|1. An Angel Came Down|
|2. O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night (Instrumental)|
|3. A Star To Follow|
|4. First Snow (Instrumental)|
|5. The Silent Nutcracker (Instrumental)|
|6. A Mad Russian's Christmas (Instrumental)|
|7. The Prince Of Peace|
|8. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental)|
|9. Good King Joy|
|11. The First Noel (Instrumental)|
|12. Old City Bar|
|13. Promises To Keep|
|14. This Christmas Day|
|15. An Angel Returned|
|16. O Holy Night|
|17. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen|
In fact, although this is supposed to be a Christmas album, I find I can listen to it year 'round (as I am right now and it's August 31st).
You probably already know this from reading other reviews, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is the alter ego of Savatage, a mostly heavy metal/progressive rock band whose albums tend to lean toward the "concept" side of creativity, which is to say they're generally quite a few notches above most music these days...and often contain flashes of brilliance not found anywhere else on the planet.
There's a feeling I get every year around Christmastime, and TSO "director" Paul O'Neill (who produces Savatage's albums) captured it exactly on this CD. As a matter of fact, on TSO's web site, O'Neill writes, "I love writing stories and I've always been staggeringly fascinated with Christmas. It's such a magical time of the year. If you're walking down a New York City street around Christmastime and it starts to snow, the potential for magic can be felt in the air. That's what I tried to capture on this record, while bringing a fresh musical treatment to the holiday."
To capture that "magical" feeling on Christmas Eve and Other Stories, O'Neill took mostly traditional Christmas songs and infused them with electric guitar power and energy to create a majestic, emotional, captivating sound that tends to overwhelm me with emotion or awe (such as on the incredible "A Star To Follow" track or in the dynamic "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" track, which also appeared on Savatage's Dead Winter Dead CD).Read more ›