Raise your hand if you’ve received a novelty holiday item with the joke ‘SLEIGHER’ on it. This author himself has gotten beers, T-shirts, sweaters, and socks with that same gag printed on them, all of which usually just boil down to a cartoon of Santa throwing the horns. But a group of proggy musicians have decided to actually make this Etsy “artist’s” dream a reality by using the name to perform a Christmas-themed version of Slayer’s “Seasons In The Abyss.”
This version of ‘Sleigher’ includes members of Dream Theater (keyboardist Jordan Rudess), Cradle of Filth (bassist Daniel Firth), Protest the Hero (vocalist Rody Walker), and Haken (drummer Ray Hearne, only here he’s playing the fuckin’ tuba). The band go all-in on a seasonal version of the Slayer’s doomiest classic (well, except for “Spill the Blood”), using alternate lyrics like “Close your eyes and hope that your name/Is not on the naughty list again” (which were apparently written by Accept/Alestorm/Sylosis illustrator Dan Goldsworthy and Charlie Griffiths of Haken, who both also play guitar to the cover) to make Slayer feel, ah, jolly? It’s a valiant effort, even if your average Slayer fan would probably jam a candy cane up your ass before wearing a Christmas sweater.
Check out the cover below:
As we recently learned, ‘Sleigher’ isn’t just a cover band, novelty item catchphrase, and awful meme — it’s also the name of a comic book about, get this, a metal Santa! As covered in our list of metal depictions of Santa Claus, Sleigher sees Santa as a leather-jacket-wearing headbanger, who fights pervert priests and dickhead clowns in the name of keeping Christmas metal. So if you want something fun to read over the holidays, or need to suggest something to your friends and family as a gift that won’t suck in the utmost, maybe this comic is for you.
Words by Chris Krovatin