The countdown to Christmas is officially on, and in anticipation of its return, The Wizards of Winter has released its new holiday-themed album The Christmas Dream. Released Friday through BMI, the 10-song, 44-minute record is a gift in itself for fans of the band and those whole enjoy the holiday season. That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. It is also thanks to the album’s lyrical content, which will be addressed a little later. The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later. Each item does its own part to make the album an enjoyable addition to any holiday lover’s music library. All things considered, they make the album a work that audiences will enjoy every Christmas season.
The Christmas Dream is a positive new offering from The Wizards of Winter, and a presentation that will appeal to fans of WOW just as much as lovers of the holiday season and its musical offerings. That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements. The arrangements are in part, familiar compositions to which the band’s longtime fans have come to expect from the group. Along with featuring its own familiar sound, the album also features more comparisons to works from fellow holiday band Trans-Siberian Orchestra. That should come as no surprise, either, considering that some of the band’s members are also directly associated with TSO. One could even argue that there is even a hint of a Mannheim Steamroller influence incorporated into the album’s arrangements, with its keyboard and flute lines. The album’s lead single ‘Handel’s Torch’ combines the noted influences through its heavy guitar riffs and the use of the flute. ‘The Four Kings’ is a direct link back to TSO’s works with its bluesy arrangement that almost exactly mirrors the arrangement in that band’s song, ‘The Three Kings (What Really Happened.’ Lyrically, the two songs are a little different, but stylistically, there is a quite close similarity in the two arrangements. The arrangement at the heart of the album’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the influences from the aforementioned holiday bands. Again that is due to the combination of the guitars and more traditional musical elements. What’s more, the song’s title may be ‘Christmas Dream,’ but it actually presents a full-on rock take on the beloved song ‘All Of My Favorite Things.’ That is crossed with the group’s take on the equally beloved song ‘Carol of the Bells,’ with the end result being one of the album’s strongest compositions. It is just one of the album’s most notable compositions, too. The old school power metal approach of ‘Polar Eve,’ the orchestral vibe of ‘The Happy Song’ and ‘Secrets of the Snow Globe’ offer their own notoriety, too. Between those arrangements, the others noted here and the rest of the album’s arrangements, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that is well worth the listen if only for its musical elements. It musical elements are not its only notable elements, of course. Its lyrical content is just as notable as its musical elements.
The lyrical content featured in this record is notable because while it does take listeners on a new ride through some old holiday songs, there are also some more original works featured in the record. Among the more familiar holiday tunes featured in the record are the aforementioned ‘My Favorite Things’ and also ‘Jingle Bells,’ Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and ‘The First Noel.’ Those songs are given a new life in each of their presentations through the already discussed arrangements that form the album’s foundation. The noted familiar song choices are complimented by more original works, such as ‘The Secrets of the Snowglobe,’ ‘In Plain Sight’ and the stirring, emotional finale that is ‘A Toast To Time (Farewell).’ The combination of the traditional holiday songs and the band’s original works – and their original new arrangements – strengthen the album even more, and shows that much more, why The Christmas Dream is its own dream come true for fans of WOW and lovers of the holiday season in general. They are just a pair of the album’s most notable elements. Keeping in mind the importance of that whole, the album’s sequencing is just as important to examine as its overall content.
The Christmas Dream’s sequencing is important to note because of its impact on the album’s general effect. As already noted, this record features a mix of original content and new takes on a handful of traditional holiday songs. The record never sticks too long to one or the other. It opens with one of the band’s original works before changing things up both stylistically and in general with ‘Handel’s Torch.’ The song’s arrangement takes the power rock sound featured in the album’s opener and steps it up slightly while also presenting the band’s own fresh take on Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and at least one other traditional holiday song. ‘Gonna Snow’ keeps the album’s energy stable with another 80s hair metal style arrangement that also gives a new take on ‘Jingle Bells’ while giving listeners something new at the same time. Again, here listeners get that mixing of old and new, this time in one, keeping the album engaging and entertaining. ‘The Polar Eve’ is slightly slower than the album’s first three works, but is still heavy in its own right while also giving listeners something original from the band once more. ‘Midnight Noel’ is another example of the band taking a traditional holiday tune and giving it a new life (though there is the very close similarity to works from TSO) here. The variances in styles and old and new holiday songs continue from this point, and still manage to keep listeners engaged and entertained right to the album’s finale without fail. By the record’s end, listeners are left fulfilled and agreeing that this album is its own special musical gift from The Wizards of Winter to listeners everywhere.
The Wizards of Winter’s new album The Christmas Dream is a positive new album from the classic rock collective, which is made up of members of Blue Oyster Cult, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Ted Nugent’s backing band. It is a piece that gives audiences another welcome option away from all of the standard holiday musical fare that hits stores every year. That is due in part to its arrangements, which bring together the influences of the members’ own bands. The varied musical choices in general, which are new takes on traditional holiday tunes and new original works, add even more interest to the album’s presentation. The album’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to the album’s whole. Each item is important in its own right to the whole of its presentation. All things considered, they make the album in whole, its own enjoyable gift for the band’s fans and lovers of the holiday season alike. The band will launch a tour in support of the record in November. Its schedule is noted below.
More information on that tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:
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