There isn't much metal about traditional Christmas music. Lucky for us, many of our favorite artists have made their own holiday tunes to make the end of the year a little more brutal. Some of our favorite bands have even recorded covers of holiday classics as well. You know, just in case you want to spin a couple of more familiar tunes while you open presents at your parents house. No need to offend mom on Christmas.
Today, Noisecreep highlights some of the best hard rock and metal holiday tunes to keep your holiday rocking!
'Mistress for Christmas'AC/DC
AC/DC randomly added this awesome, original holiday tune to the 1990 album 'The Razor’s Edge.' As the song title would suggest, you won’t find any traditional Bing Crosby lyrics here. But awesome guitar riffs are a plenty. Even better: this song rocks no matter the month or holiday.
'Christmas With the Devil'Spinal Tap
If Macy’s played Spinal Tap it might make shopping for grandma’s annual bottle of perfume a little more fun. 'Christmas With the Devil' was included as a bonus track on the 2000 re-release of the album 'This Is Spinal Tap.' You know what is metal? When the elves really ARE dressed in leather.
'No Presents for Christmas'King Diamond
Do you know how much it would suck to not get a damn thing for Christmas? King Diamond released the track “No Presents for Christmas” way back in 1986. Santa really does need a helping hand. Can you imagine King Diamond dressed up in a Santa costume, letting kids sit on his knee at the mall? Now THAT is metal. The song is such a staple of the band’s catalog that the track was just re-released as a vinyl single. Hint: we’d love a copy of that record under our metal tree!
'Oh Come All Ye Faithful'Twisted Sister
It makes sense that Twisted Sister covered the Christmas carol 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' for their 2006 hit album, 'A Twisted Christmas.' After all, the band’s most famous song 'We’re Not Gonna Take It' uses the melody from the classic holiday tune. The best part of the Twisted Sister version is the song’s speed -- you won’t hear this track playing at your house of worship this Christmas Eve! Even better? Twisted Sister made an awesome video to support the track, and it looks like it came straight out of 1987.
'Little Drummer Boy'August Burns Red
Doesn’t it make sense for a Christian metalcore band to cover a beloved holiday classic such as 'Little Drummer Boy?' We thought so too. August Burns Red released 'August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album' back in 2012. The entirely instrumental album features intricate guitar solos, breakdowns and a ton of the band’s signature melodic sound. We’ve come up with a new name for this: jingle-core!
'Johnny Died on Christmas'Nitro
Every Christmas song can’t be a happy tune, right? Big-haired, high-pitched Nitro has you covered. 'Johnny Died on Christmas' is a real downer and we love it. Featured on the 1991 album 'Nitro II: H.W.D.W.S. (Hot, Wet, Drippin’ With Sweat),' the song’s capstone moment is a badass guitar solo by virtuoso Michael Angelo Batio.
'What Child Is This?'Halford
When Rob Halford announced plans to release a holiday album, we were skeptical. 'Halford III: Winter Songs' came out in 2009 and features several classic Christmas carols with heavy metal arrangements. There’s a couple originals on the album too. 'What Child Is This?' is a standout track thanks to the strength of Rob Halford’s voice. Halford’s version of 'What Child Is This?' is close enough to the original that you can get away with playing the track anywhere, anytime … and because it features stronger metal chords, you’ll actually want to give this track a spin once in awhile.
'Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree'Firehouse
If you love hair metal, then 'Monster Ballads Xmas' is for you. There’s high notes, guitar solos and the glam camp we all love. Firehouse covered 'Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree' for the album and C.J. Snare’s voice still sounds great all these years later. Even better, the band changes the classic lyrics at the end to "Bang your head right with the beat in the heavy metal way.” Now if that isn’t Christmas, we don’t know what is.
'Thank God It's Christmas'Queen
Queen released 'Thank God It’s Christmas' as a proper single in 1984 but it wasn’t included on any Queen records until 'Greatest Hits III' in 1999. The song is a straight holiday ballad, commemorating the band’s affection for the season. Play this tune for your girlfriend. You’ll earn major cred points.
'Happy Holiday'Enuff Z'Nuff
Originally intended for the 'Home Alone 2' soundtrack, 'Happy Holiday' ended up on the 1996 Enuff Z’Nuff release 'Peach Fuzz.' The song proved so popular with Enuff Z’Nuff fans, it was included on the album 'Monster Ballads Xmas.'