Lancaster, Pennsylvania metalcore band August Burns Red have released their holiday album details. For the past four years the band has released an amped-up cover of a holiday classic. This year, they are releasing a full-length Christmas album entitled August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album.
The 13-track album features fresh takes on classics like “Jingle Bells” and “Winter Wonderland” as well as original compositions destined to become future headbanging holiday favorites. It also compiles remixed and remastered versions of the band’s previous holiday hits like “The Little Drummer Boy,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Rounding out the collection is an updated version of the band’s rendition of “Carol Of The Bells.”
“The idea of doing a full Christmas album has been floating around in the ABR camp for a few years now, but what always held us back was finding the time and energy to write an additional full-length in between touring and writing our regular records,” explains guitarist and principle songwriter JB Brubaker. “After finishing [2011’s] Leveler I finally felt inspired enough to tackle the Christmas album idea.”
For this album the band chose to work at Lancaster’s Atrium Audio with longtime friend Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland. It’s a work that enhances the guitar and drum mastery AUGUST BURNS RED are known for by adding unexpected elements such as banjo, violin, cello, piano and even horns.
“Because this was such a different type of album, I was able to get a little more wild with my influences,” confesses Brubaker. “There’s a section inspired by one of my favorite bands, BEIRUT. There’s also guitar solo that is an ode to Blue Album-era WEEZER, and my punk roots are evident all over the album.”
“Writing metal versions of Christmas songs has always been a challenge for me because the songs are driven by simple vocal melodies with the only variety in the lyrics. We decided to take the songs and go the instrumental route – the main melodies are there, but this record has a lot more to it then that,” he adds. “The songs have sections of music that flow in and out of the classic melodies we’ve all come to recognize. There is a lot of substance in these songs- more than you’d find in your typical cover. To some, the concept of a metal Christmas album may come off as silly and a waste of time, but I think this record has plenty of original ABR substance to interest even the biggest Scrooges out there.
Track Listing for August Burns Red presents: Sleddin’ Hill, A Holiday Album:
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Sleigh Ride
4. God Rest Ye’ Merry Gentlemen
5. Jingle Bells
6. Oh Holy Night
7. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
8. Sleddin’ Hill
9. Little Drummer Boy
10. Winter Wonderland
11. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
12. Carol of the Bells (2012)
13. We Wish You a Merry Christmas