We Wish you a Metal XMas and a Head Banging New Year

by Dawn Marie Fichera

As a rule, I generally discard compilation albums as an ill-fated attempt to stack a bunch of tracks on top of each other that don't belong together. They are generally forced monstrosities crammed with very poor versions of our childhood favorites. I can stomach "Little Drummer Boy" With David Bowie and Bing Crosby, because hey, it's David Bowie and Bing Crosby. Sinatra and Elvis also rank high on the voltmeter for cool dudes singing crappy carols.

This year however, Armoury Records blissfully gives us a Christmas compilation album that doesn't suck. The album We Wish you a Metal XMas and a Head Banging New Year have now topped the holiday classics list and crushed any wistfulness of old-time Christmas caroling. Move over nostalgia, there is a new boss in town. Several to be exact.

Anytime you have Lemmy "Kilmister" of Moterhead, paired with Billy F. Gibbons, otherwise known as the Reverend Willie G of ZZ Top, and Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters singing "Run Rudolf Run" it's a pretty damn good thing. Now, I am sure some metal purists are going to whine and cry and state that the combination of all these metal gods is an abomination to the metal craft; I beg you to consider the alternative. While Chuck Berry gives a mean rendition of "Run Rudolf Run", I much prefer the scratchy, Jack Daniels stained vocal finesse of Lemmy. Call me crazy but there is something endearing about a 50 something in tight jeans and a leather vest with no shirt on signing Christmas carols.

Or how about Alice Cooper, John 5 of Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie stature; Billy Sheehan, of David Lee Roth, Niacin and (shh) Mr. Big fame; and Vinny Appice, anchor for Dio, Black Sabbath and John Lennon --yes that John Lennon fame-- belting out "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"? A far cry from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band, I didn't know whether to be scared to death of old St. Nick or to want to jam with him when he arrived.

Not to be outdone by his pal Billy Sheehan, Vinny Appice cozies up to Tim "Ripper" Owens, current front man of Beyond Fear, and past singer from Judas Priest, and Iced Earth; Steve Morse, formerly of the morphed Dixie Dregs, Kansas and Lynyrd Skynyrd; Juan Garcia, and Marco Mendoza, bassist for Thin Lizzy, with past credits including John Sykes's band, Blue Murder and tours with the amazing Ted Nugent, on the track "Santa Claus is Back in Town".

Other childhood classics that get the ripper effect are "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman", can we say DIO; "Silent Night", thrash metal vocalist Chuck Billy lends some bad-assed harmonics; "Silver Bells", with the unforgettable vocal prowess of Jeff Scott Soto; and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" by the one and only Mark Slaughter. You know, from that little band called Slaughter.

Whether you have been naughty or nice, even better if you have been nicely naughty, you need to get this album. Get it for yourself, friends, family members, coworkers, even the resident Chanukah celebrator—after all; most producers and engineers are Jewish anyway so they may enjoy a not-so Christmassy Christmas compilation album. I 'm just saying. With only a few weeks until Christmas, you will want to keep this puppy on replay at least until New Year's Eve.

Track Listing
Run Rudolph Run (Lemmy / Billy F. Gibbons / Dave Grohl)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Alice Cooper / John 5 / Billy Sheehan / Vinny Appice)
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Ronnie James Dio / Tony Iommi / Rudy Sarzo / Simon Wright)
Little Drummer Boy (Dug Pinnick / George Lynch / Billy Sheehan / Simon Phillips
Santa Claus Is Back In Town (Tim "Ripper" Owens / Steve Morse / Juan Garcia / Marco Mendoza / Vinny Appice)
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (Tommy Shaw / Steve Lukather / Marco Mendoza / Kenny Aronoff)
Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer (Stephen Pearcy / Billy Sheehan / Greg Bissonette)
Rocking Round the Xmas Tree (Joe Lynn Turner / Bruce Kulick / Rudy Sarzo / Simon Wright)
Silent Night (Chuck Billy / Scott Ian / Jon Donais / Chris Wyse / John Tempesta / Geoff Tate)
Silver Bells (Jeff Scott Soto / Carlos Cavazo / James Lomenzo / Ray Luzier)11. Deck the Halls (Oni Logan / Craig Goldy / Tony Franklin / John Tempesta)
We Wish You A Merry Xmas (Mark Slaughter / Doug Aldrich / Chris Wyse / Ray Luzier)

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We Wish you a Metal XMas and a Head Banging New Year

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