Every year between December 1st and December 25th we are bombarded with Christmas songs which, although sometimes nostalgic and heartwarming, are really lame, cheesy, and kind of annoying when you've been hearing them for years and years.
This is when a group like Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes in handy.
TSO sound pretty much like Savatage with an orchestra, although the singing and musical style is a nice mixture of different genres and artists, from full-on Metal to Jazz, Choir music to Pop and everything in-between. Essentially they take famous Christmas carols and classical pieces and arrange them into their own Christmas rock operas.
As great and unique as TSO are, sadly this is far from a brilliant album. The musicianship is top notch, and some of the pieces are so beautiful and emotional that it easily makes it worth buying, but unfortunately there are quite a few totally boring and uninspiring songs on here. Most notably for me would be 'Old City Bar'. I'm sure there's meant to be an inspirational message about good will and faith in there somewhere, but it's really just one of a few boring tracks the album has to offer.
On the other hand there is still some truly epic music here as well. Most obvious is probably 'Christmas Eve / Sarajevo 12/24' and 'A Mad Russians Christmas'. Fans of Savatage will surely enjoy these.
In conclusion, I'd say this is a good album, especially if you like Savatage. It's definitely not TSO’s best album, but it sure beats whatever they play on the radio every year.