THOR – Christmas In Valhalla

Cleopatra 2018

THOR - Christmas In Valhalla

Christmas In Valhalla

Yuletide thunderbolt and lightning from metal warrior who keeps the dogs away to let the reindeer in.

“Only the strange survive!” sings Jon Mikl, aka Thor, on a seasonal album he always was keen on making, and quite strange it is, indeed. One would be hard pressed – without a straightjacket or full metal jacket – to keep a straight face while belting out such pun-ridden pieces as “Slay Rider” whose infectious intro reflects the riff of “Eye Of The Tiger” by the band called… well, you get the drift. Yet Jon Mikl does a stellar job here, without running for cover of cover versions, and once a Caesarean request of “Lend Me Your Ears” – a spaced-out epic reigning over a 35-minute album – has been voiced, you’ve got to applaud the audacity the singer never lacked anyway.

He may hide in “Not So Little Drummer Boy” that throws the kid delivering a certain carol under the juggernaut of a drum solo, although it’s hard to hear any skin-hitting behind the Chuck Berry-esque guitar barrage of opener “Donner & Blitzen” – but even if the bottom end fell off, there ain’t no reason to not have fun. Which is what the band are bent on in “Gonna Have A Rockin’ Christmas” setting the booming piece to a scintillating swirl of six-string madness and steady beat, until acoustic balladry engulfs “It’s Christmas Time Again” in gloom, whereas “Our Last Christmas” lights up the darkness with orchestral glow. Still, a suitably heavy ‘n’ hymnal solemnity applied to “If Tomorrow Never Comes” and gruesome story recited in “Cold Saint Nick” bring the record to a close on quite a somber note – and a smile, too, because this is the gist of Xmas.

Thor and his posse of merry pranksters capture it perfectly, and you don’t have to die as a hero to join them in Valhalla; simply sing along and stay strange.


November 18, 2018

Category(s): Reviews
Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *