Metal Christmas Songs
While this genre may not be everyone's cup of tea there are enough metal fans out there to ensure a thriving market for metal Christmas songs. What is probably more of a surprise is how diverse this particular niche has grown to be over the years and how a season so synonymous with the colour white can have a genre of music that celebrates its traditions through all things black. So while most of us overdose on endless reruns of ‘Last Christmas’ there are plenty of others who like nothing better than to dine out on heavy metal Christmas songs like King Diamond’s ‘No Presents For Christmas’. And what a ride this piece of hardcore proves to be, from the false sense of security in its early lullabyesque passages to the witches cauldron of noise that follows soon afterwards. And speaking of those who inhabit the shadows if you’re especially after some black metal Christmas tunes there is always Korn’s ‘Kidnap The Sandy Claus’. This piece of darkness so illuminated Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ and is your open invitation to hear the yuletide apocalypse in all its glory.
If you were hoping that metal Christmas songs could offer an avenue for kicking the season of goodwill in some delicate places then Corey Taylor’s (Slipknot) 2010 song ‘X-M@$’ will give you all the steel toecap you need. In its time-for-giving defence all proceeds from the sales of ‘X-M@$’ went to a teenage charity trust so behind the bile lay something altogether more humane. A tad more charitable on the ear was Twisted Sister’s 2006 album ‘A Twisted Christmas’ which nonetheless gave carols such as ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ a damn good frightening. Other favourites to get the twisted metal treatment included ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, ‘Silver Bells’ and a remarkable head banging version of ‘White Christmas’.
Such is metal’s many faces at Christmas time it is also possible to amass a decent haul of death metal Christmas songs though casual internal searches. While they might seem like the antithesis of what Christmas is all about at least some of them appear to have a sense of humour. Like Austrian Death Machines Christmas single ‘A Very Brutal Christmas’ which puts a faux Arnold Schwarzenegger at the controls over a rapid machine gun volley of blistering guitars and vocals that appear to be the utterances of a man being taken apart by an industrial crushing device. Not exactly for Granny then, unless Grandad needs something to ensure he has the TV all to himself.
When it comes to picking a compilation that ticks all the metal Christmas music boxes it has to be the elaborately titled ‘We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year’ from 2008 which does absolutely nothing in terms of original material but never fails to shake the cobwebs from a slew of Christmas classics. Dio’s gothic march like retuning of ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ could frighten whole churches yet for a metal audience this is Christmas in all its darkened finery. Lemmy of Motorhead fame does a typical up-metalling of ‘Run Rudolph Run’, a song that already had a harsher edge than your average tinsel clad waif. Dave Grohl can also be heard in the background giving this particular Rudolf more balls than you’d ever expect him to house. Typically the master of dark eyeliner Alice Cooper and a few friends take a chestnut, change the spelling and add copious amounts of hardened chords. For all that his ‘Santa Claws Is Coming To Town’ gives metal Christmas music a soft underbelly making it something that doesn’t need to be put aside until after the watershed.
And if all the above only serves to give you more headaches than the copious spirits you’ve downed over the 12 days remember that you can peer into the heavy metal Christmas world without getting your feet wet via the Darkness’s heavy guitar laden ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’ which is surely is the middle ground where good meets evil.