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Tony Borton - Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve

12/01/2004 - Does the volume knob on your stereo go to eleven? Mine does, which is cool because that is, of course, one louder. TSO's "The Lost Christmas Eve" gives new meaning to "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," and if you purchase this disc, you'll want to make sure you've got the volume up to eleven, unless you can't go one louder, in which case you'll have to settle for ten, I guess.

It's always been common knowledge that you simply can't mix orchestral music, Christmas carols, opera, and power metal. Nope. Just can't. Hmmm. Looks like somebody forgot to tell the guys from Trans-Siberian Orchestra. They did it, and they stirred the pot with a good deal of Broadway flair. What's really weird is, they pulled it off! Again! You see, they've done it twice before. "The Lost Christmas Eve" is TSO's third holiday offering, and it may be their best. It's certainly the heaviest, in my opinion. That's right, I said heaviest. When I mentioned that power metal was part of the mix, I wasn't kidding. "The Lost Christmas Eve" is a full-on Christmas rock-opera, and it's executed with a pounding rhythm section, crunching guitar riffs, and soaring, shredding leads. There are also passages featuring choirs, strings, classical piano, operatic vocals, and chiming holiday bells.

It's hard to know what to say about this one. I love it, but I'm not sure I could recommend it for everyone. It's beautiful, festive, and it really, truly rocks, which I realize may not appeal to some of you folks. Parts of this album will sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to some listeners, while at times the music is astonishingly moving and majestic. For example, TSO's Christmas-ized version of Pachelbel's "Canon in D" left me punching the rewind button like one of Pavlov's stupid dogs (no offense to any stupid dogs reading this).

I don't know. When it comes to Christmas albums, Clint Black's new one would have been safer, but hey. What's wrong with a little volume on Christmas? Oh, by the way, the best thing about "The Lost Christmas Eve" is that TSO remembers the reason for the season, and that's all that matters…

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