With the Morbidly Merry Christmas celebration well underway, and only two weeks until Christmas day, I think it’s time to take the music up a notch and infuse you with some serious tongue-in-cheek heavy metal holiday cheer. To do this, we have to look no further than the 80’s glam-metal icon Twisted Sister and their appropriately titled album A Twisted Christmas.
Fans of Twisted Sister’s old school sound are going to love this album, and newcomers won’t be able to keep from cracking a smile while spinning this disc. A Twisted Christmas is chock full of tongue-in-cheek takes on traditional Christmas carols, all the while keeping a great driving, heavy metal backbone. Many of the tracks on the album are Twisted versions of well known Christmas carols, but some even go as far as to introduce their own Twisted lyrics, and even an audio sketch into the mix to keep the album lighthearted and full of holiday cheer. With the signature Twisted Sister sound prevailing in each track, one can’t help but chuckle at how ridiculously appropriate this album is.
It all starts off with their hilarious take on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” This track really sets the mood of the album with some good comedy and a good Twisted Sister brand of metal rendition of the original song. The track begins with a great audio sketch and acoustic version of the song but quickly takes a turn to make things nice and … TWISTED!
(“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” clip)
We’re then launched into some Twisted Sister nostalgia with “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” I say nostalgia because this track reeks of “We’re Not Gonna’ Take It” complete with the same drum line, bass solos, and caps it off with an arrangement of “Hava Nagila.” This is by far my favorite track on the album because it is not only really funny, but it’s very good musically and incorporates humor into both the traditional song as well as into the arrangement of the music.
(“Oh Come All Ye Faithful” clip)
The next track “White Christmas” is a driving metal rendition of the classic. It is followed by a strong duet between Dee Snider and Lita Ford in “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” This track is a nice break from the metal styling of the album with its resonating guitars in a grand, power ballad style. It also features one of the better guitar solos on the album.
(“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” clip)
The next several tracks are all fast tempo, rockin’ heavy metal renditions of traditional Christmas fare. “Silver Bells,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” “Let It Snow,” and “Deck The Halls” all utilize a really driving beat and guitar work, all the while keeping the signature Twisted Sister sound quite prevalent. Each track does a great job at keeping true to the originals, but definitely incorporates their own musical flair to the songs.
(“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” clip)
The album then takes the tempo down a notch, but keeps the clever riffs hot with “The Christmas Song.” This Twisted take on a classic is very nice musically—incorporating a great bass line and stellar guitar solo. I actually like this song a lot more after hearing this version of it. I really don’t like the original. So kudos to the band on finally making this song enjoyable!
(“The Christmas Song” clip)
The last track on the album is nothing short of brilliantly ridiculous. “Heavy Metal Christmas (12 Days of Christmas)” is a hilarious, heavy metal twist on an old Christmas classic. With tattoos of Ozzy, pentagrams, spandex pants, skull earrings, black mascara, and more… you can’t help but have a heavy metal Christmas! Plus, at the end of each countdown is either a bass or guitar solo—so the more you listen, the better it gets!
(“Heavy Metal Christmas (12 Days of Christmas)” clip)
So Deadites, I give this album two enthusiastic stumps up! It’s a festive heavy metal romp through scores of classics and is both musically and comedically well done. I really liked the musical twists on these classics because they seemed to breathe a whole new life into the songs without becoming overtly cheesy. Now granted, there are several instances on the album that are a cheese-fest—but that is all part of the show and adds a nice levity to the album as a whole. All the songs are quite musically sound and incorporate the style and feel of Twisted Sister with the use of intricate bass runs and Dee Snider’s signature vocal work. I also think incorporating the comedy into the album was a brilliant idea. After all, the glam-rock hair metal groups of the 80’s were far from “serious” in their approach to theme. However—they put on a great show, and A Twisted Christmas in every way delivers this 100%. And to add to this showmanship, the band made two music videos for the album that are just as ludicrous as you would imagine them to be. I’ll be sure to put up links to the videos at GruesomeJoe.com so you can check them out!
If you’d like to get a copy of this album, head over to Amazon or iTunes or whatever your favorite online music retailer is. It’s a surefire way to add some spice to your holiday music this season. Also, I do believe they will be performing the album live this season over in Las Vegas and then in New York if you’d like the ultimate Twisted Christmas experience. Check out www.TwistedSister.com for the details.
Well Deadites, that about does it for this week here in the Morgue. Be sure to tune in next time when I’m sure we’ll have more great tunes you’ll want to add to your collection. Also be sure to check out GruesomeJoe.com to catch the written version of my review, as well as all the music videos and links to the album and the band. Until then, I’m Gruesome Joe and I’ll be chilling out here in the Morgue, waiting for you, until next time…
Here are the videos I mentioned: