On the metal-o-meter, Christmas ranks pretty low. Yes, there’s the possibility of dark and icy nights, but then there’s the whole Bing Crosby crooning thing that is fairly incompatible with metal. Sweetness and light is all well and good, but there’s not a lot of thrashing to be done in a rendition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Luckily, the inventive minds behind metal bands both popular and obscure have combined Christmas cheer with some bonkers guitar shredding, to populate our list of twisted metal holiday anthems. Have yourself a totally sick Christmas, why don’t you?
“Jingle Bells” by Skid Row
Dashing through the snow, open sleigh, laughing, blah blah blah. You know the drill. Except for Skid Row’s sleigh is made of EVIL. And there is no horse because the sleigh is propelled only by METAL. And also, there are no bells, only skulls. And the sleigh is used to murder pedestrians. But otherwise, you know, the same.
“Mistress for Christmas” by AC/DC
You know, there are a limited number of things that rhyme with Christmas. “Mistress” is likely the most metal option, however nonsensical the end product. Drugs, metal, babes, elves — it all goes hand in hand really.
“Siberian Sleigh Ride” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This is the rare track that succeeds both as a rockin’ metal song and as a pretty decent holiday anthem. There are sweeping orchestral parts and slow jammin’ parts, and even one part that involves the non-ironic use of bells.
“Unholy Night” by Wolf
Aside from its neat twist on an operatic Susan Boyle favorite, “Unholy Night” isn’t so much about Christmas as it is about, um, bones and ice and shit. But we’ll take it for the insane, face-melting guitar and holiday-worthy percussion action.
“Heavy Christmas” by 220 Volt
And a heavy Christmas to you, too, 220 Volt! This is what it would sound like if 1980s Bon Jovi decided to release a Christmas album.
“Little Drummer Boy” by Tortured Conscience
Off the promisingly named Brutal Christmas compilation comes this “Little Drummer Boy” transformation. It’s more unintentionally hilarious than good, sort of like if an evil Cookie Monster were covering the song with his over-aggressive percussionist. But it might be worth throwing on the playlist just to see the look on your dinner guests’ faces.
“Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” by Type O Negative
“Goddamn ye merry gentlemen,” indeed. This is a sort of creepy gothic take on a Christmas medley, adding hissing and industrial noise to the classic Christmas carol.
“Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend” by GWAR
Our favorite monster-themed band, in their surprisingly melodic Christmas takedown, obviously have to reference exotic dancers. That’s just par for the course.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Twisted Sister
Off the, yes, Twisted Sister Christmas album (titled, appropriately, A Twisted Christmas) these hair metallers offer slightly harder versions of the old hot-chocolate classics.
“Christmas Is Awesome” by Reuben
For your casual metal listeners — perhaps those who want a normal, happy Christmas that’s just a tinge blackened –Reuben released this parody of a Christmas metal song that, actually, is about as good as any real holiday metal anthem.