• Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas (2006) - A relief for rock and metal fans around Christmas - 60% (30/12/14)

    Twisted Sister - A Twisted Christmas (2006)

    The idea of reinventing traditional Christmas carols is nothing new but only very few bands have managed to create something truly creative, moving and unique with this kind of music. The only Christmas record I listen to each year and that never stops impressing me is "Wir warten auf's Christkind" by German punk band Die toten Hosen under the Die roten Rosen moniker that mixes energizing punk rock with amusing lyrics, a few own Christmas related songs with thoughtful lyrics and refreshed traditional Christmas carols sung in German and English. I got interested by Twisted Sister's project thanks to the track "Heavy Metal Christmas" included on this record. It's a reinterpretation of the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas" carol with self-ironic lyrics related to glam rock and heavy metal stereotypes sung by all band members in a joyous way. In addition to this, the traditionally repetitive song is filled with nice guitar licks, bass guitar solos and dynamical drum fills to keep things interesting over more than five minutes. This track is entertaining, funny and passionate, easily the best on the entire record and made me check out the entire release.

    What Twisted Sister offers is a balanced mixture of Christmas carols with their traditional melodies and lyrics on one side and the typical Twisted Sister sound on the thin line between glam rock and heavy metal including some humorous lyrics and a couple of addicting hard rock riffs, short guitar solos, a tight rhythm section and melodic grounded vocals. Twisted Sister's version of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" is very representative of the record as it is a mixture of the traditional Christmas carol and Twisted Sister's own classic "We're Not Gonna Take It" with a slight Slade touch.

    After a while this usual mixture gets a little bit predictable and redundant over the course of the record. To shake things up a little bit, Twisted Sister had a good idea and invited two guest singers to perform on this album. German metal legend Doro Pesch contributes female backing vocals on "White Christmas". That's at least what press texts and encyclopedias say because her vocals must be somewhere between inaudible and non-existent. Twisted Sister missed a great occasion to add a certain something to an otherwise solid but not impressive reinterpretation of this song. The second female vocalist is much more audible as Lita Ford joins forces with Twisted Sister on "I'll Be Home for Christmas" which sounds like a glam rock ballad that could come straight from a discotheque in the early eighties. In my opinion, her vocal efforts are solid but lacking true passion for the project. Still, this is one of the better songs on the album. Otherwise, a couple of songs include background vocals by the band members as well as a few choirs here and there that add a slightly epic feeling to tracks like "Silver Bells". 

    In all honesty, "A Twisted Christmas" is a pretty average record that quickly loses ist Initial charm but which may be a welcome change to children choirs in churches, Coca Cola commercials and the usual songs by Band Aid, Mariah Carey or Wham! that keep annoying people annually in shopping malls, on the radio and on television from just after Halloween until January. From this point of view, listening to Twisted Sister's at times humorous and entertaining reinterpretation of Christmas carols may feel like a relief for many rock and metal fans during that time of the year. Still, the record could have been much better with a couple of new and own Twisted Sister songs, a few better guest musicians and vocalists and a meaner and thicker production. In the end, this is the kind of music you may listen to once or twice a year in December and deservedly forget for the rest of the year. Anyway, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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