Ragnarok Juletide is a Christmas album – but please read on before running off as this is actually a good album. It’s a project that has been a success for many years in Finland under the ‘Raskasta Joulua’ (‘Heavy Christmas’) banner, and is a symphonic metal project featuring an impressive list of musicians. Among the many singers included are Elize Ryd from Amaranthe, Marco Hietala from Nightwish, Tarot & Northern Kings, Tony Kakko from Sonata Arctica & Northern Kings and Antti Railio (2013 ‘Voice Of Finland’ winner). That’s a pretty impressive lineup even before you look at the rest of the singers and the other musicians.
The project will be touring for more than a month in Finland playing arenas and ice stadiums, but as yet no UK dates have been announced.
This is actually the fourth album from the project – the others being Raskasta Joulua (2004), Raskaampaa Joulua (2009), Raskasta Joulua (2013), but this is the first to be released in the UK.
So, it’s a great lineup of symphonic metal musicians, but can a great lineup stop an album of classic christmas songs sounding awful and cheesy? Well the answer is yes they can – this album has surprised me with just how good it is.
This is a Christmas album that fans of symphonic metal are likely to enjoy – nice guitar work and great vocals give these christmas songs a fresh sound. Well worth a listen.
“Ragnarok Juletide” will be released on 17th November 2014 via Spinefarm records.
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
Erkka Korhonen —guitar, arrangments
Tuomas Wäinölä —guitar
Vili Ollila —keys
Mirka Rantanen —drums
Erkki Silvennoinen —bass