Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) is probably unlike any orchestra you have ever heard. The New York-based five-piece are a combination of progressive rock and heavy metal, with influences of classical music. The orchestra formed in 1996 and has been a huge success around the world.
TSO’s previous albums have mostly contained Christmas songs, but the newest two-disc effort, Night Castle, is very rock n’ roll, with only a couple classic Christmas songs on it, such as a heavy metal version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”
Almost every song on the album gave me chills; it’s unlike anything I’ve heard before. The overwhelming sound of all the instruments combined is, at many times, completely phenomenal. Every song will have you tapping your foot to the beat of the thunderous drums, banging your head to the electric scream of the guitar, or closing your eyes, relaxing and listening to the smooth keyboard sounds.
Along with the many different instruments in the orchestra there are also a few lead singers and many backup singers. Jeff Scott Soto — the lead vocalist on many songs, including “Night Castle” and “Time Floats On” — sings very powerfully, resembling Metallica’s James Hetfield at times. But when Soto imbues his powerful singing with a bit of softness it will give you shivers and make you think “wow this guy is amazing!”
On every song here TSO brings all they’ve got and play like it is the last day they will ever play. Each instrument chills and electrifies. To hear some truly amazing music, this CD is a must-have!
.5 out of **