Symphonic Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
Jon Oliva - Composer
Paul O'Neill - Composer, lyricist, producer
Robert Kinkel - Keyboards, music director
Peter Shaw - Vocals/Heather Gunn - Vocals/Andrew Ross - Vocals/Steena Hernandez - Vocals/Erin Henry - Vocals/ Jay Pierce - Vocals/Jennifer Cella - Vocals/Steve Broderick - Vocals/Danielle Landherr - Vocals Bryan Hicks - Narrator
Al Pitrelli - Lead guitar/Chris Caffery - Guitar/Alex Skolnick - Guitar/Angus Clark - Guitar
Johnny Lee Middleton - Bass/Chris Altenhoff - Bass
Jeff Plate - Drums/John O. Reilly - Drums Mee
Eun Kim - Keyboards/Jane Mangini - Keyboards/Derek Wieland - Keyboards
Mark Wood - Violin/Anna Phoebe - Violin
Zachary Stevens - Vocals/Tany Ling - Vocals/James Lewis - Vocals/ David Z - Bass/Daryl Pediford - Vocals/Maxx-Vocals
"Christmas Canon Rock"
Backing Vocals - Danielle Lander , Jeffrey Stackhouse , LaTasha Spencer , Nancy Jackson , Peggy Harley , Peter Valentine , Timothy Carosi , Zak Stevens/ Cello [Solo] - Mary Wooten /Choir [Child] - Adrian Ross , Beth Butler , Cabiria Jacobson , Caroline Ross , Joseph Murray , Nigel Tangredi , Rachel Rosenfield , Warren Wilson/ Co-producer, Engineer [Additional] - Bob Kinkel /Conductor [Child Choir] - Anthony Piccolo/ Engineer [Additional] - Dominick Barbera , John Seymour , Steve Sola /Engineer [Assistant] - Ben Arrindell , James Carabello , Matt Thrasher /French Horn [Solo] - John Clark /Mastered By - Kevin Hodge /Producer - Paul O'Neill/ Recorded By, Mixed By - Dave Wittman /Vocals [Solo] - Babi Floyd , John Margolis , Ken Williams , Marlene Danielle , Michael Fawcette , Thomas Faresse/ Written By [Music] - Bob Kinkel , Jon Oliva/ Written By [Music], Written By [Lyrics] - Paul O'Neill
01 An Angel Came Down
02 O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night (Instrumental)
03 A Star To Follow
04 First Snow (Instrumental)
05 The Silent Nutcracker (Instrumental)
06 A Mad Russian's Christmas (Instrumental)
07 The Prince Of Peace
08 Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental)
09 Good King Joy
11 The First Noel (Instrumental)
12 Old City Bar
13 Promises To Keep
14 This Christmas Day
15 An Angel Returned
16 O Holy Night
17 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Link to download:
Is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Eve and Other Stories a holiday rock opera? Or perhaps just a holiday prog-rock disc? Or maybe it's New Age? Whatever the case may be, this isn't your typical Christmas album. Filled with electric guitar solos, plenty of synthesized keyboards, a children's choir, and lively drumming, Christmas Eve can only be compared to one other record, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's other holiday disc, The Christmas Attic. On this CD, angelic vocal solos (on numbers such as "The Prince of Peace") are interspersed with driving instrumentals. Sentimental, occasionally bombastic, but as high-concept as holiday albums can be. --Jason Verlinde
"From the enchanting cover art right through to the last notes of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," the last track, Christmas Eve and Other Stories is a rare delight.In fact, although this is supposed to be a Christmas album, I find I can listen to it year 'round (as I am right now and it's August 31st).
You probably already know this from reading other reviews, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is the alter ego of Savatage, a mostly heavy metal/progressive rock band whose albums tend to lean toward the "concept" side of creativity, which is to say they're generally quite a few notches above most music these days...and often contain flashes of brilliance not found anywhere else on the planet.
