Music » Critics' Picks

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, November 28. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Avenue.

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There was a time when Christmas music existed in two forms: solemn, sacred hymns and buoyant, clangorous carols. You can credit (or blame) Mannheim Steamroller for placing the holiday songbook in a more modern mode, but the Trans-Siberian Orchestra has built an empire by coating these well-known songs (as well as original compositions) in an orchestral-metal gloss. Formed by a trio of producers and studio musicians who had worked with the prog-metal band Savatage, TSO has released three albums of holiday fare, each pairing sweet meedlee-meedlee-mee riffage with a grand sense of gravitas. While the group continues to record albums outside of the Christmas milieu, this time of year is TSO's bread and butter, and the sensory-overloading live show is a particularly high-octane way to start your holiday season.

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