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For years I've wished a popular metal band like Megadeth, Slayer or Metallica would record a Christmas album. Every year Tis the season for boring music. Not everyone wants their Christmas tunes served up by Burl Ives.
Well, it finally happened and from an unlikely source. Enter Twisted Sister and "A Twisted Christmas." I was born in 1971, so I was 13 and in 8th grade when Stay Hungry came out. That album along with Metal Health from Quiet Riot (both on the middle school store's jukebox) were my gateway drugs to metal. I mention this only so it is understood that Twisted Sister is something special to me, so there is perhaps an unintentional bias.
Now to the album. You can tell by the score that it rocks. But, it rocks just right. By that I mean that it isn't some kind of death metal Christmas album that can't be played around small children (my 4 year-old loves TW's version of The Christmas Song, but keep it to yourself, his mom doesn't know.) The first track is brilliant in that it starts with Dee singing an acoustical and quiet lovely version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." However, he is interrupted by a bandmate who informs him that Twisted Sister doesn't sound like that. All of a sudden the drums start banging, the guitar starts riffing, and Dee starts rocking. The album gets off to a great start.
Most of the songs work, a couple not as much. The highlights for me were the aforementioned songs, "White Christmas," "Silver Bells," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Let it Snow." The lowlight for me, but still not too bad, was "Deck the Halls" which has kind of a audience chant vibe. The rest of the songs are very good. Another 80's icon, Lita Ford, shows up for "I'll Be Home for Christmas." While the song itself is very good, Lita sounded nothing like I remember from her "Kiss Me Deadly" days. Also worth mentioning is the last song, which is also a great song and very funny. It's essentially a metal version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas." Now you'll know what to buy for the metal-head in your life.
So, if traditional Christmas music bores the pants off you, but you still dig the holidays, "A Twisted Christmas" may be the answer. If you just like Twisted Sister and aren't a complete Scrooge, you'll want to get your hands on this one too.
Have a Merry and "Twisted" Christmas.