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Album Reviews : Halford – Halford III: Winter Songs

By on November 17, 2009

HalfordlargeChristmas is just around the corner and its only fitting that we are enticed with a metal release to celebrate the holiday season. The past few Christmas’ has seen an influx of both utterly stupid and surprisingly good Christmas metal cross over releases.

This Christmas we see the release of Halford‘s “Winter Songs”. An album which consists of original hymns and carols,  along with re-arrangements from Rob Halford to celebrate the once a year holiday season.

It’s usually a given that any band that tries to release something out of their comfort zone, especially as ballsy as a Christmas album is either running out of ideas or is unnecessarily releasing a Christmas album by their record company to milk the public for a quick buck.

Thankfully, “Winter Songs” is neither of these and is actually great to listen too as Rob Halford has always wanted to collaborate and create his very own Christmas metal album. The album does carry a faint cheesy Christmas spirit,  yet the songs are given a new face lift with a metal friendly twist.

As soon as you play the opening track ”Get into the Spirit’ with its powerful drumming and hypnotising riffs you will know what I’m talking about. Great depth and variation of tracks mix up the album nicely.  If your familiar with Halford’s solo work then you will most likely enjoy this album as there isn’t much of a transition from a Christmas album to a Halford album. The songs maybe in the vain of the Christmas spirit but the all round sound is consistent to Halford’s solo career with minor hints of Judas Priest, as heard on the track “We Three Kings”.

Something which took me by complete surprise was the track “Winter Song”. The track carries faint elements of The Beatles and even David Bowie which flourish into an eerie yet enchanting pop ballad which sounds simply amazing, more so with Halford’s vocals. His range is still perfect as ever with every song offering a vivid contemporary feel.

The album boasts a range of influences, not only metal but also hard rock with a somewhat cheesy generic delivery. “Christmas for Everyone” is a prime example as it carries a cliché holiday rock feel. There are moments when you may even mistake it for a Beach Boys cover as the guitar work is reminiscent of their early radio friendly material.

Even if your not a fan of Christmas or religion in general I think you will still find some gratification from listening to Halford’s “Winter Songs”, more so if you love the older aspect of rock and metal music. 7/10

Band: Halford
Album: Halford III: Winter Songs
Year: 2009
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Origin: England
Label: Metal God Entertainment
www.robhalford.com

Tracklisting:

1.  Get Into the Spirit
2.  We Three Kings
3.  Oh Come O Come Emanuel
4.  Winter Song <- Reviewer’s choice
5.  What Child Is This
6.  Christmas for Everyone
7.  I Don’t Care If It’s Christmas Night
8.  Light of the World
9.  Oh Holy Night
10. Come All Ye Faithful

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.