It’s that time of year again, folks. The time of year I have to plug my fingers in my ear every time I walk into a store because of the god awful holiday music. It’s the time of year my cold black heart yearns for something darker. All the happiness and joy people can’t seem to stop faking makes me retreat into the abyss of my mind to find solitude. A man can only take so much manufactured holiday spirit before he wants to twist it, corrupt it in a way that makes his Christmas dealings a little more bearable.
Holiday music was the biggest offender, so I started searching for music that took all those nice tickles in my heart and crushed them like vermin. Can’t have that “happiness” shit. I figured I’m not the only one that feels like this, so I wanted to make a list of Christmas songs that are just metal enough to get you through this trying time.
7. August Burns Red – Winter Wonderland
This song is a good intro to the appeal of holiday metal. It takes a well known classic and turns it on its head. You get this fantastic blend of rock and speed that makes you want to get in the seat of a large truck and run over reindeer. It’s not the heaviest track on the list; it still maintains a slight feel of happiness, which is good for the black Christmas newcomer. So what you do is get them in the door with track #5, then lock it before they realize shit’s about to get real.
6. August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells
Yes, ABR appears on the list again, but they have put out a LOT of Christmas metal. They actually have a whole album. The track starts off innocuous enough, then the bombs drop and you know how fucked your ears are. They may have tricked you a little with the previous track. All is not elves and snowballs here. The classic jingles at the beginning are only there to tell you how wrong you were for liking the classics. This track is pure metal, complete with breakdown in the middle of the song. If this doesn’t make you go outside and strangle carolers with Christmas lights, nothing will.
5. Leo Moracchioli (Frog Leap Studios) – Last Christmas
There’s not many songs that piss me off more than Last Christmas. What an absolute piece of shit of a holiday jam. Someone bitching about how they are terrible with relationships and will continue to be terrible going forward. But Leo is able to make this something enjoyable. You’ve got a bearded guy who plays all his instruments and lives in Norway. That’s fucking metal. His vocals takes the lyrics of a bitchy pop song and gargles them with razor blades and Captain Crunch. Leo is a pretty talented dude, and you can usually tell when he is having fun. I think he may have felt the same way I do about holiday music and decided to corrupt one of the worst offenders.
4. For Today – O Come O Come Emmanuel
If ever there was a song that captures the dichotomy of Christmas and metal, this is it. For Today does an amazing job of taking this classic and turning it into one of the most brutal pieces of holiday hate you’ll ever hear. They even manage to incorporate the harmonies of the original song. This track has me stewing in a vat of my own anger until the breakdown at the end of the song when I run outside to find a stranger to beat the shit out of. Just a perfect way to start the holidays.
3. Korn – Kidnap the Sandy Claws
The Nightmare Before Christmas might be a little overplayed and the merchandise basically keeps Hot Topic afloat, but at its heart is exactly what Tim Burton intended: a jarring experience of transitioning immediately from Halloween to Christmas. Burton was supposedly in a store the day after Halloween and there was Christmas decor everywhere. I know how you feel, Tim. Can’t we have a little more time in the embracing darkness before sunshine and glitter is shoved down our throat? This track is pure Korn. It’s the perfect opportunity for Jonathan Davis to insert his madness into the snow flurries and cause me to plot the demise of jolly St Nick.
2. Becoming The Archetype – O Holy Night
Okay, full disclosure: I like to play this when my wife asks me to turn on Christmas music. The beginning is perfect for lulling her into a false sense of security. It’s actually really well done, too. The piano and choir is beautifully haunting. I can appreciate the talent of it because I know what comes next. The drums show up with a guitar solo to let you know this ain’t your average classic……And THEN…..all fucking hell breaks loose to become one of the most savage metalcore tracks in recent memory. I can’t tell you how much I love this song. It takes everything you know about Christmas music and destroys it with a hammer against a metal slab.
- Christopher Lee – The Little Drummer Boy
Oh, you didn’t know Christopher Lee had his own metal band? I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems, but not having Saruman sing Christmas metal ain’t one. I couldn’t find the single, so you get a bonus of Silent Night, as well. It doesn’t get any more metal than Christopher Lee. He is one of the most badass individuals to have ever lived. If he liked metal, everyone needs to. Lending his booming, supernatural voice to this classic would have been just fine, but he chose to have deadly guitar riffs that almost invert the entire song when he isn’t singing on top of it. God his voice is epic. I can just see him in a Gothic cathedral firing off the lyrics like a cannon, then all the crosses go upside down and guitar solo starts. Rest In Peace, you amazing and brilliant man.
I’m also always on the lookout for some new tracks, so if you know any I need to be aware off, sound off in the comments. Horns up.