There's a feeling I get every year around Christmastime, and TSO "director" Paul O'Neill (who produces Savatage's albums) captured it exactly on this CD. As a matter of fact, on TSO's web site, O'Neill writes, "I love writing stories and I've always been staggeringly fascinated with Christmas. It's such a magical time of the year. If you're walking down a New York City street around Christmastime and it starts to snow, the potential for magic can be felt in the air. That's what I tried to capture on this record, while bringing a fresh musical treatment to the holiday."
To capture that "magical" feeling on Christmas Eve and Other Stories, O'Neill took mostly traditional Christmas songs and infused them with electric guitar power and energy to create a majestic, emotional, captivating sound that tends to overwhelm me with emotion or awe (such as on the incredible "A Star To Follow" track or in the dynamic "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" track, which also appeared on Savatage's Dead Winter Dead CD).
"A Star To Follow" is amazing. Savatage occasionally creates counterpoint/chorus arrangements that truly rise above the norm, such as the title track to The Wake of Magellan, for example. Or "Morphine Child" from their latest CD Poets and Madmen. "A Star To Follow" gives me the chills every time I hear it.
This CD isn't just Christmas tunes put to heavy metal. It's so much more than that. There's a softness and innocence, maybe even a reverence, about these arrangements (like on the delicate classical guitar instrumental "The Silent Nutcracker") -- even when such songs are placed back-to-back against tracks like "A Mad Russian's Christmas," which begins with a plaintive piano melody that's soon punctuated by bone-crushing Metallica-esque power chords.
Another example of one style of music placed like bookends against another is "Prince of Peace" immediately followed by Savatage's "Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24," one of the most powerful songs you'll ever hear -- Christmas or otherwise.
I can't say enough about this CD. It's the kind of album that comes along truly once in a lifetime. Even if TSO never tops this performance (The Christmas Attic and Beethoven's Last Night are noble efforts, but they don't hold a candle to this album), they will have served us well by creating Christmas Eve and Other Stories -- one of my favorite CDs of all time."
"Well, usually around December sometime this album and its worthy successor become my two favorites to listen to - not to say you won't find me listening to it throughout the rest of the year, either. The album's 17 tracks, every single one of them excellent, are divided nearly equally between instrumental and non-instrumental tracks. The songs tell the story of an angel's quest and a runaway returned home for the holidays in an implied rock opera style. In doing so, Paul O'Neill and company are able to somehow capture the magic and spirit of the season with incredible accuracy. The style of the music varies greatly, from light to heavy and everything in between. Here you'll find piano / vocal driven Broadway moments, string filled symphonic moments, solo-guitar laden heavy metal moments, not to mention the tasteful inclusion of a children's choir and a song each to touch on folk and blues. Many of the album's melodies are borrowed from Christmas favorites, meaning plenty of the tunes will be very familiar to even the first time listener, and the original material on the album is just as spectacular as the reworkings of the classics. With at least six different lead singers, the album is both a musical and vocal treat. A definite essential."
THE CHRISTMAS ATTICK (1998)
01 The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve
02 Boughs Of Holly
03 The World That She Sees
04 Midnight Christmas Eve
05 The March Of The Kings/Hark The Herald Angel
06 The Three Kings And I (What Really Happened)
07 Christmas Canon
08 Joy/Angels We Have Heard On High
09 Find Our Way Home
10 Appalachian Snowfall
11 The Music Box
12 The Snow Came Down
13 Christmas In The Air
14 Dream Child (A Christmas Dream)
15 An Angel's Share
16 Music Box Blues
Link to download:
Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber will discover he has a soul mate in one Paul O'Neill, the "conductor" of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. A dyed-in-the-wool sentimentalist, O'Neill presents this pop-rock tale from 1998 with all the glitz and glory of a Lloyd Webber Broadway show. Playing to the common themes of the season through a tale about a little angel sent to Earth to leave behind a gift, O'Neill creates a big-sounding production heavy on lead guitars and orchestral filigree. There are pieces of familiar Christmas carols and hymns and a handful of unembellished acoustic numbers to offset the brighter parts of the musical melodrama. While his singers and players are all professional sounding, O'Neill often mistakes sentiment as a grand gesture when it needs to be something less ambitious or noticeable. Nonetheless, there's a TV special or Broadway show wrapped up in this attic and it won't go away until it gets done. --Martin Keller
"One of the things I love so much about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra is that they give you a complete experience that encompasses a full range of emotions. There are the "purely fun" songs, the tearjerkers, the thought-provokers, the nostalgia-inducers, etc, etc. Some people here have complained about the mix of genres included on this album. It's true, if you like albums that sound exactly the same from one song to the next, forget this one. On the other hand, if you like great variety, then click "ADD TO SHOPPING CART" right now. Almost every song is in a different style, and sung by different singers, and yet it all gels together extremely well to feel like one coherent performance. The musicianship is first-rate throughout (though I'll admit some of the vocalists feel the need to "act" their parts a little too... um... "operatically"?)
