It's that time of year again, and that means the Christmas carols are out in full force. Everywhere you go - whether it's doing present shopping, working in retail or generally going anywhere in public, it's hard to avoid getting the things stuck in your head and potentially driving you to insanity.
Thankfully there's some solace in the form of some fantastic metal carol covers out there that you can enjoy without having to sacrifice your festive spirit!
These five records are perfect for adding a forceful kick to your celebrations, or springing on your unsuspecting family members at your Christmas gathering:
August Burns Red - Sleddin' Hill
Pennsylvanian metalcore band August Burns Red are no strangers to the Christmas tradition - the band have been playing annual Christmas shows in their hometown for 12 years, and this year they even just did a Christmas-themed livestream dressed in costumes and everything. Not only that, but they've actually released an entire studio album of Christmas carols covers. You've gotta love their dedication to the theme, and the music is bloody excellent too.
Listen to their apocalyptic take on 'Carol of the Bells' below, then get to spinning the rest of Sleddin' Hill!
Rob Halford - Celestial
Judas Priest legend Rob Halford actually released a new Christmas album in late 2019 called Celestial, which is a follow-up to his 2009 record Halford III: Winter Songs, so the guy is clearly a fan of celebrating the season.
As with Winter Songs, Celestial features both original tracks from Halford along with his raucous takes on some Christmas classics like 'Deck the Halls' and 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing'. Can you believe Rob is 69 years old and still putting out such fire? Unbelievable.
Christopher Lee - A Heavy Metal Christmas
Christopher Lee's deep, booming voice was perfect for playing characters as such as Count Dooku in Star Wars or Saruman in Lord of the Rings, but the Hollywood legend also gifted us with some awesome metal music over the last decade before his passing, including two Christmas EP's which have found themselves in heavy rotation this time each year.
Christopher passed away in 2015 at the ripe old age of 93, but his legacy lives on through his badass tunes; there's no better way to remember him than by spinning his music and banging your head!
Austrian Death Machine - A Very Brutal Christmas
The side project of As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis, Austrian Death Machine somehow managed to combine Arnold Schwarzenegger and Christmas together, which makes for a wild listen. Yes, we know - A Very Brutal Christmas isn't really an album per se, with only three tracks on the release and only one of them actually being a carol cover ('Jingle Bells'), but that one cover is worth its spot on this list alone.
Also, the other tracks 'Get to the Choppa' and a cover of Judas Priest's 'Hellbent for Leather' make this an extremely fun ride.
We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year is a little bit different to the others on this list - while it is an album full of metal Christmas covers, every song on this 2008 record is played by a different supergroup of metal and hard rock musicians!
The result ends up being a who's who of the genre with names popping up like Ray Luzier (Korn), Dez Fafara (DevilDriver), Vinny Appice (Dio, Black Sabbath), Alice Cooper, John 5 and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) to name a few.
Our personal favourite has gotta be 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer', which features Dez Fafara at the helm delivering some savage vocals. Have a listen:
Got any other go-to metal Christmas songs you like to spin? Let us know!