Single Slam Christmas Special: Lordi, Disconnected Souls, Basement Gary, Bootyard Bandits, Avatar, Plum Project, Rick Massie, Raised By Owls, Feline and Strange, The NEW Bardots, CWF, Surfbort and Sabaton!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and many bands have found their festive spirit! Breaking our weekly tradition of single slams on a Friday, we decided to combine a load of holiday themed songs released this year into a special edition. This is a ‘festive single roundup’ and features Disconnected Souls, Lordi, Basement Gary, Bootyard Bandits, Avatar, Plum Project, Rick Massie, Raised By Owls, Feline and Strange, The NEW Bardots, CWF, Surfbort and Sabaton.

Buy Me a Coffee at

Disconnected Souls – Merry Xmas (War Is Over)

Disconnected Souls are continuing their annual tradition of releasing a Christmas cover. 2021 sees their fourth cover, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Merry Xmas (War Is Over)” receive a dramatic, heavy reimagining. Fusing metalcore sounds with intense electronics, folk instruments and a choir singing in Latin, the genre busting outfit have produced their most dynamic seasonal treat yet.

The band comments:

This year’s Christmas cover was a challenge! We knew that the song could be interpreted in a number of different styles, but we didn’t want to release multiple versions and so chose to combine all our ideas into one. Despite the trials of mixing so many ideas into one track, we’re thrilled with the result.

If, like us, the original Lennon/Ono song makes your teeth ache, then any cover is naturally going to be quite off-putting. It’s a song that people adore but just as many people hate. The latter is us so it’s going to take something spectacular to make us like this regardless of just how good Disconnected Souls are.

So what do we have? Something fairly different but not different enough to win detractors over. Credit where credit is due, Disconnected Souls really try to do something different here and there are moments that really work. Normally when it gets heavier and more jagged but also vocally, everyone sounds impressively different to what the original featured.

To call this a bad track is no fault of Disconnected Souls, they do a great cover that they manage to make their own. It’s simply a matter of hating the original so much, the melody can’t be saved no matter what you do to it.

Lordi – Merry Blah Blah Blah

It was a crazy year for Lordi, culminating in the 7-album box set ‘Lordiversity’, which was released on November 26th, 2021. Amongst the glut of new music that came from these 7 albums, was a festive tune called Merry Blah Blah Blah.

It’s cheesy, it’s silly, it’s festive… it’s Lordi! You kind of know what to expect here and you can be assured that it will be fun. They’ve gone out of their way to make it feel ever so Christmassy but with ‘grinch’ style lyrics. The video also really helps sell the mean-spirited side of things, familiar if you’ve seen a horror short like Treevengance.

Something something blah blah to you
All the sincere wishes come true
I put vengeance on my wish list
And that’s what Santa brought
So have a merry something and a happy blah blah blah

Hilariously, like Lordi often prove, it’s a stupidly catchy track with the guitar solo in particular standing out. Don’t be surprised if you’re humming the chorus long afterwards. Check it out here.

Basement Gary – Are You Alone on Christmas Day?

After thousands of records sold and a great amount of sweat spread worldwide on stages with their other bands, Jean (Can’t Bear This Party) and François (Freygolo) have teamed up together to start a common project, Basement Gary is born.

Following the release of their first tape (surprisingly named ‘Tape’) a few years back, Basement Gary completed the line up with Julien (Freygolo) on drums and Hubert (South Berkeley) on guitar and Keyboard.

On top of preparing for their 2022 album, Basement Gary wanted to gift us a pop punk Christmas song. It started as a joke between the BG members which ended up as a brand new song you can play when decorating the house on Christmas Day.

The song comes along with a video directed with a DIY work-ethic and spirit by Toti, a long time friend of the band. In the video the guys get together for a Christmas party, as they do every year. A Christmas party packed full of decorations, food, wine and of course a lot of fun!!!

Pop-punk fun with upbeat and festive spirit, Basement Gary have a wry smile on their face as they bring feel-good energy. Simple and catchy rhythms, a foot-tapping beat and a ton of sweet melody, Basement Gary capture the festive feel without being overly ‘Christmassy’. It’s high praise to compare their sound to the likes of Blink 182 but most importantly, this track will put a smile on your face.

Bootyard Bandits – Christmas No. 1

Ever imagined what Steel Panther would sound like if they wrote country music? No? Well, here it is anyway. Bootyard Bandits have aimed high with their festive tune ‘Christmas No.1’. And as if you could even take it to the next level, the accompanying video for ‘Christmas No.1’ steps up with a stop motion LEGO movie! Not for the faint hearted – there’s blood and guts, sex and shitting!

The video is pretty full-on, that has to be made clear straight away. The track? Well, it has got rocking groove, plenty of head-banging inducing rhythm and a catchy chorus. Though calling this a festive treat might be a stretch even if the lyrical content does focus on Christmas. It’s a well structured track that shows the chemistry the band has but, and this is a big but, it’s just not that memorable overall. Check it out here.

