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Raskasta Joula
Raskasta Joula 2
December 2016
Released: 2014, Spinefarm
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

For The Twelve Days of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12. Northern Light Orchestra-Celebrate Christmas

11. Notre Dame-Nightmare Before Christmas

10. Psychostick-The Flesh Eating Rollerskate Holiday Joyride

9. Raskaampaa Joulua-Raskaampaa Joulua

8. Raskasta Joulua-Raskasta Joulua

7. Raskasta Joulua-Raskasta Joulua 2

6. The Kings Of Christmas-365 Days A Year

5. The Wizards Of Winter-The Wizards Of Winter

4. Trans-Siberian Orchestra-Christmas Eve And Other Stories

3. Trans-Siberian Orchestra-The Lost Christmas Eve

2. Twisted Sister-A Twisted Christmas

1. Various Artists-Monster Ballads Christmas

13. (Bonus evil album!) Onkel Tom-Ich Glaub’ Nicht An Den Weihnachtsmann

Every year on Dec 1st, I pull out the box containing over 40 of my cherished Metal Christmas CD’s. This year I decided to review a few more for Metal-Rules. Please enjoy all of this 12 days of Christmas Metal album review feature…, plus one evil bonus review! Who says Christmas can’t be Metal?

After a hiatus of sorts, Raskasta Juoulua returns with their third album simply entitled RASKASTA JOULUA 2. After temporarily switching the band name to Raskaampaa Joulua (HEAVIER CHRISTMAS), the band takes a seven year break and re-emerges as Raskasta Joula (Heavy Christmas) once again and release and album called RASKASTA JOULA 2, which doesn’t really makes sense because it is their third album, but I suppose in the grand scheme of themes it doesn’t matter. If you are reading this for the first time and it all seems a bit confusing, I suggest you go read my review of RASKASTA JOULUA which explains a bit of the history of the band.

The band switched labels, once again and is now on Spinefarm Records, which as a distribution deal with Universal, so the drop back from Warner Records is not such a big deal. In fact Spinefarm then reissued the now rare, debut album that was put out on the independent label T2, ten years previously in 2004. The band continues to grow and this CD is very well produced. It comes with the best design and layout yet; a 16-page booklet with photos, liner notes lyrics and a bonus DVD of a show filmed in Helsinki on December 20th, 2013.

What exactly is this album all about? Well, in the spirit of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, this is the European version of TSO. It is not quite the multi-platinum success if TSO but it is an extremely popular band that tours regularly each year and spawned a bit of a spin-off band called The Northern Kings. RJ (for short) blend classical musical, Christmas songs, original compositions and Heavy Metal to superb effect. By now the band has a budget, more performers, better production, everything is beiger, better and more bombastic. There is a bit of crossover from the previous albums with three or four songs getting re-recorded but on the plus side there are more original compositions. The previous albums largely featured cover tunes of Christmas songs, now there are more original Christmas-themed type songs. The stellar, all-star line-up of the gods of Power Metal make this album highly sought after.

In yet another slightly confusing turn of events, the band reissued this album in 2014 in an English language version called RAGNAROK JULETIDE. That version has alternate cover art and you can read my review of the English version here on Essentially, I am reviewing the same album twice, the original (here) and the reissue (originally reviewed back in December of 2014) , just for the sake of completion. Both versions are superb but for further detail feel free to read my review of the English version as well. Of the three albums to date, this is my favourite and it is as good as any TSO album.
Track Listing

1. Taika joulun pohjoisen
2. Jouluvaellus
3. Konstan joululaulu
4. Ilouutinen
5. Kellot kuulla saa
6. Himlen i min famn
7. 1939
8. Ainaisten lasten joulu
9. Kristallikehto
10. Oi jouluyö
11. Ensimmäinen joulu
12. Petteri Punakuono
13. Joulu, juhla parahin


Marco Hietala Vocals (tracks 1, 2)
JP Leppäluoto Vocals (tracks 3
Tony Kakko Vocals (track 4)
Kimmo Blom Vocals (tracks 5, 13)
Elize Ryd Vocals (track 6)
Antony Parviainen Vocals (track 7)
Past Rantanen Vocals (track 8)
Antti Railio Vocals (track 9)
Tuple Palmela Vocals (track 10)
Ari Koivunen Vocals (track 11)
Ville Tuomi Vocals (track 12)



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