Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Dec. 24, 2004
Trans-Siberian OrchestraThe Christmas Trilogy (Lava)
The opening trio of tunes on disc one of TSO's The Christmas Trilogy are joyful, spiraling epics you might play at a family gathering on Christmas Eve. Then, just as Grandma's reaching for that second cup of hot cocoa, the fourth song is all, like, "Out of the way, holiday favorites, we came here to rip it up! 1-2-3-4!" And it kicks out four minutes of guitar rock that could wake baby Jesus. This is the give and take of TSO, as witnessed on its new 3-CD/DVD set. Pristine, angelic versions of "The First Noel" and "O' Come All Ye Faithful" tangle with the rock acrobatics of "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24." TSO has never been subtle. For The Christmas Trilogy, group founder Paul O'Neill brought in roughly 100 musicians and singers, including Al Pitrelli, former guitarist for the metal band Savatage. Put this baby in the disc changer at your next holiday party and see who reaches for their air guitar first.