Top positive review
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The strongest TSO album thus far!
on November 27, 2004
TSO finally completes their third album to the Christmas Trilogy they have been planning to complete, and they finish it with a bang! Here is the whole overview of the album...
1. First Noel (Instrumental) - Starts out with nice catchy piano, and into the main melody, and then around 2 minutes into an added part by TSO. Similar to the bridge in "Boughs Of Holly" back on "The Christmas Attic". Then back into the main melody Great guitar work, lots of fast paced soloing with a hard rock touch (like most of the songs on this album are). Great instrumental.
2. The Lost Christmas Eve - Starts with a haunting guitar melody. Then the vocals kick in, and then distortion later on. Great lyrics as well. Then around the 4 minute mark, Bam! The guitar comes back for another round of shredding.
3. Christmas Dreams - A catchy song. Catchy vocals and piano part. Even though there are awesome guitar harmonies in this song the vocals are also great as well, to make this TSO original one of the catchiest yet...
4. Wizards Of Winter (Instrumental) - Right at the beginning, you know this is going to blow up to something big. This song is a battle field for orchestra instruments vs. the electric guitar vs. Piano all competing to gain there own spot of superiority in this song, while the drums and bass act as a peacemaker to even the score. The doubling of violins and guitars later on in the song is fantastic. Absolute Perfection. Amazing song. A real rocker with ALL the instruments rocking out.
5. Remember - Starts out soft, we need something soft after "Wizards Of Winter". Starts with piano and church bells, and then the choir kicks in. A nice choir arrangement which is very soothing to listen to. There just isn't too much to say about this except that it is nice and relaxing to listen to
6. Anno Domine - An other choir piece (highlighting the men), although you do hear women parts kick in very soon. Awesome 4 part harmonies if you like choir pieces, here is another one, with a piano part which will make you smile.
7. Christmas Concerto (Instrumental) - 42 seconds of Brass instruments playing a Christmas Concerto, nothing more... nice little addition to the album
8. Queen Of The Winter Night (Instrumental for the most part) - The rock couldn't be gone for long! Because here it comes again. A very upbeat christmas song especially when it kicks in around 1:10, with the violin and piano playing a melody and the guitar keeping the rhythm. Then a vocal humming notes as the piano repeats the notes that the vocal casts out, more battling, haha. Then back into the upbeatness, almost like a "Boughs Of Holly" or "First Snow" type feel again, (which I love), with more guitar playing that will blow you away!
9. Christmas Nights In Blue - A song about a Christmas night in NYC. A man singing the blues, with a VERY hard rock touch for the blues. I must say, very awesome, piano part in the beginning, VERY bluesy.
10. Christmas Jazz (Instrumental) - An acoustic piece. A Jazz piece with a Christmas type feel. An acoustic guitar with also a bass guitar as well which you can here. Very nice piece. Great work on the guitar
11. Christmas Jam (Instrumental) - WOW! TSO just exploded into Savatage again with this one. Nothing but a hard rock edge to this instrumental. Awesome guitar riff and soloing. Almost doesn't sound like a Christmas song, but this just shows how Hard Rock TSO can be with still being able to tell it's them playing the song! Guitar players, enjoy.
12. Siberian Sleigh Ride (Instrumental) - Don't be fooled by the soft little acoustic intro. guitar players, don't sit down yet. You have another shredder right here!!! SICK guitar work! Almost a Joe Satriani influenced instrumental. It does indeed feel like you are on a sleigh ride riding down a hill to the sweet sounds of that electric guitar screeching out those notes, in a wonderful major key. Nice drum work as well. In fact all of the instruments do an extreme job in this one. Another rocker right here! Absolutely awesome!
13. What Is Christmas? - Back to the vocals, but we are still very upbeat right at the beginning of this song! A great upbeat song with all the instruments included. Starting out with Piano and a Synth, blasting in with violins, bells, guitar, bass, and drums. Then the song takes you from there, with those vocals that double the notes the bells/synth are doing.
14. For The Sake Of Our Brother - A soft one, but you need one after all of that! Wow! A beautiful piano and vocal piece. Also in the middle of the song going into O Come All Ye Faithful. Beautiful vocals. I usually don't say that about TSO vocals. But wow this guy has a beautiful voice, especially when he goes into "O Come All Ye Faithful", just beautiful...
15. Wisdom Of Snow - A piano instrumental. I enjoy listening to this. Not complicated piano work for an experienced player, but the melody, and chords he plays put you in the mood of Christmas like you wouldn't believe. That's what TSO does, all the time, with every album. You can just picture the snow falling while listening to this perfectly.
16. Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) - Starts out with Piano (you can tell trouble is ahead). And you are correct, because here comes a SCREECHING guitar, and a nicely organized piano part, with guitar to pack it up. The guitar gets a little more complicated throughout the song and the song gets a little darker/heavier with guitar as it goes by. Then BOOM! Back into "Christmas Jam" we go!!! Then the GUITAR SHREDS like you wouldn't believe, ALL over again! Just like in Christmas Jam! It's awesome, and unexpected! It then goes back into Wish Liszt and ends with piano and guitar doing part of the original melody. (Instrumental)
17. Back to A Reason (Part II) Yet another nice vocal piece. Sounds like a single almost. Something that would be worthy of being on the radio. I mean to me everything on this album (expecially the crazy instrumentals) should be on the radio. But this one may be one that would be expected by the pop crowd.
Includes Guitar, drums, bass, piano. Mostly piano.
18. Christmas Bells, Carousels and Time (Instrumental) - Church Bells, Synths, and Strings create an intro for the next song. Sounds dark, and very nice...
19. What Child Is This? - Starts out dark from the last track. Vocals kick in. Around a minute or so, the distortion kicks in and things pick up. Much later a choir kicks in and joins in with the upbeat and distorted guitar with piano. Everything together sounds just excellent.
20. O Come All Ye Faithful - Acoustic piece. Just acoustic guitar. Sounds very nice, very well organized.
21. Christmas Canon Rock - starts out with a nice piano and keyboard arrangement. Guitars kick in. Then guitar harmonies kick in. Very nice. Female vocals kick in, very nice too. Choir in the back is very nice. Then the guitar and vocals duel later on, and its absolutely amazing. Awesome Guitar solo yoo.
22. Different Wings - Just acoustic with female vocals. Not much to say except that it sounds very nice and relaxing to listen to, and the acoustic part is awesome, something I would never think of coming up with...let's just leave it at that.
23. Midnight Clear (Acoustic) - an added track. Another acoustic track. Playing the original melody of the song, with a few added licks in there, as TSO always does. Great outro to the album.
And there it is...I love this album, hope I helped.