Trans-Siberian Orchestra — The Lost Christmas Eve
(Lava 93146-2, 2004, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2005-09-01It’s hard to imagine that the core members of metal band Savatage would take a musical U-turn and arrive with a huge money-making project that has nothing to do with their previous incarnation. The Lost Christmas Eve is producer and composer Paul O’Neill’s brainchild with four previous releases to date. The “orchestra” has steadily built on the band’s studio and live presentation to create a semi-progressive success that truly mystifies the industry. On first glance, the project appears to be an over-the-top product kind of like Gary Hoey’s cheesy hard-rock recordings with pompous yuletide subject matter. Heavy rocking versions of classic songs are done up with the subtlety of an overstuffed turkey with all the trimmings. As heavy-handed as this could have been, pieces such as the disc’s title track are on target with Broadway-style storytelling from various singers who convey a dramatic story line. Several seasonal favorites have a symphonic metal approach such as “What Child is This” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” In contrast, James Robert Lewis’s vocal delivery on “Christmas Nights in Blue” is a cross between Randy Newman and Dr. John. “Christmas Jazz” and “Christmas Jam” are bookend pieces that rely on variation and are perhaps the tastiest tracks from the 23 on the disc. Overall, this is the kind of recording that does well as a Christmas gift to the experienced or novice musician.
Related artist(s): Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more