Others have complained that it's too sugar-coated. Well, duh, it's a Christmas album-- sugar is pretty much mandated-- and if you're the sort of person who would even consider buying a Christmas album, then you're obviously not opposed to sentimentality. If you want to hear this band doing some music with more of an edge, go out and buy any of the albums they released under the name "Savatage." The fact that they're able to release TSO albums AND the hard-rock/metal albums of Savatage is a true testament to this band's versatility.
Unfortunately, this album is not quite as strong as TSO's first Christmas album, "Christmas Eve And Other Stories," mostly because it feels a bit too much like it's trying to redo that one. Certain songs are almost direct equivalents, and I often found myself thinking, "Ah, this songs is this album's version of that other song from their first album." Still, it's a great album, and well worth having for anyone who enjoys holiday music. With the vast variety of music styles, there's something for everybody on this CD."
"I'm definitely a fan of the "rock opera"....whether it be The Who's "Tommy" or "Quadrophenia"...or "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Hair" ! So...although I discovered the "Trans Siberian Orchestra" only this holiday season...I immediately became comfortable and hooked when I bought and listened to "Christmas Eve And Other Stories".As a result...I promptly ordered "The Christmas Attic" and "The Lost Christmas Eve" ! I haven't listened to "Lost" yet....but "The Christmas Attic" is absolutely INCREDIBLE ! I LOVE traditional holiday music...but TSO's work is a Christmas adventure...musically and lyrically...it's Christmas music...but it's fresh and different ! If you like metal AND broadway musicals without the "corniness" some had...order any or all of TSO's Christmas CD's...you'll feel a new kind of holiday spirit and they'll become a part of your holiday enjoyment Christmas after Christmas. Turn on the Christmas lights...mix a holiday drink and enjoy "The Christmas Attic" ! Happy Holidays everyone !"
BEETHOVEN'S LAST NIGHT (2000)
Bass - Johnny Lee Middleton/ Co-producer - Robert Kinkel /Drums - Jeff Plate/ Guitar - Al Pitrelli , Chris Caffery , Paul O'Neill /Piano - Jon Oliva , Robert Kinkel/ Producer - Paul O'Neill /Vocals - Dave Diamond (tracks: 13) , Doug Thoms (tracks: 13) , Guy Lemonnier (tracks: 8) , Jamie Torcellini (tracks: 2, 4) , Jody Ashworth (tracks: 4, 6, 7, 17, 19, 21) , Jon Oliva (tracks: 5, 20) , Patti Russo (tracks: 10, 12, 15) , Sylvia Tosun (tracks: 22) , Zak Stevens (tracks: 13)
01 Overture (2:56)
02 Midnight (2:10)
03 Fate (1:14)
04 What Good This Deafness (1:46)
05 Mephistopheles (3:43)
06 What Is Eternal (4:39)
07 The Moment (2:47)
08 Vienna (3:32)
09 Mozart / Figaro (3:18)
10 The Dreams Of Candlelight (4:05)
11 Requiem (The Fifth) (2:58)
12 I'll Keep Your Secrets (4:15)
13 The Dark (4:23)
14 Für Elise (0:41)
15 After The Fall (4:34)
16 A Last Illusion (5:26)
17 This Is Who You Are (3:58)
18 Beethoven (2:56)
19 Mephistopheles' Return (4:25)
20 Misery (2:44)
21 Who Is This Child (4:33)
22 A Final Dream (1:56)
Link to download:
