Raskasta Joulua – “Ragnarok Juletide” (2014)

Label: Spinefarm Records

Review by CriX

Raskasta Joulua is a Finnish project that was born 10 years ago and its main inspiration leads to USA’s  Trans-Siberian Orchestra. They propose traditional Christmas songs obviosly with a metal flovour which sees the partecipation (among others) of Marco Hietala from Nightwish, Tony Kakko from Sonata Arctica, Elize Ryd  from Amaranthe, Jarkko Ahola previously with Teräsbetoni,  Voice of Finland 2013‘s winner Antti Railio and many more.

For celebrate the 10th anniversary of this project, the new album “Ragnarok Juletide” will be released by Spinfarm Records on November 11, and it is going to be different from the previous albums  because all the featured songs are sung in English. “Ragnarok Juletide”  starts with the bang because, aside being one of the most popular Christmas songs, “We Celebrate at Christmastime” is an infectious and joyful cover! Don’t get confused by its atmospheric keyboards  intro because “The First Noel” has THE perfect guitar solo and a change of pace that you’ll won’t  be able to resist to do some serious headbanging. For the series ‘you can’t always bang your head’, after the catchiest songs of this release “Here On the Hay” and “Little Drummer Boy”Elize Ryd and Tony Kakko gracefully embellish “Christmas is Here” and god, Elize‘s vocals gives me the goosebumps everytime I listen to it.

To this carillion and keyboards intro segues into one of “Ragnarok Juletide”‘s most dramatic and touching song called “Sylvia’s Song” and people you can’t buy a Christmas themed album without a cover of “White Christmas”. Just forget the old version, Raskasta Joulua deliver one of the best and funny version EVER.  “Ave Maria” deserves a special mention because beside being the closing song, this time the band decided to record the original version of it that turns out to be very noble and ieratic. Every detail  in “Ragnarok Juletide” was painstakingly studied and it’s impeccable in every side of it, the caliber of the artists involved here confirm the high quality of this release.

The album is a rare gem for all the metalheads and we’re assure you that your Christmas will be different and much much more better. The guitarist and the deux ex machina, Erkka Korhonen said: “Even people who haven’t celebrated Christmas for years have found its spirit again through what we do. Since we’ve expanded the vocalist lineup every year, the audience wants to hear our new vocalists on the record. It’ll be fantastic to bring these songs into other countries too”.

Rating – 95/100

 

Tracklist

  1. We Celebrate At Christmastime
  2. The First Noel
  3. Here on the Hay
  4. Little Drummer Boy
  5. The Elf
  6. Christmas Is Here
  7. Sylvia’s Song
  8. White Christmas
  9. Home for Christmas
  10. A Sparrow on a Christmas Morning
  11. Christmas Has Come
  12. Ave Maria

 

Line Up

  • Elize Ryd – Vocals
  • Marco Hietala – Vocals
  • J.P. Leppäluoto – Vocals
  • Tony Kakko – Vocals
  • Jarkko Ahola – Vocals
  • Ari Koivunen – Vocals
  • Pasi Rantanen – Vocals
  • Antti Railio – Vocals
  • Ville Tuomi – Vocals
  • Antony Parviainen – Vocals
  • Tuple Salmela – Vocals
  • Kimmo Blom – Vocals
  • Erkka Korhonen – Guitar and  arrangments
  • Tuomas Wäinölä – Guitar
  • Vili Ollila – Keyboards
  • Erkki Silvennoinen – Bass
  • Mirka Rantanen – Drums

 

Links

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