Panzerballett - X-Mas Death Jazz album review

Christmas songs as you’ve never heard them before

Panzerballett - X-Mas Death Jazz album artwork

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Christmas. A jolly time for family fun, crackers, carols, too much food and a few glasses of… death jazz? Maybe not – but hey, why not? German oddballs Panzerballett have only gone and done a Christmas album, featuring warped versions of the likes of Little Drummer Boy andLast Christmas, and the end result is a ho ho ho-rrendously fun cocktail of comic-laced chops and jazzy virtuosity. The songs grab a dash of influence from their festive counterparts but whip them in a completely different direction with frothy-mouthed glee. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer lords it with avant‑garde flourishes amid the familiar motifs, while the zany Let It Snow manages to juggle tech metal, jazz, barbershop-esque vocals and an ever-so-slight sniff of punk in the space of 30 seconds. For those who get queasy at the thought of cheesy, festive‑flavoured tunes, bells’n’all, don’t be scared – the tracks are more than enough of a prog roller coaster to make you to forget about That Time Of The Year, with the tunes far removed from their originals. But if you love wacky music and Christmas too, this may be the best stocking filler you’ll ever receive.

Chris Cope

A writer for Prog magazine since 2014, armed with a particular taste for the darker side of rock. The dayjob is local news, so writing about the music on the side keeps things exciting - especially when Chris is based in the wild norths of Scotland. Previous bylines include national newspapers and magazines.