Trans-Siberian Orchestra's first two recordings, a pair of late-'90s Christmas albums, hinted that some day TSO might evolve into a latter-day ELO or even an ELP. Instead, this overwrought concept album shares more common ground with ALW (Andrew Lloyd Webber) or Meat Loaf. TSO, in fact, aims to retrace a path once traveled by producer Jim Steinman, the mastermind behind the theatrical, over-the-top rock opuses that briefly transformed Mr. Loaf and Bonnie Tyler ("Total Eclipse of the Heart") into mass-audience favorites. TSO ringmaster Paul O'Neill (once a guitarist in Broadway productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair) here ditches the holiday themes and instead scores a simple-minded fairy tale (whose text spans a 32-page CD booklet) that involves Beethoven's soul, the devil, and an imaginary Symphony No. 10. Too often, the music is the servant of the project's thin plot, and the rock-classical instrumental bravura that initially attracted public attention to TSO (at times, the group sounds like a symphonic Boston) is obscured by overheated vocal rantings. Meanwhile, the guitar-driven rendering of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ("Requiem") is mundane. Yet, one vocal track, "After the Fall" with singer Patti Russo, jumps off the record as a Tyler-esque knockout, raging with emotion and melodic luster. It doesn't save the album, but it helps. --Terry Wood
"To my great relief, TSO returns to form (and better) with Beethoven's Last Night. Their 1998 release, The Christmas Attic, was enjoyable but a let-down: it seemed like a rehash of their first album instead of a new idea.But Beethoven's Last Night is something else altogether. Across 22 tracks (73 minutes of music), TSO unfolds the harrowing story of Beethoven's last night on earth, including remembrances of his love and life, deals with the devil, and the saving grace of Fate. Like most of O'Neil's writing for TSO and Savatage, it's a tear-jerker and bound to leave you with a smile on your face.
The songwriting is volcanic, bombastic but widely varied; the pounding heavy metal that introduces Requiem (The Fifth) is interrupted by a ghostly children's choir, creating a goosebump-inducing shock. I got chills up my spine at least five times during the course of the album. The musical asides - little bits of the Moonlight Sonata and countless others by Beethoven and Mozart, polyharmonic choral sections, a children's choir (only very briefly, don't worry) -- make for a rich, multilayered repeat listen.
The vocal performances are stunning in their perfection. Beethoven sings like an operatic baritone, Theresa veers between rock siren and delicate soprano, Mephistopheles sneers and rasps, Twist (Fate's deformed son) mocks and leers, and in the end Fate sings us to sleep with a simple, beautiful lullaby.
Paul O'Neil's songwriting can be uneven -- you wince a bit when he rhymes "dismembered/remembered" and "minute/in it," and intros a song with an 80's-power-ballad drum fill -- but he hits much more often than he misses, and the music and vocals are good enough to gloss over the rough patches.
Who is the market for this album? A heavy metal fan with a weakness for musical theater. A classical music fan who likes Andrew Lloyd Weber and can stand an electric guitar or two. Someone who isn't put off by serious emotion and high drama. And someone with a good attention span -- the album demands to be listened to all the way through reading along in the (20+ page)liner notes, at least once. Think of it as the soundtrack to the best Broadway musical/rock opera that never was. If you like the genre, you'll love this."
