August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album – August Burns Red
Who doesn’t like a little holiday music with a breakdown? Okay, I’m sure there are some people that cringe at that idea, but I sure enjoy it. After years and years and years of the same old boring holiday music people can grow a little tiresome of the same thing over and over.
In the past August Burns Red has toyed with a holiday song or two, some of which are featured on this pre-holiday release. Even though this album is branded from August Burns Red don’t expect to hear many vocals arise from it. It’s pretty much an instrumental album with some pretty sick guitar riffs and even crazier drumming from one of my favorites, Matt Greiner. That guy just slams away at his set like it’s nothing. I love it. More china!
August Burns Red revamps some of the classic holiday songs with their metal edge, but there are also one or two originals that they’ve tossed in with this barrage of holiday spirit. They’ve begun their new album with “Flurries,” one of their very own. I have to give them credit for this one, it’s pretty catchy.
“Flurries” starts out a little slower and casually builds up into the solid sound August Burns Red has claimed over the course of their previous albums. After about a minute intro, “Flurries” adds a little snarl while mixing their chunky guitar breakdowns with the common holiday bells you hear chiming in the background of every holiday or Christmas movie you’ve ever seen. It creates a very cool effect, and out of the many new “original” holiday songs coming out of artists these days, I’d say “Flurries” is more on the enjoyable side, even for the non-metal head.
Even as August Burns Red impresses with their new original, they blew me away even more as they jammed their way right on into “Frosty the Snowman”. The breakdowns on this album are sick. They’re simple and enjoyable. For the most part “Frosty the Snowman” is left in tact and could be identified by even the youngest child, but August Burns Red sticks their metal wizardry on it and adds their own twist to make it their own.
Things really get serious when listeners find their way over to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. This one melted Frosty right on out of my ears. As soon as they jumped into this track I was immediately sold. These guys did a fantastic job mixing their own style with these classic holiday tunes. Finally something I can jam out to without being put to sleep with the same old holiday instrumentals.
I bet you haven’t heard “Jingle Bells” like you can hear it from August Burns Red. I was blown away. “Jingle Bells” gives you a little change up in the beginning as they start off a little more acoustically, eventually changing into their fast paced style that dominates this entire holiday album. “Jingle Bells” isn’t as off the wall as others, but it will surely take you by surprise. Hey, the rest of the family might even enjoy this one. Just don’t tell them the boys from August Burns Red are behind it.
Not one but two originals show up on August Burns Red’s holiday album. Amazing. “Sleddin’ Hill” isn’t as insane as “Flurries” but it still does the trick. I think I can hear a banjo in there too…? Next to some laid back drums and acoustic guitar it sounds pretty good.
From way back when August Burns Red released “Messengers” you might remember they had a little side album to go along with it (an EP). “Lost Messengers: The Outtakes” featured “Carol of the Bells”, showing they had some thoughts about messing around with holiday music and adding a little more cheer to metal heads’ end of the year celebrations.
Coincidentally that version of “Carol of the Bells” was included on “Sleddin’ Hill”. Although it was previously released, I don’t think many fans really knew of the song so it was a good move to include such a fantastic version of the song on the new album. August Burns Red’s version of the song isn’t anything out of this world, but it’s got the ABR twist on it and is worth checking out.
“We Wish You A Merry Christmas” closes out the holiday album in festive fashion. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that song end an album or a movie… It’s just a great way to say thanks to the fans and close out the album with a big bang.
Overall I think August Burns Red did a great job with the holiday album. Metal heads and normal music fans will be satisfied with the new music and I would even go as far to say this might be something for the whole family. If you and your friends/family are sick of the boring holiday music played year after year and want to spice things up a bit I suggest you bust out this album and show them what’s up. Some might love it. I know my own Mom did. I think it’s pretty cool when you can say your Mom rocked out to August Burns Red’s new holiday album.
Find “Sleddin Hill” on iTunes, Amazon, BestBuy etc. And I’m sure it will be in stores closer to the snowy season.
August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album – August Burns Red 4/5 Stars Essentials: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Flurries, Winter Wonderland, O Come O Come Emmanuel