progressive metal offered listeners something new, and Images and Words, quickly put Dream Theater on top of the progressive metal scene.
Images and Words is Dream Theater’s second release, and the first for singer James Labrie. The first CD, When Dream and Day Unite, didn’t take off, and the band’s singer Charlie Dominici was fired. The band didn’t start gaining success until James Labrie joined the group.
I did not start paying attention to this genre of metal until I heard this album. Images and Words offers a somewhat unique style that was certainly ground breaking to me, and many others. The musicianship on this record is nothing short of stellar. John Petrucci showcases his awesome guitar skills, and Mike Portnoy proves to be one of the best drummers out there. James Labrie’s great voice ties it all together for one nice package.
There are a few songs that blend well with mainstream metal including Pull Me Under, Another Day, and Take the Time. It isn’t until later in the album where you find gems like Metropolis Part 1, a nine minute monster of a song that seems to fly by. Dream Theater can craft heavy tunes, and turn on a dime, and create music that is AOR quality. They back up their tunes with incredible live performances. For this listener, Images and Words is still an extraordinary listening experience. This release is essential for all progressive rock and metal fans.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Pull Me Under
2. Another Day
3. Take The Time
5. Metropolis – Part 1 “The Miracle And The Sleeper”
6. Under A Glass Moon
7. Wait For Sleep
8. Learning To Live
Dream Theater is:
James LaBrie – vocals
John Myung – bass
John Petrucci – guitars, vocals
Mike Portnoy – drums, percussion, vocals
Kevin Moore – keyboards