Buttkickin’ Holiday Songs: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” — Ronnie James Dio, Toni Iommi, Rudy Sarzo, Simon Wright (2008)

51UtPCTjHuL._SL500_AA280_Ahh, Christmas and heavy metal music. Despite what little minds might think, the two go together like your veritable chocolate and peanut butter. In the hands of Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi — two of metal’s founding fathers, architects of the genre if you will — the myths, legends, and spiritual truths of the holiday are transmogrified to exponential levels, into an epic realm of high fantasy and heroic legend. The Gospels by way of a Dungeon Masters Guide! Conan of Cimmeria and Elric of Melnibon√© teaming up with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John!! E. Gary Gygax writing a Chuck White comic!!!

OK I’ll stop now..

I still get a little misty eyed when I think about that day in May 2010 when news of Ronnie James Dio’s passing raced its way through metal fans around the world. Call me crazy but I always thought the diminutive RJD, who wielded a mighty voice that seared like some kind of Cosmic Dragonfire, would somehow laugh at petty concepts like “mortality”. Nonetheless, teamed up with Tony Iommi, who invented metal guitar riffs and has forgotten more than most would-be axeslingers will EVER know, along with the great Rudy Sarzo on bass and the stalwart Simon Wright pounding the drums, the four took on the holiday classic God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and ended up not only bringing us great tidings of joy and one of the greatest heavy metal Christmas songs, but also a giant freakin’ broadsword powered by Cosmic Dragonfire with which we must vanquish demonic hordes bent on mankind’s destruction. On Christmas Eve. With commercial breaks. Or something.

Somewhere between Absolute Truth and Spiritual Truth lies the vast chasm of Mythology. Reality, then, is what you make of it. METAL!

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