A Death Metal Christmas

Death Metal ChristmasI have been listening to the leftover promos sent to Trebuchet Magazine, and I’m beginning to see why some professional music journalists become jaded and cynical. Some of it’s OK, but just not my thing, but I’m reminded that there is some god-awful rubbish out there.

The nadir was “A Death Metal Christmas” by Hate Eternal bassist J.J. Hrubovcak, and it’s every bit as appalling as that sounds. It’s an EP of death metal versions of Christmas carols such as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “O Come O Come Immanuel” reworked with apocalyptic lyrics about death and destruction.

This record commits the ultimate musical sin of not being very good. It takes well-known and much loved Christmas tunes and fails to do anything imaginative with them musically. It’s neither brutally visceral nor particularly technically impressive, and merely reduces the songs to rather pedestrian metal-by-numbers. The largely unintelligable death-growl vocals weakens any impact the sub-Imaginos storyline might have had.

As the world does not really need a metal version of “The Sugar Plum Fairy”, it’s difficult to work out quite what the point of this record is. It appears to take itself far too seriously to work as a bah-humbug anti-Christmas parody in the vein of Tinyfish’s “Christmas at the Citadel”. And if the cod-blasphemy is just intended to troll America’s Christian fundamentalists, then the whole thing comes over as The Devil’s equivalent of Cliff Richard’s “Mistletoe and Wine”.

For those of you who might still like this sort of thing, the record is released on “Black Friday”, November 29th

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4 Responses to A Death Metal Christmas

  1. Chris says:

    I have a very strange post-NWBHM album recorded in March-August 1994 called “Metal Christmas” featuring people like Paul DiAnno, Denny Laine, Kim McAuliffe, John Sloman, Steve Overland, Guy Bailey, Fast Eddie Clarke, Tim Carter, Denise Dufort, Jamie Wright (Rick Wright’s son) with tracks like Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town. I’m tempted to scan and post the leaflet as it has proper track credits and quotes from the artists e.g. Denny Laine (not the most metal of people I would say!) “I’m sure a lot of rock fans will treasure this record forever as I know I will.” – I trust that was said with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

    Is it any good? No, it’s about as good as you’d expect, though with more humour than the one you’ve reviewed.

  2. Tim Hall says:

    And don’t forget Spinal Tap’s “Christmas With The Devil”

    The elves are dressed in leather, and the reindeer ran away…

  3. Tim Hall says:

    There have been some fantastic metal covers of decidedly non-metal tunes of the years. I tend to think that in order to do such a thing properly you need both a degree of respect for the source material, and enough creative imagination to do something interestingly different with it. A sense of humour also helps.

  4. John P. says:

    So I guess you won’t want a copy of Iridium Tractor’s “Gurt Big Wagonload Of Harvest Related Chanting” then? Probably a wise move. The 2014 calendar hasn’t been selling well either. Especially after the RSPCA complained about the pictures with Flossy …