There is no reason for Christmas not to be metal this year.
As our collective 2020 anger and stress boil over, Christmastime can in no way shape or form be heartwarming or innocent this year. For those who will no doubt roll their eyes at the yearly Christmas anthems, why not give your Christmas a little sadistic flair to honor a sadistic year?
Here are the most hardcore Christmas covers to switch up your holiday cheer into something a little more menacing.
Korn – “Kidnap the Sandy Claws”
Armed with choppy guitars and Jonathan Davis’s deep menacing rap-growl, the dreaded nu-metal rockers are surprisingly no stranger to holiday tunes. From their grizzly take on “Jingle Bells” (mutated into a death metal banger titled “Jingle Balls,”) to their frightening reimagination of “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” Korn, for some reason, knows how to turn Christmas creepy. “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” is by far their catchiest outing, but the whole cantankerous murderer vibe is still pretty intense regardless.
Halford – “Oh Holy Night”
Judas Priest’s Rob Halford absolutely adores Christmas and winter. His third solo outing, titled Halford 3: Winter Songs, is entirely dedicated to churning up some holiday cheer. On his dramatic rendition of “Oh Holy Night,” Halford calls out for the birth of Jesus in an epic way that only a metal icon can.
Alice Cooper – “Santa Claws Is Coming To Town”
Created as part of the rockin’ compilation album We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year, Alice Cooper’s theatrical debauchery is on full display on his rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”
“He knows where you live, he knows that your window is open, he knows what lives under your bed,” Cooper growls before his guitar shreds through a crunchy solo. To be fair, the original premise of Santa Claus is fairly menacing to begin with, so Cooper’s rendition isn’t actually all that radical.
August Burns Red – “Carol of the Bells”
This Christian metalcore group absolutely adores Christmas. So much so that they released an entire Christmas instrumental record in 2012, where the quintet merely thrashes away to everyone’s favorite holiday tracks. But prior to that, the boys actually metalized “Carol of the Bells” back in 2007, the result being one of the most rip-roaring Christmas covers ever.
Amon Amarth – “Viking Christmas”
Amon Amarth is no stranger to grandiosity. The Swedish melodic death metal band is so epic that the band’smoniker is borrowed from the Sindarin name for Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings. On “Viking Christmas,” they transport us to that medieval war-time as they growl and grimace about “crushing skulls” drinking “mead” and pillaging villages. Merry Christmas, indeed.
GWAR – “Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend”
As is customary for GWAR, the quirky monstrous metal group doesn’t celebrate Christmas when we mere mortals do. They don’t really do anything that we mere mortals do, actually. They instead celebrate Yuletide in summer, and they celebrate it with strippers, and they celebrate it all weekend long.