What could be a better gift for the metalhead in your life than a cover of X-mas songs done by their favorite metal artists? Nothing. So, the folks at Armoury records got together some of metal's cream of the crop and had them put their spin the holiday classics we know and love. Some of the renditions are outstanding, some are downright hilarious, and some are just eh... ok. However, most are pretty darn cool. The best ones are "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" with Ronnie James Dio on vocals and Tonni Iommi on guitar; making this the darkest, heaviest version of this song ever done. Dug Pinnick lends his outstanding voice to "The Little Drummer Boy" with a little help from George Lynch, Billy Sheehan and Simon Phillips. Joe Lynn Turner turns on the charm on "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" backed by four delightful lads; Bruce Kulick, brother Bob Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, and Simon Wright. For the more humorous side of things, we have Testament frontman Chuck Billy doing his scary, evil vocals from hell on the thrash anthem "Silent Night." He had help of course from Scott Ian, Jon Donais, Chris Wyse, and John Tempesta. Alice Cooper gives us a new nightmare, in the form of "Santa Claws Is Coming To Town." Scary guitarist John 5, mad bassist Billy Sheehan, and drummer extraordinaire Vinny Appice were also held responsible for aiding and abetting Alice in this song. There are several other's that are not bad, but don't rate as well as these, except one: I saved the best for last, "Run Rudolph Run" performed by none other than Lemmy Kilmister on the mike, the Reverend Billy Gibbons on the six string, and Dave Grohl bashing the skins. Folks, it just doesn't get any better than this. Hell, the album's worth it for this one track alone! This is one X-Mas album you won't mind listening to during the holiday season or anytime during the year. Ho! Ho! Ho!
- Craig Harvey