Review Summary: Christmas music that you can’t listen too with your grandparents...
Christmas. The time of solidarity and joy. That’s why Solid State brought out a Christmas compilation, to make the joy even bigger. It starts off cozy, with an acoustic guitar playing the first notes of ‘Joy to the World’. You start to clap along, but suddenly the guitars and drums kick in and the atmosphere has been changed completely. The song has the August Burns Red vibe that people love or hate. It’s not really original by their standards, but it’s still enjoyable, just like the song ‘Flurries’, which already made an appearance on their own Christmas compilation Sleddin’ Hill
. Fit for a King on the other hand do not play ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ in their main style. It’s really peaceful and calm, with acoustic guitars and clean vocals. That’s something they never did before.
Most artists don’t follow the path of Fit for a King and play the covers in their studio album style. Wolves at the Gate, For Today and The Ongoing Concept didn’t make the covers that original, but that doesn’t make them worse. Some cool elements were thrown in, the August Burns Red-like harmonics in ‘The King’ and the improved drumming and guitar parts on ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’ are the main things that stand out.
What stands out as well is the appearance of Memphis May Fire on this album. They aren’t a part of Solid State Records but are still included on the album. Their cover of ‘He Came With Love’ is totally different from what MMF normally does. No down tuned guitars or double bass, only symphonics and acoustic guitars. It’s a nice cover, but sadly doesn’t go anywhere, the atmosphere stays the same the whole song, unlike Fit for a King’s cover, where there’s still a climax with big drums and electric guitars, and even some unclean vocals.
Lesser known bands like Forvermore and Becoming the Archetype covered ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O Holy Night’. They both play death metal/core with some progressive elements. The covers themselves are really original, and probably a bit too brutal for a christmas compilation, as there are no elements of happiness to be found in the songs. That doesn’t make them bad at all, they could even be the most enjoyable tracks on the record, depending on your musical taste. They both have a quiet intro, but explode into a christmas party of big riffs and hard hitting drumbeats. The main difference is that Forevermore doesn’t use vocals, whereas ‘Becoming the Archetype’ does.
If you’re into the music that Solid State has been putting out, this record is heavily recommended. It has everything you want from Christian metalcore. The bands actually put effort in their covers, which you can really hear. The production on all tracks is great too. All things combined, this compilation is very enjoyable and has some original elements.