Halford III - Winter Songs review by Halford

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Nov 13, 2009
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.7 (27 votes)
Halford: Halford III - Winter Songs

Sound — 10
On his first solo album since 2002's 'Crucible', and first new release since his reunion with Judas Priest in 2004, Rob Halford takes a surprising turn by releasing a Christmas album. The idea works quite well, thanks to Halfords careful selection of traditional Christmas songs that translate well to the metal genre, mixed in with a few original songs on the same subject. The Halford band is in top form, and the arrangements of traditionals are creative and solid, and the production is top notch. Also, no shortage of great guitar solos.

Lyrics — 10
The lyrics to the tradional songs are faithfully reproduced, and serve to reinvigorate an interest in Christmas music if, like me, you're a metalhead and only remember the first verses of most of these songs, it's cool to hear these songs presented in a complete form in a metal style. The new songs are great as well, and present a diversity of styles. Halford has never been one to sing the same way all the time, and this is no exception. He sings 'Get Into The Spirit' in an aggresive falsetto, but there's not much more screaming to the found on the album, probably due to his age. His midrange voice is in top shape, culminating with an operatic 'Come All Ye Faithful'. His delivery never sounds forced, and he's not afraid to explore new territory while maintaning the spirit of Christmas. Also, this is no politically correct "holiday" album, these songs do not shy away from putting the Christ in Christmas. Never "preachy", just true to the story of the season, with an inspirational message of love.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this album proves that metal and Christmas can successfully mix. As a founding father of heavy metal, Rob Halford is accustomed to singing epic songs that have inspired millions. Christmas songs share these qualities. IMO, the best songs here are 'Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel', 'Oh Holy Night', 'Light of the World', and 'Get into the Spirit'. It's really a "feel good" album, and you can tell it was really a labor of love for the 58 year-old Metal God.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    you're all mental. this album is just terrible. It irritates me that halford was wasting his time with this rubbish when he could have been writing new material for a proper album instead.
    I'm actually pretty impressed with this album. Metal + Christmas did seem like a weird mixture but Halford pulled it off. It actually sounds great. If you're planning on sampling one of these tracks I suggest Emanuel. It kicks ass.
    I meant first new 'solo' release since 2004, because Priest have released '2wo' studio albums since then... (sorry). Thanks for all the feedback, it seems most people either like it or they don't, and I like it because it was a brilliant idea that really worked, IMO. This album won't appeal to everyone, but it is groundbreaking, and I don't think I'm the only one who is jamming this non-stop.
    FearOfTheDuck wrote: You can just feel the Cheese! Priest are pretty cheesey too
    Life is cheesy too. Think about it.
    Listened to We Three Kings on a Rock Hard sampler ... Cool song. I'll giv the album a listen, I think.
    you people are all out of your mind this album is too awesome for words. i mean, halford does christmas?brilliant
    Raizer Sabre
    i thought it was a good listen. get into the spirit and we three kings are probably my faves off this it was all a lot heavier than i thought it was going to be, even for a christmas metal album lol
    not exactly what i expected next from the Halford crew but ill take it! and maybe there's less screaming on this album because he wanted to sing the christmas tunes?
    Thinking I will have to pass on this one. No artist could bring any value to terrible terrible Christmas tunes.
    I know Nostradamus was bad but no need to discount it completely
    Nostradamus wasn't that bad lol. Xmas albums are always cheesy, metal or not, but that's part of the fun of them.
    first new release since his reunion with Judas Priest in 2004
    I know Nostradamus was bad but no need to discount it completely
    This album is awesome, that's all there is to it. The title track is...touching. It feels strange saying that about a song performed by the Metal God. But it truly is. Hell, the whole album is. Good job Mr. Halford