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Trans-Siberian Orchestra - The Lost Christmas Eve CD (album) cover


Trans-Siberian Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.43 | 50 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In my opinion the Lost Christmas Eve is album doesn't garner anywhere near the respect it deserves. It is a very finely crafted rock/metal opera which is only slightly held back by the fact that it is a Christmas album. It pays tribute to and expands on many holiday classics with excellent virtuosity while telling a fitting story of charity and redemption. Owing to its subject matter though, it is most certainly best enjoyed in the season, but that shouldn't stop you from head banging with it any time. You just might feel a little awkward letting your locks fly in August to a metalized version of Oh Come All Ye Faithful. I can't say that I have not done it.

The greatest strength of the Lost Chrismas Eve for me is in the powerful and plentiful application of the human voice. Anno Domine, Remember, Christmas Dreams, Queen of the Winter Night, Chrismas Nights in Blue, O' Come All Ye Faithful, For the Sake Of Our Brother and Back to Reason Part (II) are all excellent pieces of vocal work done in a variety of different styles. Fans of vocal harmony should be particularly pleased with the traditional boys' choir style round of Remember. For me though, the emotional pinnacle of the album comes on What Child is This? The TSO version is considerably expanded beyond whatever you might think of the traditional carol and the masterful performance elevates it to a new height. Don't be afraid to put this one up to 11.

A long the way, there are also a number of instrumentals, the most notable of which is the frenetic Wizards in Winter. If you haven't already been exposed to this completely original work by the band, I suggest you get on it. A very interesting choreographed light show to this track originally got me to take notice of the band.

I've heard all three of the Christmas Trilogy albums, and this one is the strongest. At any time of year, it is easily deserving of a four out of five, but when you are listening to it on a dark and cold December evening I think you can bump it right up to a five without hesitation. It is a refreshingly humane album from a genre, metal, generally associated with blackness and atrocity, symbolically speaking of course. It probably suffers in the minds of many metal heads because of its lack of edge, but I'm willing to be those have a soft spot for it somewhere. This album was also important for turning me on to power metal. It isn't a power metal album per se, though it shares certain theatrical qualities, but my desire to hear more metal without the taint of "death growl" or the laxity of thrash came from this.

A brief aside on the "death growl," it is one of the worst things going in music, right up there with auto-tuning and the country twang. None of which thankfully appear on this splendid selection. (FYI: I don't hate thrash, it's just a sometimes food.)

I recommend this album to any one and that it should be a cherished part of your prog-collection, not just your Christmas collection. And, if you ever get the opportunity, do see it performed live. I believe the farewell tour this year. If you happen to see it coming near you, you lucky Americans, jump on it for me.

R-A-N-M-A | 4/5 |


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