Producer/composer Paul O'Neill, keyboardist (and also composer) Robert Kinkel and Savatage vocalist Jon Oliva launched Trans-Siberian Orchestra in 1996, employing a full orchestra and chorale, session musicians and other members of Savatage to add rock and progressive metal touches to traditional holiday music. Despite a somewhat smirking critical reception, TSO's four albums have been perennial mega-sellers during the holiday season, and the group itself has offered a successful touring show since its very inception. Of those albums, only one is not Christmas-themed, 2000's Beethoven's Last Night, a rock opera about Ludwig van Beethoven doing psychic battle (and winning) with the devil, who has come to claim his soul. The first stirrings of the group appeared on Savatage's 1995 album Dead Winter, with the song "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" which later, re-released as TSO's first single, became the band's signature song. The year 2008 saw the release of "Night Enchanted," the lead single for an album (also called Night Enchanted) reportedly due out summer of 2009 and which has effectively been in production since 2004.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert Films
The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
Runtime: 46 minTOS's THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS EVE - is a unique fantasy trip through the magic of Christmas. Narrated by award-winning actor Ossie Davis, the production takes us on a journey of a runaway little girl's decision to return to her family after she enters a rundown theater for shelter and encounters an old caretaker who guides her on her journey. This magical story - which features appearances from Atlantic recording artists Jewel and Michael Crawford - was filmed entirely on location at the newly refurbished and historic Loews Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New Jersey, and includes performances of such tracks as "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Good King Joy," "Christmas Canon," "Music Box Blues," "Promises To Keep," and "This Christmas Day,".
Trans-Siberian Orchestra Top Tracks
Awaken the Guardian Live
Runtime: 2 hr 47 minLegendary progressive metal act Fates Warning celebrated the 30th anniversary of their third album, "Awaken the Guardian," in 2016. The album was to become their final release to feature vocalist John Arch. That era's lineup was rounded out by bassist Joe DiBiase, drummer Steve Zimmerman, along with current guitarist Frank Aresti and, of course, Jim Matheos. To celebrate 30 years since the album's release, Matheos reassembled the "Awaken the Guardian" era lineup for two special festival appearances: Keep it True XIX in Lauda-Konigshofen, Germany and Prog Power USA XVII in Atlanta, GA.
Runtime: 55 minMannheim Steamroller Christmas Live is a set of Christmas favorites from the group’s best-selling Christmas albums. Mannheim Steamroller creator and composer Chip Davis has been recognized with 19 gold, eight multi-platinum and four platinum records and the group is the #1 Christmas music artist in all of history. The group’s signature sound, characterized as “classical music meets rock and roll”, established a distinctive new genre. While Mannheim Steamroller’s music is uniquely moving by itself, Christmas Live captures the experience, sights and sounds of the group live in concert with this holiday release. The beloved holiday performance by some of the most talented musicians today and an intense multimedia presentation results in a powerful and emotional Christmas experience. This 56-minute Christmas concert features many favorite Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics. “Joy to the World" perhaps best epitomizes the distinctive Mannheim Steamroller sound: powerful synthesized melodies and harmonies, an intense drive and pathos, and skillful ornamentation. The accompanying fireworks on a huge, over-stage screen add a striking visual dimension to the song. Several Renaissance-inspired numbers like "In dulci Jubilo" and "Wassail, Wassail" showcase unusual Renaissance instruments and are paired with a rich, on-screen portrayal of a Renaissance feast. The instrumental, theatrical, and multimedia performances are completely evocative of the Spirit of Christmas. Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas concerts have become a holiday tradition, much like decorating the tree, hanging stockings and exchanging presents. Christmas Live has become a permanent part of any Christmas celebration.