A Christmas Carol

I didn’t want to do this to you guys, really I didn’t, especially on Christmas week, but the fact is, this is the album we need now.

Typically, I would absolutely cringe at anything with spoken word, theatric, storytelling tropes in a metal album, especially of this sort of Dickensian old-timey fluff. And do we really need another retelling of A Christmas Carol? We get it- Scrooge is bad and turns good once exposed to the infectious spirit of the true meaning of Christmas.

The thing is, Sweden’s Majestica (who I have not heard before now) have somehow done it while delivering over the top symphonic power metal AND injecting classical Christmas hymns and carols into the story ….. and it fucking works.

You know the story, Ebeneezer Scrooge is an asshole, the Cratchit’s are poor, Jacob Marley, the ghosts of Christmas past present and future, Scrooge is nice. Majestica tell the story via pompous European power metal and some cheesy spoken word/actor interludes, and as I’ve mentioned, throw in classic Christmas music- and you will instantly recognize all the classics that include “Come all ye faithful”, “Hark the Herald angel sings”, “Deck the Halls”, ‘We three kings”, “12 days of Christmas”, “God bless ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Jingle Bells” and others.  And they are interwoven into the band’s own uplifting, cheese-filled. bombastic, symphonic power metal (injected with plenty of Christmasy bells and chimes) and it comes across like Twilight Force meets Trans-Siberian orchestra– but it’s somehow infectiously enjoyable and uplifting as if the Christmas spirit was coming through the speakers.

Now, a track by track breakdown is a bit much here, but the ebb and flow follows the story; you get the orchestral intro (“A Christmas Carol”, an intro to all the characters, and Scrooge’s Scrooge-y-ness  (“A Christmas Story”) , the Cratchet’s ballad of sadness (“The Joy of Christmas”)  a closing instrumental reprisal of all the Christmas (“A Majestic Christmas theme”) songs and such.

But the centerpiece of the album is the Christmas ghosts especially “Ghost of Christmas Past”  and “The Ghost of Christmas Present” where the band’s own epic songwriting melds perfectly with classic Christmas music. and the finale “A Christmas to Come”, ends the story with a wonderfully cheesy, but uplifting pomp. It’s hard not to feel good or at least a little better when listening to it. Some of it is a tad cringey, namely the vocal characterizations (i.e “The Ghost of Christmas to Come”, “A Christmas Has Come” ), but in all, in dark times and a weird holiday season, it works.

So if you are feeling a bit Scoogey this Christmas, give Majestica’s A Christmas Carol a listen and fill your heart with a musical guilty pleasure and the Christmas spirit, and have yourself a great Christmas and a happy new year.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
December 21st, 2020


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