Avatar – Construction of Souls

In festive spirit, Avatar are bringing Christmas to metal with new single ‘Construction of Souls’. The heavy metal’n’roll dark madcap visionaries present the world with their take on the Christmas single.

Speaking about ‘Construction of Souls’, Avatar say:

This song will be to Christmas songs what Die Hard is to Christmas movies. It wasn’t intended to be that, but ultimately, it makes a lot of sense. It’s about us — meaning the robots taking over the great human project of our ancestors, building our way out of the planet on sandy soils, saturated with the withering bones of our ancestors.

There is one thing you can guarantee before you hit play on this track and that is Avatar will not be doing something traditional when it comes to a festive tune.

Which is exactly what we get here. An Avatar Christmas tune that features cold and lifeless robots taking over the world. It just so happens to be meaty and heavy with a killer main riff and a disgustingly catchy chorus. Its methodical tempo fits the theme and vocalist Johannes is really spitting up fire here. It’s an icy and chilling listen that really gets under the skin. Before you know it, you’ve listened to it multiple times.

Plum Project – Prepare For Christmas Day

Plum Project’s Prepare For Christmas Day tells the familiar story of Christmas Day. Where there are many households that could tell a tale of a comedy of errors, hilarity, tension, fallouts, drinking and fun.

The song is being used to raise money for Cancer Research and you can help make a difference by donating here.

Beginning in classic rock style, there is energetic festiveness with tongue in cheek, amusing lyrical content to bring a smile to faces. Even if you can’t relate to the Christmas Day that Plum Project is featuring here, you will be all too aware of someone who can.

Truth be told though, it’s not a great start as the main riff is not very interesting. It’s the vocals that stand out, so when the track switches to a more harmonically mellow sound, it massively improves. It’s this changeup that really works as it becomes more ‘folksy’. You can picture a roaring fire, booze and the tension beginning to dissipate. It’s very festive feeling. Check it out here.

Rick Massie – We Three Kings

In what has become an annual tradition, Rick takes a classic Christmas song and turns it on its head, wrapping it up in prog-and-doom-metal-colored wrapping paper, taking listeners on a journey through many musical styles in just a few short verses.

Rick says:

How do Christmas and Doom Metal fit together? It sounds like an odd combination, but there are quite a few Christmas songs that have a fairly dark vibe, so from that perspective, “We Three Kings” sounded like an obvious candidate for a more Doom-based approach. And I know that I, and many others, have often taken great comfort in the dark melodies of Doom, just like many others take comfort in the light and memorable melodies of Christmas music. So for this song, I added some of my own original music that was inspired by the main melody (in true doom fashion), kept several verses from the original song (with some metal twists and turns), and then added my own new lyrics for the final chorus.

We love Rick Massie’s music and must say that this is not a cover like we could have ever expected. Combining original ideas with the traditional song, this is the most epic and doomiest version you’ll ever hear. It also happens to be one of the most captivating too. Though, it has these cold melodies and haunting vocals that just make it all the more fascinating. What a thrilling and surprisingly festive version this is. Check it out here.

Raised By Owls – Stay Another Day (East 17 Cover)

While not exactly a Christmas track, the East 17 original has become a festive hit since it’s release in 1994. Bugger knows why… maybe it’s the snow and big jackets? Though the original story behind it is powerful. East 17’s Tony Mortimor saying:

It was based on my brother’s suicide and losing someone. What would you do if you had one more day with a loved one? It was all based on conversations I’d had with my brother and I was trying to change it into a love song about the end of a relationship.

Powerful stuff and slam death metal lovelies Raised By Owls have covered it with all proceeds going to the charity MIND.

If that isn’t enough to make you go out and buy it, well, would you believe it? This is an awesome cover. One that is arguably better than the original simply because of the vocals and tongue in cheek video. Bear in mind that the melody isn’t changed up and the band have gone out of their way to mimic the original video exactly.

Bravo, Raised By Owls. It’s OK to not be OK.

Feline and Strange – Nolidays

Feline and Strange are a Dark Cabaret band based in Berlin. With an operatic voice, punk piano, metal cello and mad synths, they create music which is unparalleled. Originally written and performed in German, the band are looking to reconnect with their English fans with this new release of the song, Nolidays. They’ve also filmed a suitably themed video to accompany the release.

This is very weird, soft and slow with the main focus being on the powerful operatic voice which is backed up by innocent sounding flute playing. There are more subtle instruments in the background to add some depth but the real selling point of this track is just how mellow it is. Enjoyable if not quite the music we would normally feature. Check it out here.

The NEW Bardots – Santa Don’t Like Politics

New Jersey-based rock band The NEW Bardots have shared their new lyric video for Santa Don’t Like Politics. Wanting to catch the wave of political satire for the second year in a row, The NEW Bardots put down this fun, retro, rock & roll ditty with the hope of bringing us all together (no matter what your political leanings) for the Holiday season.

A silly, fun, rock ‘n’ roll tune with an apathetic, tongue in cheek jab at modern politics. It might seem like low hanging fruit but The NEW Bardots aren’t taking one side or other, that’s kind of the point. After all, as they sing… Santa don’t like politics.

