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Stallion - Christmatized Award winner

Stallion
Christmatized
by Mark Machlay at 05 January 2021, 6:49 AM

With the gusto and bravado of a biker gang, swaggering around in their studded leather and smelling strong of the exhaust of their motorcycles, STALLION rides in from southern Germany to return to the classical speed/thrash metal of 80s and thrust it on a modern day audience. Since the band’s founding in 2013, they released three Eps before releasing their debut full-length “Rise and Ride” in 2014. Getting generally average to good reviews, the band were able to continue on, releasing another album “From the Dead” in 2017. This got them even more attention and the band would release their latest full length “Slaves of Time” in early 2020. This album ending up being celebrated by both the press and fans alike and they endeavored to embark on a robust tour to further promote. Unfortunately, as most everyone knows, the global COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to everyone’s touring pans and their release tour and other shows had to be canceled.

Little did anyone know, STALLION had been waiting for just such an opportunity. Because of the global shutdown, the band was able to implement their long-cherished plan to create a special Christmas compilation – a combination of old school metal and traditional Christmas songs in their “STALLION-style. Guitarist Axxl acted once again as producer and carefully crafted an original, two covers and a medley of covers for their “Christmatized” EP. Proving the band’s impressive attention to detail, in addition to the songs, the package will be released in an elaborately compiled “Christmatized” Vinyl box set limited to 250 which includes a knitted sweater, STALLION Christmas Ornament Balls, Cookie Cutter and a special patch.

As elaborate and special as that special box set sounds to a metalhead who loves Christmas, I’m here to critique the music, not special goodies. I am happy to report, the tongue-in-cheek natured delivery, top-notch production value, and amazing talent is proudly displayed on the “Christmatized” songs. STALLION crafted an excellent pick-me-up after enduring the last awful year. From the start, their original composition “Santa (Can You Hear Me)” begins with Pauly saying, coyly, “Woah, it’s Santa Claus! Hey, Santa, wait! I’ve got a special wish for Christmas”. You know this is just going to be a fun, merry romp to lift your spirits. It’s got the harmonic bones of a classic metal hit with some glam metal glitz but the tongue-in-cheek nature of the band sends it to a whole new level and may bump “Merry Axmas” – a guitar hero instrumental journey of Christmas classics – off my annual Christmas playlist. Then comes a KING DIAMOND cover of “No Presents for Christmas” which further shows off Pauly’s already dazzling vocal acrobatics.

Then you’re treated to a medley of pop tunes including an antidote to the incessant and insipid MARIA CAREY song “All I Want For Christmas” that gets replayed every year and makes you want to throw your radio out the window. Thankfully, there is this version and it’s amazing, so open your windows proudly in those freezing temperatures and blast this version to drown out that loathsome CAREY song as you’re traveling through the snowy streets. They then seamlessly blend into a speed metal version of JOHN LENNON’s “War is Over” and get even faster before ending the medley with a rendition of the other major THE BEATLES composer, PAUL MCCARTNEY’s “Wonderful Christmas Time”. They finish really strong with a cover of the evergreen “Let it Snow”. STALLION delivers every line and guitar solo in confident, assured brilliance in their perfect razor-edge metal renditions. You’ve made a new fan my friends, continue your heavy dominance in the New Year!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Santa (Can You Hear Me)
2. No Presents For Christmas (KING DIAMOND cover)
3. Christmatized (A Very Merry Medley)
4. Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! (Sammy Cahn and Julie Styne cover)
Lineup:
Pauly – Vocals
Axxl – Guitars
Clode – Guitars
Stampfe – Bass
Aaron – Drums
Record Label: Glory Stables Records
     


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