"If you don't end up crying by the end of this album, you have no heart! This CD is simply amazing! I love rock operas and concept albums, whether they be done by Savatage (who are pretty much the same guys that are in Trans-Siberian Orchestra but with one (and sometimes two) singers) Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Queensryche, Iced Earth, or the many other bands who have caught on to the idea. This has got to be The Rock Opera of all rock operas! I don't really feel like taking the time to tell you all what it's about, so I'll just say that it's about Beethoven's Last Night! The band intigrates a lot of Beethoven's music into the album wonderfully, though most of the music is original. Paul O'Neill is an extremely gifted lyricist and his lyrics shine on this album. This album is extremely moving and intelligent (which most music today lacks). There are very slow, emotional songs and some more upbeat ones, but this is a pretty steady album and really needs to be listened to from start to finish without interuptions. Highlights are: Mephistopheles, What Is Eternal, The Moment, The Dreams of Candlelight, Requiem (the Fifth), I'll Keep Your Secrets (my personal favorite on the album), Who Is This Child, and A Final Dream. This album is loaded with emotion, intelligence, and extreme talent. If you're into rock operas, progressive rock, or just thought-provoking music in general, I highly recommend this!"
Bass - David Z. , Jeff Allegue , Johnny Lee Middleton /Co-producer - Robert Kinkel /Drums - Jeff Plate , John O. Reilly , Takanori Niida /Engineer - Dave Wittman /Guitar - Alex Skolnick , Angus Clark , Chris Caffery , Tristan Avakian/ Guitar [Rythm] - Paul O'Neill /Guitar, Keyboards - Al Pitrelli /Horns - John Clark / Keyboards - Carmine Giglio , Mee Eun Kim /Piano - Jane Mangini /Piano, Keyboards - Jon Oliva , Robert Kinkel /Producer - Paul O'Neill /Whistle - Amy Helm
01 Faith Noel (4:32)
02 The Lost Christmas Eve (5:33)
03 Christmas Dreams (3:54)
04 Wizards In Winter (3:05)
05 Remember (3:25)
06 Anno Domine (2:13)
07 Christmas Concerto (0:42)
08 Queen Of The Winter Night (3:11)
09 Christmas Nights In Blue (4:18)
10 Christmas Jazz (2:16)
11 Christmas Jam (3:47)
12 Siberian Sleigh Ride (3:08)
13 What Is Christmas? (2:51)
14 For The Sake Of Our Brother (3:09)
15 The Wisdom Of Snow (2:01)
16 Wish Liszt (Toy Shop Madness) (3:42)
17 Back To A Reason (Part II) (4:52)
18 Christmas Bells, Carousels & Time (1:04)
19 What Child Is This? (5:57)
20 O' Come All Ye Faithful (1:26)
21 Christmas Canon Rock (5:02)
22 Different Wings (2:44)
23 Midnight Clear (1:38)
Link to download:
If you're looking for something out of the ordinary for the season, The Lost Christmas Eve is for you. This final entry in the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's rock opera trilogy is perhaps their most ambitious and complex in the series. Like its predecessors, The Lost Christmas Eve tells the story of heaven's youngest angel called back to earth to continue Jesus' unfinished work. This time he lands in New York City to help redeem not only Christmas, but the soul of humankind itself with a story line that rivals anything Frank Capra ever dreamt up for the big screen. Conceived and composed by Aerosmith and Savatage producer Paul O'Neill, most of the song were penned O'Neill, Robert Kinkle, and Savatage founder and keyboardist Jon Oliva, and features the rest of the seminal Florida metal band on the record. While not as bombastic as Savatage's fourteen rock epics which touch on topics as diverse as the Russian Revolution, the 15th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan's descendants, and Beethoven's last night, the record still has a grandiose, almost over-arching baroque feel, with its prog-rock organ swells and electronic alchemy. The best moments are during the soaring instrumentals, on tracks like the "Wisdom of Snow," "Wish Litz," "Christmas Bells, Carousels & Time," and the majestic rendering of "O Come All Ye Faithful." --Jaan Uhelszki
Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is back with third and final volume of their Christmas trilogy, The Lost Christmas. The long awaited follow up to the double platinum "The Christmas Attic," features their trademark symphonic rock," which fuses elements of hard rock, Broadway, R&B, and classical music into a unique and distinctive blend of original compositions, symphony excerpts and holiday standards.
