Halford/Winter Songs

Stepping away from Judas Priest to release his first solo effort in 7 years, Halford stuns the masses by releasing a CD full of traditional Christmas songs. Interspersed with some original content and released in Nov. 2009, this is the self titled monikers third studio release.

Get Into The Spirit—-Beginning with an aggressive tone from the start, the song finds Halford in extreme vocal mode. The lyric is neither here nor there…the vocal delivery and the extreme pace of the music speaks for itself. The chorus is this huge overdone hair metal sounding extravaganza that somehow pleases me very much. The guitar leads and solos are incredible and the song takes on many carnations throughout the 5 minute or so length. This is great!!!

We Three Kings—-So this would seem really odd…..only a great band could pull this off…..the intro is masterful. Halford delivers a vocal that is heavy on histrionics and theatrics. Somehow this comes across as damn catchy and pleasant. The oxymoron of Halford doing something even slight in religious base is interesting. This plays very well!!! This will be one of those secret pleasures….

O Come O Come Emanuel—-With a sound as huge as Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the band is really fantastic. Halford sings of God as naturally as he sang of Nostradamus. The marching percussion of the song makes it a standout….the theatrics of the vocals makes me casually wonder if Halford should try Broadway next?

Winter Song—-Acoustically based and with piano at the onset, the intro is very quiet and snowy. Halford is stripped down vocally and sounds even more theatrical than even the last song. You keep waiting for the song to open up….by the two-minute mark you are afraid it will never happen. The song slowly shows a tad bit of life and you have expectations for a big finish, yet the pace continues…sounding like a throwaway track from Nostradamus. The song finally shows some true emotion and heavier sound by the 31/2 minute mark…to me it falls flat.

What Child Is This?—-With a musical landscape that is very moody and dark, the song moves at an incredibly slow pace. Halford seems to be resting his chops as he again makes you smile on the inside as he sings of Christ and babies with a straight and serious face. This is remarkable….simply because you would expect this to come off as really cheesy and just pure crap….yet the band carries a pace that is majestic and Halford delivers an understated and pleasant vocal. The vocal overlays are incredible and add a nice life to the song.

Christmas For Everyone—-Beginning with an alarming chorus of Christmas bells, the song takes on an almost 50’s beach sound. This comes across as rather cheesy…I expect much more from Rob & Co. I DO NOT LIKE THIS!!!

I Don’t Care—-Taking on a moderate motorcycle brand of metal, the song is gritty and dirty. With a slight blues tinge, Halford sings of holiday themed problems, but your mind just chooses to groove with the bluesy style of the band. The band that is behind Halford never receives enough attention….no matter what band he is fronting. Musically, this is a great song!!

Light Of The World—-At this point, the release manages to lose some momentum. Musically downbeat, the song is saved by the sincere and pained vocal of Halford. The song is pure and innocent and a damn pleasant listen. Halford manages to reach that comfortable middle ground of his vocal…the one that displays the real emotion and feel of the lyric. This is a nice metal ballad that is very well done.

Oh Holy Night—-A little too heavy on the keyboards, the voice is the focal point of the song. This man is incredible…imagine his presence in a Church Choir…LOL!!!!! As the song progresses, so does the majesty of the music and the height of the vocal…Halford holds nothing back and he does not have to. This is remarkable…fantastic and by far a favorite.

O Come All Ye Faithful—-Few would be able to top the masterful Twisted Sister version of this song. Halford manages some really great vocals, but the music falls flat for me….the marching and plodding feel of the music is to pagentry for me. The song has the urge and the need to open up wide but never manages to get to the point that I want them to be at.

*** out of 5



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