Who says traditional Christmas songs are the only thing that should play during Christmas dinner? Not us. For decades, metal musicians have taken on the Christmas classics and churned out festive guitar-heavy takes on enchanting holiday tunes. Read on for a selection of songs that bring to mind candy canes, sugar plum fairies and…fist-pumping metal music!

Amon Amarth, “Viking Christmas”

Hey, Vikings like Christmas, too! Just ask the guys of Swedish metal band Amon Amarth. The band has a very cool, and very heavy, holiday song out called “Viking Christmas.” It’s what you would expect from a Viking Christmas song, with towering guitars and catchy rhythms. This is about as upbeat as it gets for Viking metal.

Halford, “Oh Come, O Come Emanuel”

When it comes to majestic metal voices, Rob Halford has it all. As it turns out, he’s such a fan of Christmas that one of Halford’s solo albums, Halford 3: Winter Songs, is a collection of holiday songs. “Oh Come, O Come Emanuel” is one of the most interesting traditional Christmas songs on the album. It gives the classic tune a power metal vibe that will make you want to listen to it throughout December.

The Darkness, ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’

If you’d like your Christmas with some spice and ‘80s decadence, then the Darkness is your band. The glam rockers have a holiday tune out that is all things grandiose, in typical Darkness fashion. Singer Justin Hawkins stretches his vocals into the highest of ranges to really get into the holiday spirit on “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End).” Crank it.

Dio, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

Ronnie James Dio’s dynamic voice has the ability to multiply the dramatics of any song by 10, and that’s what happens when he takes on “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” His soaring singing is the perfect match with Tony Iommi’s murky, boiling riffing. It’s a headbang-worthy take on the Christmas classic. Rudy Sarzo and Simon Wright are also on the track. This is my favorite metallic Christmas song.

Twisted Sister, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”

Eighties rockers Twister Sister know how to throw a party, and they also know to go catch Santa red-handed. Dee Snider and company call Santa out in their version of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” It’s a head-bopping, up-beat, riff-laden version that’s pretty awesome.

Rob Halford, “What Child is This?”

We know this is Rob Halford’s second appearance on this list, but that’s because it’s hard to top him. The Judas Priest frontman is blessed with a massive vocal range and powerful operatic pipes. “What Child is This?” is a stand-out on his aforementioned Christmas album, with its soft piano work, magical guitar solo and Halford’s warm interpretation of the Christmas story.

August Burns Red, “Frosty the Snowman”

August Burns Red add a riff-heavy metal vibe to the Christmas favorite “Frosty the Snowman,” complete with crunchy guitars and thick rhythms. The instrumental rendition is very different from the original, but that “Frosty” melody is unmistakable.

Alice Cooper, “Santa Claws Is Coming to Town”

Alice Cooper sure knows how to celebrate Halloween, but the Coop – a devout Christian – also loves Christmas. Here, he puts a dark, chilling metal spin on the Christmas song “Santa Claws Is Coming to Town.” Notice the “Claws,” too. The song also features Billy Sheehan, John 5 and Vinny Appice, making it an A-list metal jam.