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Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve & Other Stories CD (album) cover


Trans-Siberian Orchestra


Crossover Prog

3.03 | 65 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well.. maybe it's a bit to urly for being in the Christmas astmospheres, but I do want to share this with you. 'Progressive rock and christmas sounds' does not seem to be a logical combination. And in fact: it isn't. But Jethro Tull has actually tried it and succeeded, now Trans Sibirian Orchestra is the main band in the christmas rock genre. This is the first of their three Cristmas recordings.

The production is perfect for it's time. Recorded modern, with beautifull use of Metal-like distortion in a gentle way! This is not seen very often. In addition we hear good amplified keyboards giving TSO an orchenstral sound (as it's name suggests). The drums are as they should be, but again recorded very gentle and subtle. The overall atmosphere is peacefull and warm! But some tracks have a very serious feeling.

I will discuss some highlights on the album

Come all ya faithful - A perfect rock version of this classic Christmas song. Heavy and still 100% sounding like a warm song. Great guitarwork acompany the symphonic sounds resulting in a sensational christmas song.

A mad Russian Christas - This is an straight progressive rock piece with beatifull orchestrations, metal guitars and a dark atmosphere. This darksness suddenly changes in a happy christmas rock piece and so the meaning of the title becomes clear. Great composition!

Christmas Eve - The opening is with an clean guitar and some classical instruments, then the guitars come. This is the darkest song of the album - in fact - I would not recommend to play this song on a christmas evening with your old folks around. It's heavy! Beatifull passages to the next themes and the rock explotion at the end make this track a sensation!

Good King Joy - One of my favourites! This song has a feeling that just seems to work for me. It opens peacefully with a childlike piano piece and some vocals. Then: yeaah... the guitars! A courteaus theme arises and tension is build up resulting in a known cristmas (Joy to the world I think) theme played with rock perfection! The production is just great! When this section is closed a very dared move is made. Suddenly you are in an American black churge with a black preacherman. This sound weird, but acompanied with some subtle solo's this turns out to be one of my fouvarite parts of the album! At the and of the song we here again the main theme and so an epic is closed.

Old City Bar - A fully acoustic song with great potential. The theme isn't very complex, actually the song is a bit repetitive. BUT.. the lyrics are so nice! It even gives me a warm feeling, something rarely happening with Christmas music. The guitars sound warm, the vocals are PERFECT... a voice so warm, it could have been a great blues singer. This is the kind of song that keeps my attention till the last second!

Some other tracks on the album are acceptable christmas tracks. I like An angel came down, wich is a perfect opening (and closing track under the name 'An angel returned'). The vocals are the main instrument here, but they are done very nice. First Snow is another great christmas/heavy rock track with lots of interesting parts. Ornament is nice balled, I especially like the couplet theme. Again - great vocals!

The prince of peace is a painfull experience... the female vocals make it a song that doens't fit on this (till now) very nice rocky christmas album. This ballad is just to slow and soft. A song like Promises to keep with an child choir are acceptable for it is Christmas, but a bit cheesey it is.

As a conclusion: A perfectly recorded heavy symphonic rock christmas album with enough progressive rock elements to be placed on this site. The guitars are played very professional, perfect one could say. The vocals are supurb! They realy chose some great vocalists for this prestious project. It's feel good, but yet acceptable. No other band has ever done a christmas rock project so good, so I'll give it five stars!

Edit. Five stars might be a bit high for a record that is appropriate just a short period per year. Normally it's worth three stars.

friso | 3/5 |


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