Pretty positive surprise for the Christmas tree.
A Christmas EP from STALLION! The likable speed metal combo is back, and amazingly, this vinyl track called “Chrismatized” works quite well. As always, there is a handsome cover, as we know it from STALLION. With “Slaves Of Time” the band’s best album to date came out in the spring. So now a Christmas EP.
‘Santa (Can You Hear Me)’ basically sounds like a HELLOWEEN number, and that’s a good comparison, of course. It is not surprising that the number is also available in a BRITNEY SPEARS variant. I admit: the track is now in my Christmas Spotify playlist. A nice introduction that is really fun and easily stashes many other Metal Christmas numbers.
With ‘No Presents For Christmas’ follows the unsurprising KING DIAMOND cover. I actually only like the King as a singer on MERCYFUL FATE, his solo albums don’t give me anything. The vocals are surprisingly reminiscent of the original; all in all it sounds a bit as if STALLION and ATTIC and PORTRAIT have been put in the same pot and thoroughly stirred. Since the production is completely different and the key has been reoriented, the song is still independent enough.
With ‘Chrismatized’ follows a real MARIAH CAREY entry. You can’t get close to the queen of R&B vocally, of course, but we can only hope that there will be royalties for the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” writers and composers here – at least for beginners, because later they’ll be happy Xmas’ by JOHN LENNON and ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ by PAUL MCCARTNEY. The song quality isn’t quite as high (let’s be honest, the ex-mushrooms had already exhausted their best songwriting talent in 1970), but the Christmas medley is still fun, and with the McCartney number the quality is also clear back up.
Finally there is’ Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! ‘, A cover by VAUGHN MONROE. The original from 1946 is certainly one of the greatest Christmas hits of all time. The best known are probably the versions by FRANK SINATRA or DEAN MARTIN. But many other sizes have already tried on the number. ELLA FITZGERALD or BING CROSBY, for example, GWEN STEFANI, THE GOO GOO DOLLS, PENTATONIX, ROBBIE WILLIAMS, ROD STEWART, LIAM PAYNE, DIANA KRALL and LUIS FONSI as well – like a kind Who’s Who that reads in pop history. And here is STALLION. It is of course clear that this version is a bit harder than some country giants.
How is such a story to be assessed? One thing is clear: anyone who hates Christmas music can almost only access the KING DIAMOND cover. Indeed, that has succeeded extremely well. The opener is also an original composition that sounds a lot like HELLOWEEN and is also good. There is also a cover and a medley of classic radio hits. And I think: the people of Baden-Wrttemberg do a great job. For my part, I like to listen to Christmas songs and find the interpretations very successful. And I think STALLION is good; The troupe is also great live, I like all the studio releases. One downer: “Chrismatized” is unfortunately only available on vinyl, or as a download or stream. So for me as a CD collector this EP is nonexistent. Kind of a shame. I should have got it.
- Jonathan Walzer