Aside from the lyrical content, it’s a catchy rock number with a mellow rhythm but a sleazy undertone. You can imagine this being aired on Christmas Eve in some dirty dive bar to rapturous results. Check it out here.

Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams & Peter Friestedt (CWF) – The Best Day of the Year

TOTO singer Joseph Williams, former Chicago singer Bill Champlin and Swedish guitarist/Producer Peter Friestedt are happy to present the Christmas single “The Best day of the Year” to all their friends around the world.

There is clearly a wealth of talent involved in this track but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be good. Well, happily it is. Good in a soft rock, radio-oriented way. The trio combining talents to deliver something super-festive feeling, mellow and memorable. You could easily see this being played over a montage of happy Christmas memories. Check it out here.

Surfbort – Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

Happy Happy Holidays & A Very Merry Xmas from the most festive band around, Surfbort! The holiday season just ain’t the same without hearing this classic banger and Surfbort have easily produced the best version around. Singer Dani Miller gives her inspirational reasoning behind gifting listeners with this festive and upbeat jam:

I think Christmas holidays are a sham and can be lonely and messed up, but we love our grandma and love seeing family on the holidays. Because last year’s holiday season was dark we wanted to cover a song that had humor and played off a twisted holiday season. Santa is lame, but family love is where it’s at (even if you prefer your found family more). My grandma and grandpa made the cover art! Linda Perry inspired us and produced the song and I’m so happy she had us ring in the holidays. I hope you blast ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ and feel the love from Surfbort this holiday season.

Not doing too much the original melody, what makes this track so entertaining is the almost drunken way the band performs. As though, they’re in middle of mammoth partying session and decided to crack out the acoustic instruments while taking the piss with a NSFW video. It’s certainly one of the more fun versions of the track. Check it out here.

Sabaton – Christmas Truce

It’s December 24th 1914 in the middle of a cold night. After 6 months in the muddy trenches, the war still hasn’t come to an end and soldiers are missing home more than ever before. So they begin quietly singing carols. Although an official truce has been declined by the governments, an eerie silence haunted the empty battlefields on the morning of December 25th. Slowly, British and German soldiers crawl out of their tranches to wish each other a Merry Christmas, take photographs, play games, and even exchange a few gifts.

In their new animated story video, Sabaton depict this one-of-a-kind event during the First World War that should later be known as ‘Christmas Truce’. The brand new video was unveiled during the band’s ongoing Christmas Advent Calendar on their social media channels and website.

A track that already featured a mightily powerful video, goes one step further with even more story. To say that Sabaton has captured a moment in time and delivered an incredibly emotional and passionate song, is to underplay the track’s impact. Christmas Truce may go down as one of the finest Sabaton tracks ever written simply because of what it captures.

Story aside, it is a wonderfully melodramatic and catchy song. The voices of all the band harmonise to such great effect, the piano is used to create even more drama and when they want to get heavy, they get heavy as only their brand of power metal is capable of. Don’t be surprised if you have a little cry while listening to it. It’s that damn powerful. Lest we forget.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Lordi, Disconnected Souls, Basement Gary, Bootyard Bandits, Avatar, Plum Project, Rick Massie, Raised By Owls, Feline and Strange, The NEW Bardots, CWF, Surfbort and Sabaton!
  • Disconnected Souls - Merry Xmas (War Is Over) - 6/10
  • Lordi - Merry Blah Blah Blah - 7/10
  • Basement Gary - Are You Alone on Christmas Day? - 8/10
  • Bootyard Bandits - Christmas No. 1 - 6.5/10
  • Avatar - Construction of Souls - 8.5/10
  • Plum Project - Prepare For Christmas Day - 7/10
  • Rick Massie - We Three Kings - 10/10
  • Raised By Owls - Stay Another Day (East 17 Cover) - 9/10
  • Feline and Strange - Nolidays - 6/10
  • The NEW Bardots - Santa Don't Like Politics - 7.5/10
  • Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams & Peter Friestedt (CWF) - The Best Day of the Year - 7/10
  • Surfbort - Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer - 8/10
  • Sabaton - Christmas Truce - 10/10
User Review
  • Sending
    Disconnected Souls - Merry Xmas (War Is Over)
  • Sending
    Lordi - Merry Blah Blah Blah
  • Sending
    Basement Gary - Are You Alone on Christmas Day?
  • Sending
    Bootyard Bandits - Christmas No. 1
  • Sending
    Avatar - Construction of Souls
  • Sending
    Plum Project - Prepare For Christmas Day
  • Sending
    Rick Massie - We Three Kings
  • Sending
    Raised By Owls - Stay Another Day (East 17 Cover)
  • Sending
    Feline and Strange - Nolidays
  • Sending
    The NEW Bardots - Santa Don't Like Politics
  • Sending
    Bill Champlin, Joseph Williams & Peter Friestedt (CWF) - The Best Day of the Year
  • Sending
    Surfbort - Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
  • Sending
    Sabaton - Christmas Truce