Twelve days of completely secular yuletide: Trans-Siberian Orchestra is hardcore holiday music

To get your exam-riddled brains full of the holiday spirit, The Ubyssey is prescribing a healthy, 12-day course of ridiculous music reviews. Enjoy, you poor souls!

Do you want to impress your friends this holiday season with unique music that makes you seem cool and cultured? Then you’ve come to the right review! The album Christmas Eve and Other Stories, from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, is the perfect album to both shock and impress your friends and family.

The entire album is a great mix of traditional music with a rock and roll twist. Nearly every song is a journey to listen to, with a classical build-up into epic guitar slams, lots of bass and heavy drums. The best ones that have this beautiful crescendo of intensity are “A Mad Russian's Christmas,” “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo,” and “Good King Joy.”

All of these are very classical Christmas songs that have been turned into beautifully epic works that ooze with festiveness and rock. “A Mad Russian's Christmas” is my personal favourite, especially when preceded with the instrumental interlude, “The Silent Nutcracker.” You really can’t go wrong with any of these songs — they’re all incredibly epic and perfect for the festive season. I will say, however, that these aren’t really songs that you dance to at a Christmas party, but rather ones that you show off to your friends, listen to while you’re on the bus or walking around campus.

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If you’re looking for something more classical and less intense, “The Prince of Peace” and “Promises to Keep” are prefect, as they have more of a calm feeling compared to other songs on the album. They utilize beautiful choirs rather than heavy guitar and bass to bring these songs to life. These are the ones that you show to your grandparents, not “A Mad Russian's Christmas.”

Whether you’re looking for lively and exciting Christmas songs or peaceful calming choirs, you’ll pretty much find it all on this album. Other honourable mentions that are not on this album are “Wizards in Winter,” “O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night (Instrumental),” “Dreams of Fireflies (On A Christmas Night),” and “Winter Palace.”