Halford- Winter Songs (Metal God/Stomp)

God rest ye merry hessians, let nothing you dismay, For good Rob Halford is singing songs about Christmas, yay! To save us all from shitty bands and make us all feel gay (happy), With tidings of leather and whips, leather and whips, Wiiiith tiiiidinnnngs of Leaaaather and whiiiiiips.

Christmas is the greatest time of year. It’s the one time when you can get away with being utterly retarded. You can go around dressed like a loser, watch schmaltzy crap on the telly and people buy you stuff. It’s also the one time of year I wish I was a godbothering cretin. Christmas hymns are awesome. Joy to the World and all that bollocks.

Seriously. I genuinely want to go to a carol service this year. Thing is, due to my near permanent state of ennui, I’ll either be too crippled with anxiety or too lazy to attend one. Although, socially retarded people like myself have been given an alternative by a certain Rob Halford, in the form of Winter Songs.

My god, it’s magnificent. I won’t lie to you. Deep down, beneath my hardened, metallic veneer I am but a big softy, who needs an even bigger cuddle. For every hour I listen to Cuntscrape or Foetal Molestation, there are another two where I’ll put on Sigur Ros, or Take That, winsomely wishing some fragrant cow like Ellen Page or Maria Brink would snap me out of my crippling depression and provide me with cuddles, understanding and blow jobs. Alas, it’s bound never to happen, but at least Rob Halford can provide some respite. No, not in that way you dirty bugger.

Winter Songs appeals as much to my schmaltzy Richard Curtis side as it does my evil metal one. Chiming bells and seasonal melodies waltz hand in hand with chugging riffs and screeching vocals, making one of the most gleeful listening experiences I’ve had all year. It’s so heart-warmingly devoid of cynicism that to hate it would render one a joyless ogre. There’s no compromise or concession to cool, and there are no guest appearances from any other bugger. It’s just Rob Halford and his mates singing about how excellent Christmas is. And what is wrong with that?

I mean, look at the front cover. It’s Rob Halford being Rob Halford against a snowy backdrop. And that’s it. I don’t know about you, but that says more to me than any stupid over-the-top painting by that douche from Baroness. Halford's just there, thinking his crazy thoughts, like, ‘when is the turkey going to be ready?’ or, ‘I wish I could wear a jumper and some dungarees instead of all this leather.’

The highlight of the record is a galloping romp through We three kings, which shows stupid old Bob Dylan how not to mess up a Christmas classic. ‘Weeeeee three kiiiiiings of Orrrriiieent aaaare,’ our bald hero croons, as his band provides a rollocking backdrop for Rob’s engaging histrionics. It’s all good though, and all suitably high spirited.

Seriously, if Billy Corgan stopped messing around with his made up religion, ate some meat, and grew a sense of humour, he could easily be the Halford of the grunge generation. But alas, A Billy Corgan Christmas album would be an utter disaster I fear. It’d be too self-consciously cool and indie, and wouldn’t be anywhere near as bombastic and fun as this marvellous record is.

If you have any semblance of joy left in your soul, you’ll give our Rob a shot this season. Seriously, listen to this and just imagine a man with a bushy beard coming into your home and emptying his sack in your living room while you‘re asleep. It’s heartwarming isn’t it?

Rob Halford's Winter Songs is out now on Metal God Entertainment/Stomp.