Northern Light Orchestra highlights majestic, orchestrated rock music featuring soaring vocals, incredible guitar solos worthy of true “Guitar Hero” status, and pounding rhythms sure to impress and invigorate the baby boomer generation that grew up on what is today classic rock! NLO is slated to become a seasonal live performance and recording entity that provides the very best in entertainment!
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Holy (or maybe holly) hairspray and spandex-clad axe men! Western specialty label VSR presents a tinsel-bright, laser-illuminated, fog-machine enshrouded offering for Christmas with the release of Northern Light Orchestra’s yuletide gift The Spirit of Christmas. The album is a metallic mash-up of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Joe Satriani & Guitar Hero, brazenly bearing the indelible stamp of late 80’s pop-metal. This comes as no surprise considering the who’s who of Santa’s helpers involved. NLO’s roster is an assemblage of 80’s-90’s pop metal supergroup doing a Christian-oriented Christmas-themed project (I know; kind of rhetorical but made obvious for the sake of clarity). Names like Audioslave, Dokken, Magdallan, GTR and Emerson, Lake & Palmer come to mind.
The album is a cornucopia of frenetic, fret-board mastery; epic, ear-tickling solos; all wrapped up with a salubrious helping of majestic, soaring vocals. In fact, there are several whiplash-inducing moments and the album begs to be played LOUD! In one double-take instance, Bob “Mr. Butterfly Kisses” Carlisle revisits his “Long Way From Paradise” days with (the Christian, semi-super group) Allies to great effect. Other musical MIA’s who make an appearance include: Jon Gibson, Lanny Cordola and John Davis- and that’s just to name a few!
While several of the tracks from The Spirit of Christmas would be right at home on a TSO set list, NLO does an admirable job of avoiding “cloneliness.” Retro metal-heads whose playlists are populated with the likes of Angelica, Bloodgood, Giant, Leviticus, Mastedon, Shout, Stryper, Whitecross, David Zaffiro, etc. should hop in their internet sled and swoosh to the band’s myspace page and order The Spirit of Christmas . This album deserves to be at the top of any head-bangers’ Christmas list.