It’s not hard to miss that there has been so many adaptions of A Christmas Carol, I don’t personally mind as it’s one of my favourite stories. Alongside The Muppet Christmas Carol and Blackadder Christmas Carol, I now have a new favourite adaption of this Charles Dickens classic to add to my list. It’s not a film or TV adaption, it’s an album by Swedish Power Metallers MAJESTICA and it’s one AVANTASIA wish they had written. Let me explain.
This festive metal adaption of this tale kicks off with the title track and A Christmas Story. The title track is on par with the start of a film or stage show. You know that excitement and anticipation you get when you’re waiting for something to start? This is exactly how I felt when listening to this track. Composers Danny Elfman and John Williams come to mind as well when listening to this.
When basing the album on any kind of story, I can imagine there is a lot of things to think about. How are the characters feeling at this particular point? What are they thinking? What’s surrounding them? Throughout the album, MAJESTICA consistently represent the story and character’s emotions perfectly through the album’s stellar song writing and incredible music arrangements to match the moods of the characters and situations.
You already feel spooked in the first few seconds of Ghost Of Marley. The vocal duet between Tommy Johnsson as Scrooge and Chris David as Marley is outstanding; their voices are powerful, and these are backed up by stunning choirs. This song also showcases the band’s stellar song writing as they tell the story of this important interaction, lyrics such as “Marley: These chains were forged by our act of greed, can’t you see yours will come” reinforce this. I always thought of Deck The Halls as pleasant and upbeat, Ghost Of Marley takes the tune of this classic carol down a sinister road and it works. This is the first duet MAJESTICA have done, after this one I hope they do more.
The goings on in The Joy Of Christmas is something that isn’t often told in the many retellings of the story or even the original novel. From what I understand, it’s an account from Bob Cratchit as he talks about Scrooge. The stunning music and lyrics emulate this sadness he has for Scrooge whilst keeping hope that he finds happiness one day. This isn’t your ordinary metal ballad that tugs the heartstrings, it does so much more.
If Sweeney Todd and The Nightmare Before Christmas merged together, this should give you a rough idea on what Ghost Of Christmas To Come sounds like. The gothic yet whimsical voice work and music arrangements do a great job emulating that fear and desperation as Scrooge learns of his fate if he doesn’t change his ways.
It ends joyfully and triumphantly on A Christmas To Come and A Majestic Christmas Theme. From the moment this album was announced, it was highly anticipated and rightly so. Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas, this is an outstanding album that fans and new listeners will rejoice.
Words: Lotty Whittingham
A Christmas Carol will be released 4th December 2020 via Nuclear Blast Records.
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