"Humbug. Even before Halloween treats can be digested the endless Christmas tunes come calling. Thanksgiving feasts give way to carols and jingles and sing-a-longs that saturate the airwaves and muzak systems from sea to shining sea. Each Holiday Season becomes so musically maniacal that I tell myself if I hear one more rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" I am absolutely going to go Scroogal.
Thankfully, I learned about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The brainchild of gifted musicians/composers Paul O'Neill and Robert Kinkel, TSO takes traditional Christmas music and transforms it into clean, enthusiastic, hard-driving rock 'n roll guaranteed to make the listener strum his or her air guitar. TSO's latest installment, THE LOST CHRISTMAS EVE, contains some first-class tracks that make Alvin & The Chipmunks a delightful distant memory.
Granted, some of the 23 tracks on this CD fall short of the mark: either the singing is lacking or the lyrics too sappy--or both. But the brilliant stuff overshadows the shallow cuts--hard-driving tracks like "Faith Noel" and "Christmas Jam" are worth this CD's purchase price alone. The best cut, by far: "Christmas Canon Rock," a haunting, stunning, incredibly impressive menagerie of beautiful harmony and lead guitar wizardry. In fact, lead guitarist Al Pitrelli can come jam at my house anytime.
THE LOST CHRISTMAS EVE is must-listen music for those tired of the typical Holiday grind. Even Santa himself would enjoy this band--and he's got the long hair and beard to fit right in."--D. Mikels
"Good news for all TSO fans-- the finale to their Christmas trilogy easily lives up to the previous two albums, and actually surpasses "The Christmas Attic" in many ways.
It starts in typical TSO style, with a hard-edged guitar rendition of "The First Noel/O Come All Ye Faithful." You'll be in familiar territory as soon as the track gets going, with its descending piano runs backed by power-chords, much like the first instrumental tracks on the previous two albums. Speaking of instrumental tracks, the ones on this album may well be the best of the trilogy. It just feels like the guitarists were allowed to let loose and have more fun with the playing, rather than being told to play strictly by the notes. This ramps up the energy level considerably. From a purely technical standpoint, the muscianship on the instrumental tracks such as "Wizards In Winter" and "Wish Liszt" is simply astounding. It's obvious these people were classically trained, and yet they clearly know how to rock too (I never thought I'd feel the urge to mosh to music by Franz Liszt, but the rendition of Hungarian Rhapsody featured here convinced me otherwise!)
Like all TSO albums, there is a broad range of styles present. Songs like "The Lost Christmas Eve" and "What Is Christmas" are Broadway-esque (no, that's NOT an insult.) Then, songs like "Christmas Nights in Blue" and "Christmas Jazz" have a jazzy flavor. "Remember" and "Anno Dominae" are choral pieces. Most bands would find it impossible to pull off such variety with any conviction, but a simple look at the album credits will make it obvious that TSO is nothing like most bands-- they have four guitarists, four keyboardists, four bassists, three drummers, multiple vocalists (men and women), choirs, and an orchestra. So, they have people who truly know and understand each genre of music that they play. And a ton of credit must go to composer/producer Paul O'Niell, who wrote and cowrote all of the tracks.
"What Child Is This" is perhaps the most unusual arrangement of this song I've ever heard (backed by a driving beat), but it's uplifting (similar in some respects to "This Christmas Day" from the first album), and a fitting conclusion to the main storyline of the album.
Another song that deserves mention is "Back To A Reason." Savatage fans will recognize this one, as it was the closing ballad/rocker on "Poets and Madmen." Here, it gets the TSO treatment, and the middle section has been reworked entirely, so it never quite reaches the "rocker" category. I have to say, I preferred the original rendition. I know original singer Jon Olivia may not be as pitch perfect as the Broadway singer featured here, but he brought a certain honesty to it that's lacking in this version. Still, it's a great song, and it's fun to hear how they rewrote it to fit the tone of this album.
