Released: 2014, Audio Fidelity
Reviewer: Celtic Bob
It’s that time of year when you dig out the old Xmas albums and/or CD’s and begin the madness of shopping, decorating and baking. This year our friends at Audio Fidelity have issued the second album by Trans-Siberian Orchestra for us to enjoy this holiday season. For those that do not know, T-SO is basically Savatage with an orchestra. The audiophile label Audio Fidelity had Kevin Gray master this album for the highest quality sound possible.
I am not a Xmas person but I do enjoy a few holiday albums and this is one of them. Every year I haul out my T-SO CD’s and play them all, excluding the non-holiday titles. THE CHRISTMAS ATTIC is my personal favourite of them all as it contains “"The Three Kings and I (What Really Happened)" which is an amazing track in every way. It has a great little storyline that makes you think about what we learned growing up, amazing vocals and some really cool music. This is easily one of the greatest Xmas songs written.
When the album arrived in the post I was in awe at how well it was done, right down to the box that AF shipped it in. You knew it was of the highest quality possible. Unfortunately I had to wait a day or so to get time to sit down and properly enjoy this album. After a quick run through the record cleaner I popped the first disc on my turntable and turned it up. From the first sound that my speakers emitted I knew my old CD would be shelved for good. In all my years of hearing this album it never sounded so good. It was as if I was hearing a new album for the first time. It sounded big and full of life. The orchestration filled the room. I had to crank it up just a little bit more. Kevin Gray did a marvelous job of mastering this LP. It has never sounded so good (and the CD has a great sound). He added a whole new dimension to the record without altering the original.
I have nothing but praise for this LP. The only fault with it was a slight warp and the loose page in the accompanying booklet. It sounds wonderful and is now my go to Xmas album. I hope Audio Fidelity will get Kevin to master the rest of the T-SO catalog and release them on LP in the near future (including BEETHOVEN’S LAST NIGHT as I can only imagine what he could do to “Mephistopheles”).