Christmas is a time of joy and celebration for many people, but the newest EP record from Welsh recording artist Gruff Rhys makes the holiday season seem nothing less than dark and hopeless.
The record, titled “Atheist Xmas EP,” is to be released Dec. 19, and will feature three songs titled “Post Apocalypse Christmas,” “At The End Of The Line” and “Slashed Wrists This Christmas.” The cover art shows a bottle with a label that features a city that is burning, a Christmas tree that has fallen to the ground and a cartoon man on his knees with his face buried in his hands.
In the song “Post Apocalypse Christmas,” Gruff examines Christmas "through the semi-melted eyes of a nuclear holocaust survivor.” “Slashed Wrists This Christmas” runs from traditionally jolly Christmas songs by tackling “the seasonal [but] taboo subjects of manic depression and suicide,” BBC reports.
Rhys, who is also the frontman for Super Furry Animals, recently won the Welsh Music Prize for the album, “Hotel Shampoo.” This was the inaugural year for the award, which is given for “the best of music made in Wales or by Welsh people around the world.” Despite his recent success, though, many are unhappy about the upcoming release.
Stereogum.com wrote about the EP, saying, “The depressed atheists of the world now have a Christmas carol to call their own.”
A number of individuals have also commented on the theme of the EP at theblaze.com.
Some of the comments are from atheists who say Rhys' depressing viewpoint isn't necessarily the way all atheists view the holidays. Other comments were from Christians who are highly critical of the musician's anti-Christian sentiments.
One user wrote that the album “is an excellent testimonial against atheism. It is honest. There is no true joy nor light nor goodness nor comfort nor sanity without Christ. We could hardly say it better.”
Another accuses Rhys of depending on shock value to bring attention to his record.
“When one depends on shock to get noticed,” the user wrote, “it must follow that each succeeding marketing attempt must be that much more grotesque than the one before.”