Top 5 Worst Metal Christmas Albums 2011 Edition

Originally written for Exclaim!

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As a devout metalhead, listening to most Christmas music, especially the bland and tasteless stuff blared in every public space from December 1 onward, is about as pleasurable as having electrodes attached to my delicate lady parts. The alternative, listening to heavy metal Christmas albums, is somehow even worse. The hilarious badness of heavy metal holiday tunes is well documented; we even assembled a similar list back in 2009. The thing with the holiday abominations though is that musicians just keep on making them. A few of these are old and a few new, but all are uniformly awful.

Top 5 Worst Metal Christmas Albums 2011 Edition:

5. Killwhitneydead
Stocking Stuffher Holiday EP
(2008)
First of all, there’s the title of this delightful little nugget of depravity. The imagery of sexy elves and naughty Mrs. Claus makes me as bored and nauseated as Christmas cake. The album is just as saccharine, featuring song titles like “Merry Axemas” and “You Smell Naughty.” At least Killwhitneydead aren’t taking themselves too seriously. The music itself is not super-terrible, as the songs are all remixes of Killwhitneydead tracls that don’t suck to begin with. That said, I have to salute a band for taking their perfectly good material and shitting peppermint and pine needles all over it.

4. Theocracy
“Club of Souls” Christmas songs
(2003-2010)
While not an actual album, Theocracy’s Christmas oeuvre deserves a mention on this list for sheer horribleness. Theocracy are a Christian progressive/power metal band from Athens, GA. The band are notable for being one of the few chosen to participate in the Metal Bible, an online version of the New Testament that also includes various contributions from assorted metalheads and metal musicians detailing their relationship with Christianity. It is even more terrifying than you can possibly imagine. Since 2003, Theocracy have released a Christmas song to their “Club of Souls” fanclub, sometimes merely a cover and other times an original composition, such as 2010′s “All I Want for Christmas.” The worst part? They’ve been subjecting us to this for over half a dozen years.

3. Holy Grail
Season’s Bleedings
(2011)
Conceived of as a thank-you to fans after over a year of relentless touring to support Crisis in Utopia, only 500 copies — 250 red, 250 green — of this particular holiday disaster will be produced as a seven-inch. The single features covers of King Diamond’s “No Presents for Christmas” and Rainbow’s “Kill the King.” There is something about a thrash revival band doing covers of already ill-advised metal Christmas songs that’s a perfect winter cocktail of sugary liquor and defeat.

2. Austrian Death Machine
Jingle All the Way
(2011)
This monstrosity wasn’t officially unleashed onto the world until this week, though digital downloads have been available since early December. A follow-up to 2008′s A Very Brutal ChristmasJingle All the Way is a three-song EP containing such heartwarming numbers as “I’m Not a Pervert.” Austrian Death Machine is the side-project of As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, who plays most of the instruments, and Destroy the Runner’s Chad Ackerman, who does the vocals as “Ahhnold,” a caricature of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film characters, obviously. With terrible metal and worse impressions set to Christmas music, Jingle All the Way is like the devil’s lasagna. Pass the nog, and make it spiked.

1. Halford III
Winter Songs
(2009)
This album was already mention on the 2009 list, but deserves a revisit for pure disappointment. When this record came out two years ago, I was as shocked and appalled as anyone else. I listened, I giggled, I drank too much spiced rum to dull the pain and called it a night. Sometimes I gentle over time, and there is something about old leatherman Rob Halford that just makes me want to like him. So I thought I would give it another go — and discovered the album has grown even more mealy and insipid a couple of years on. Winter Songs is the musical equivalent of your coolest uncle, the one who would let you have sips of beer and stay up way too late watching horror movies, forced to wear an ugly sweater and sit at the grown-up table.

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