There is one downside to the album. Near the beginning, it goes into a bit of a slump with a few skippable songs all placed close together. "Remember" is sung by a children's choir, and while it's pleasant enough, it doesn't hold a candle to "Promises To Keep" (the children's choir piece featured on the first Christmas album.) "Anno Dominae" is the adult choir song, and I could take it or leave it. Again, it's not bad, but it doesn't add much. "Christmas Concerto" is short and rather pointless (picture a sidewalk brass ensemble, and you know what to expect.) Still, it's only about a minute long, which is a good thing. "Christmas Jazz" is okay as an acoustic jazz piece, but I don't really care for that style of music, so it wasn't my thing. You may like it if you like jazz.
So, with all these less-than-perfect tracks, why five stars? Because there's a total of 75 minutes of music (23 songs), and even if you strip out all of the tracks I just mentioned, you still have more great music than many other bands release on a single album. I can't penalize TSO for adding material. And, as I said, the songs I listed are not BAD songs, they're just not quite up to par with what I'd expect.
If you enjoyed the previous two albums, I see no reason at all why you won't enjoy this one. I think "Christmas Eve And Other Stories" holds a special place in the hearts of most fans, and it's unlikely that many people will allow themselves to see ANY album as superior to that one, so I'll say you can at least expect this one to come very close to it, and you can expect it to surpass "The Christmas Attic." If you're new to TSO, and haven't built up any emotional attachment to their first Christmas album, you may even find that this is the best album in the series."
The band's musical style is often described in different terms, incorporating progressive rock, symphonic metal, and heavy metal, with influences from classical music. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is well known for its renditions of traditional Christmas songs.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra was founded in 1996 in New York City by composers Paul O'Neill and Robert Kinkel, and Savatage lead singer Jon Oliva. The group's name is inspired by the Trans-Siberian Railway in Russia which Kinkel says connects many cultures otherwise isolated, much like music.O'Neill had managed and produced rock bands including Aerosmith, Humble Pie, and Scorpions, later writing for and producing Savatage, where he began working with Kinkel and Oliva. The concept for a band playing Christmas carols in a rock opera style was not received warmly by the industry, but quickly proved a success with adults as well as young people.In the recording studio, Trans-Siberian Orchestra uses a full 60-piece orchestra and a choir. As of 2004, their touring band included fourteen vocalists, fourteen musicians, and two narrators.Trans-Siberian Orchestra released their debut album Christmas Eve and Other Stories in 1996, and it remains their best-selling album. Their 1998 release The Christmas Attic was similarly a concept album with a Christmas theme. In 2000, they released their first (and to date only) non-Christmas album, Beethoven's Last Night, a concept album about Ludwig van Beethoven's last night on earth, during which he meets Fate, her son Twist, and Mephistopheles.After several years of touring, they returned to the studio and subsequently released another full-length album, Lost Christmas Eve, and the accompanying DVD/3-CD release The Christmas Trilogy, which contained all three of their Christmas albums to date.
TSO in concert, December 8, 2006.The band is, as of early 2005, working on a new non-Christmas album, Night Castle. It is projected to be released sometime in 2008 and is expected to feature the band's rendition of "O Fortuna" from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, performed as a preview by the band during their 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 tours.Their 2005 tour placed twenty-first on the list of the most successful concert tours of the year, earning just over US$21 million. . The string section comprises local musicians. Live shows are known for their extensive use of pyrotechnics, lasers & lights synchronized with the performance, all of which takes 15 hours to set up. .Shows are divided into two halves: the first consisting of the story and songs of Christmas Eve and Other Stories, the second a mix of songs from The Christmas Attic, Beethoven's Last Night, The Lost Christmas Eve, and a couple of miscellaneous covers (including Layla, Immigrant Song, and Proud Mary), finishing with a reprise of Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24.
1996 Christmas Eve and Other Stories #89 2x platinum
1998 The Christmas Attic #103 Platinum
2000 Beethoven's Last Night #165 Gold
2004 The Lost Christmas Eve #26 Platinum
2008 Night Castle