“Run Rudolph Run” by Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister, the legendary frontman of Motörhead, put his own spin on this classic Christmas song. “Run Rudolph Run” is a fast-paced, hard-hitting track that showcases Lemmy’s iconic gravelly voice and the band’s signature sound. This heavy metal rendition of the song adds a new level of energy and excitement to the traditional tune.
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” by Dio
The late Ronnie James Dio, known for his powerful vocals and contributions to the heavy metal genre, released his own version of “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Dio’s rendition combines his unique vocal range with heavy guitar riffs and a driving rhythm section, making it a standout heavy metal Christmas song.
“Deck the Halls” by Twisted Sister
Twisted Sister, the iconic 80s heavy metal band, took on the challenge of reimagining the traditional Christmas carol “Deck the Halls.” The band’s high-energy performance, complete with screaming guitars and powerful vocals from Dee Snider, gives the song a heavy metal makeover like no other.
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” by Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper, the godfather of shock rock, put his own twist on the classic Christmas song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Cooper’s version features his unique vocal style and a heavy guitar-driven sound that adds a dark and edgy vibe to the traditional tune.
“Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas)” by Twisted Sister
Twisted Sister makes another appearance on this list with their heavy metal rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” This song combines the band’s energetic performance style with clever and humorous lyrics that give a heavy metal twist to the well-known Christmas carol.
“I Am Santa Claus” by Bob Rivers
Bob Rivers, known for his parodies of popular songs, created a heavy metal Christmas song with “I Am Santa Claus.” This track combines heavy guitars, pounding drums, and humorous lyrics to tell the story of Santa Claus as a heavy metal rocker.
“Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Trans-Siberian Orchestra is renowned for their epic symphonic rock sound, and “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)” is no exception. This instrumental track combines heavy guitars, powerful orchestration, and a driving rhythm section to create a unique and captivating heavy metal Christmas song.
Whether you’re a fan of traditional Christmas music or prefer your music on the heavier side, these songs are sure to get you in the festive spirit. So crank up the volume, grab your air guitar, and rock out to these heavy metal Christmas tunes!
AC/DC – ‘Mistress for Christmas’While most people spend Christmas wishing for goodwill on Earth, Brian Johnson of AC/DC just wants some secret nookie. On “Mistress for Christmas,” he asks Santa for a little side action, and from the fun that he sound likes he’s having, he was definitely on the “naughty” list that year.AC/DC, “Mistress for Christmas” (Atco)
Who would have guessed that Twisted Sister, the band that shocked households in the Eighties and went toe-to-toe against the Parents Music Resource Center, would release something as wholesome as a Christmas album? Surprisingly, the band played it relatively straight on “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”
Type O Negative – ‘Red Water (Christmas Mourning)’Brooklyn’s finest gothic-metal sourpusses are haunted by ghosts of Christmas past on this typically glum and gloomy dirge. His voice rumbling sepulchrally, Peter Steele sighs over dearly departed friends and family, while still keeping tongue firmly planted in cheek: “My table’s been set for but seven/Just last year I dined with eleven.” Don’t miss the song’s humorously somber quotes of “Carol of the Bells” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” – nor the awesome fan-created video the tune inspired.
Spinal Tap – ‘Christmas With the Devil’
A giant Santa skull, Harry Shearer in leather pants with a devil’s tail, and a three-way solo: Must be a Spinal Tap Christmas. The funny part is they aren’t too far off from the guys who are being serious.
Manowar love bombast. They have any number of songs about medieval combat that start quietly, only to build to an explosive, face-melting climax. For “Silent Night” (in German!) they put the swords away but keep the crescendoes — a finale fit for a king.
Halford – ‘We Three Kings’
As well as kilts, dreadlocks and baggy pants, Korn’s list of favorite things apparently also includes the Yuletide season. Over the course of the nu-metal progenitors’ 20-year career, they’ve put their downtuned spin on “Jingle Bells” (reimagined as the death-metal-ish “Jingle Balls”) and the classic holiday poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (which they bastardized into the sophomoric throwaway track “Christmas Song”). But their most generous gift to the holidays has to be their cover of Lock, Shock and Barrel’s Nightmare Before Christmas chant-along “Kidnap the Sandy Claws,” which Jonathan Davis and Co. turn into a menacing serial-killer freakout.
Amon Amarth – ‘Viking Christmas’On “Viking Christmas,” the melodic death-metal band Amon Amarth make an argument against revisionist Christian history. Or are they admitting that despite their lust for blood, they also like gingerbread cookies? It’s open for interpretation.
“Run, Rudolph, Run” is now a Christmas standard, played by everyone from Chuck Berry to Keith Richards, Billy Idol, Sheryl Crow and Cee Lo. But its Lemmy’s whiskey-soaked voice that makes this version sound like it was recorded while the trio was full of Christmas “spirits.”
GWAR – ‘Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend’
When GWAR celebrate Christmas, they do it in the summer . . . with strippers . . . over an entire weekend. Just because they’re from outer space doesn’t mean that these monsters can’t kick back during the holiday season. Here they celebrate as only murderous aliens can – by violating Santa himself.
Henry Rollins – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’
This one isn’t strictly heavy metal, but we’ll let it slide because it’s Henry. On Rollins’ rendition of the Christmas classic, he reads the poem over the top an avant-garde sound collage that includes sirens and gunshots. But in Rollins’ version, after he waves hello to St. Nick, the poor fellow gets blown out of the sky by a missile.
Christopher Lee – ‘Little Drummer Boy’
Thick, chugging riffs rumble in the background while 91-year-old British actor Christopher Lee, with his impossibly deep baritone, delivers a take that can only be described as epic. The other metalers on this list turned in smashing versions of their songs, but how could anyone top Saruman himself, bellowing “A-rum-pa-pum-pum!”?