Awesome Totally Awesome Heavy Metal Christmas

Five of the Best Metal Christmas Songs

Since it’s just a few weeks until Santa comes to town, we decided we’d have a ourselves a heavy metal Christmas. That means checking out five of the greatest metal Christmas songs ever recorded. So here they are, in no particular order, including a classic from Christopher Lee, the actor who played Saruman in Lord of the Rings.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi take this 1760 carol and turns it into a metal masterpiece that’s found on the 2008 We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year album. That’s Rudy Sarzo on bass and Simon Wright playing drums. Dio’s delivery is amazing, and Iommi’s guitar is thick and haunting, reminiscent of his sound on The Mob Rules.

Run Rudolph Run

This version of “Run Rudolph Run” also comes from the We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year record. Lemmy sounds like he was into the Christmas spirits and probably had about 10 or 12 pints in him when they recorded the track. Dave Grohl pounds the kit, while Billy Gibbons brings that bluesy, rocking guitar tone. You can imagine those three having a great time recording this Christmas standard. Turn this one up!

No Presents For Christmas

Trust King Diamond to lull us all to sleep at first with this song, which opens with elevator music renditions of Christmas carols, then kicks into high gear with his piercing, evil laugh. All hell breaks loose from there as the riff cranks in definitive King Diamond fashion. A highlight of the song comes near the end when the band starts playing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” and King Diamond sings “I’m dreaming of a white Sabbath”. Classic stuff. The song was released on Christmas Day in 1985 as a single, the first with his new band after Mercyful Fate broke up. You can find “No Presents For Christmas” on the re-issue of his Fatal Portrait album.

The Little Drummer Boy

Seemingly from out of left field, the late and acclaimed English actor Christopher Lee put out a metal Christmas EP in 2012 called A Heavy Metal Christmas. The man who played Saruman in Lord of the Rings delivers a stellar blast of chugging riffs and heavy drums with his baritone voice for this Christmas classic. Turns out Lee, who died in 2015 at the age of 93, was a huge metal fan dating back to the 1970s when he heard Black Sabbath. He also recorded several traditional heavy metal albums of his own.

Red Water (Christmas Mourning)

A song many may not have heard before, Type O Negative’s “Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” is a classic, gothic track from the Brooklyn band off their October Rustalbum. Late vocalist Peter Steele delivers this song of Christmas mourning with his typical dark rumbling, while the lyrics speak of a bleak, black Christmas that’s anything but joyous. “The stocking are hung, but who cares” and “Goddamn ye merry gentleman” are a couple of snippets speaking to the depression of the narrator during the most wonderful time of the year.

Check out more of Cam Maxwell’s Rock ‘N Roll Insight.

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