The Krampus is a mythological creature from Germanic/Central European folklore that is the antithesis of Father Christmas. Instead of delivering presents to all of the good girls and boys at Christmas, this demon instead stalks the night beating bad children with birch twigs or abducting them altogether. In the world seemingly as materialistic and spoiled as it is, it's no wonder that this dark figure is enjoying a resurgence in popularity. Films, parades, artwork and pop culture references featuring the Krampus have been increasing in recent years and it is a welcome return.
Having been born in Germany in the 80's I was vaguely aware all my life of the Krampus, but in the UK it was not part of the Christmas folklore and it was pushed to the back of my mind. But what a wonderful thing the internet is. About ten years ago... perhaps a little more... to kill a dark winter evening I was researching pagan Yule traditions and who should appear on my screen but the hairy, horned figure of the Krampus.
I'm probably not alone in thinking it's a wonderful idea that there is a dark side to what is a very jolly season. While I've always approached Christmas from a more pagan direction (which isn't hard to do if you simply drop the nativity) it is still very easy to get caught up in the modern greed-good will-more greed cycle of the modern holiday, which lacks any real tangible moral comeuppance... and that's why I love the Krampus. What child is going to be taught a lesson by a lump of coal in their stocking? No the threat of a pre-Christian alpine demon stealing you in the night has far more terrifying ramifications for spoilt brats and greedy parents.
As I said before the Krampus is enjoying more exposure in wider pop culture with appearances in shows such as The Venture Bros., Grimm, and American Dad, as well as films such as A Christmas Horror Story (2015), Krampus The Christmas Devil (2013), Krampus (2015), and the forthcoming Kevin Smith film Anti-Clause, as well as in print media such as the Krampus! Comic series.
With appearances like this increasing and videos such as the one below of the Krampus parade, it won't be long before the sinister figure of the Krampus will hopefully become more entwined with the modern traditions of Christmas.
But enough dark and demonic goings on from me. I have one last update regarding the annual compilation. As of this Sunday, submissions will be closed and bar those which I'm just waiting for from some acts that I really REALLY am looking forward to adding to the track list, I'll not be adding anyone else and will begin creating the A4 download booklet. I have some extra time in the week before Christmas so I will be doing the bulk of the work then and straight after Christmas and before the release date I can email all the contributors a copy.
Right that's it for 2015 from me personally. We'll be having out top tens appearing here soon, so keep an eye out for those, as well as more reviews and interviews. Don't forget that if you've not heard our previous compilations, you do so by going to our bandcamp page HERE.
And finally, make sure you have these links in your favourites: