Posts Tagged ‘Morbidly Merry Christmas’

Happy Holidays from Gruesome Joe’s Musical Morgue!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Hello Deadites!

I’d like to take a moment and wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cool Yule–however you celebrate, I’d like to wish you to best of seasons!  In honor of the holiday, I found a lovely video (actually it’s a commercial, but I think it’s hilarious) that keeps it nice and spooky for all of us fright freaks, but keeps the merriment of Christmas alive!  Well, kind of alive…  Here it is for you to enjoy!

At any rate, have a happy holiday season!

GJ

Musical Morgue Review: A Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister

Friday, December 11th, 2009

TwistedSisterChristmas

'A Twisted Christmas' Review

Listen up Deadites!  Gruesome Joe here with the latest installment of the Musical Morgue right here on Rotting Flesh Radio.

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:

Musical Morgue Review: Haunted Mansion Holiday

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

HauntedMansionHolidayCover

'Haunted Mansion Holiday' Review

Listen up Deadites!  Gruesome Joe here with the latest installment of the Musical Morgue right here on Rotting Flesh Radio.

Well, I don’t know about you all, but my Halloween season was crazy as hell, and it has been a blessing to take a week or so and relax and refocus.  But, with Turkey Day right up upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring you another Musical Morgue music review you could enjoy while chowing down on your Thanksgiving day goodies.

To help ring in Rotting Flesh Radio’s Morbidly Merry Christmas celebration, we thought it would be a great idea to review an album that is full of holiday cheer, all the while keeping it as spooky as I could.  So, up on the slab this week is the ridiculously appropriate album Haunted Mansion Holiday brought to us by the folks over at Disney and Buena Vista Records.

Those who are familiar with Disneyland’s holiday festivities are no strangers to the transformation that occurs at their Haunted Mansion attraction.  For years the famous attraction has been taken over by Jack Skellington and his crew of merry townsfolk in preparation for Christmas day.  Haunted Mansion Holiday is the official soundtrack for the attraction, released in 2003, and includes all the various carols visitors would hear out in front of the mansion, as well as a full audio tour of the house as it was for their 2003 season.

With that, let’s dive into the album.

The first eight tracks are all “scarols” that were heard in front of the attraction while waiting in line.  All of them are spooky themed parodies of traditional Christmas carols performed by a cast that is over the top in their presentation, and all the while recorded in a style very similar to the old Disney Halloween specials you would see on TV.  Complete with a nice narration, here are several clips of these “scarols” to help you know what I’m talking about.  Included are “Up On The Housetop,” “Old Mansion Tree,” “Wreck The Halls,” and “We Wish You A Scary Christmas.”

(“Up On The Housetop” clip)

(“Old Mansion Tree” clip)

(“Wreck The Halls” clip)

(“We Wish You A Scary Christmas” clip)

The next track, I’ve been told, actually never appeared anywhere in the attraction, but was a tribute to the Jack Skellington theme and Danny Elfman’s tunes from Nightmare Before Christmas.  The track is appropriately titled “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas Medley” and features a simplified medley of “Making Christmas,” “What’s This,” and “Kidnap the Sandy Claws.”

(“Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas Medley” clip – “Making Christmas” part)

The final track on the album is by far my favorite.  The track is appropriately titled “Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday Ride-Through Mix” and is a wonderful mix of all the various audio tracks, songs, and sound effects as heard as one rode through the attraction.  I particularly love this track because it reminded me so much of my trips to the Haunted Mansion—with all the cacophony of all the sounds going on at once, it immediately took me back and brought a smile to my face.  In addition to that, you have the very clever musical composition and intermingling of themes from Nightmare Before Christmas amongst traditional Christmas carols and the spooky original music from the Haunted Mansion.  This track blends all of these elements seamlessly into one glorious production—you actually feel as if you’re riding through the attraction.

So, here is a little clip from that wonderful 16-minute track…

(“Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday Ride-Through Mix” clip)

So, I give this album one bloody, rotten stump up as it is a great piece of Disney magic, but it leaves a little to be desired.  The best track on the album is the last track, which actually makes up almost half the entire play length of the album.  The other tracks on the album I’m sure were great queue-line entertainment, but as stand-alone recordings are a bit sparse and dissonant.  They offer a delightfully cheesy selection of tracks that would be great as music for your Christmas party, but as stand-alone recordings, I can’t give them the two-stumps up praise.  They are, however, great background tracks—which is exactly what they were designed to be.  So—kudos to Disney on hitting the nail on the head, however before releasing this album they could have remastered the tracks to smooth them out a bit, or could have even added additional orchestration to help render the CD as a more stand-alone piece.  However, as a historical recording, the tracks are spot on.

Well Deadites, that about does it for this week here in the Morgue.  Be sure to tune in next time when I’m sure I’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 a host of other goodies!  Until then, I’m Gruesome Joe and I’ll be chilling out here in the Morgue, chowing down on some turkey, waiting for you, until next time…

With Thanksgiving comes… a new Musical Morgue!

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Hello once again Deadites!

I’m not sure about you all, but it was a crazy Halloween season for me!  And now that the season has come to a close, and I’ve had a few days rest, it is time to bring you the next Musical Morgue review on Rotting Flesh Radio.  No–you all were not forgotten during that busy month of haunting festivities!

Alongside the Thanksgiving celebration, the next episode of Rotting Flesh Radio will ring in our Morbidly Merry Christmas celebration–a month long celebration of Halloween and horror themed holiday tracks, reviews, movies, and more, all with a lovely glint of Christmas.  And to ring in this season with the proper forte, we’ve picked an album that I’m sure you’re going to love.  You’ll have to tune in on Wednesday 11/25/09 to hear it, but here is a little hint for you…

Enjoy!

GJ