Playlist: Metalocalypse Co-Creator Brendon Small’s 10 Favorite Songs that Tell a Story
Dethklok mastermind Brendon Small has released the original score for Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera. And this isn’t just your average metal record—it’s a full-blown musical featuring a fifty-piece orchestra containing orchestral movements produced by Brendon Small and Emmy-winning composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica/Walking Dead). The soundtrack also features the musical prowess of long-time Dethklok instrumentalists Gene Hoglan (Testament), bassist Bryan Beller (The Aristocrats, Joe Satriani), and Mike Keneally (Frank Zappa, Joe Satriani).
For Revolver, Small listed his top 10 favorite rock opera/concept album songs/any songs that tell a story. Small said, “A lot of these songs are what influenced me to write the Doomstar Requiem. Check ‘em out. Warning: Not all of them are brutal, but they are fucking great. And this might not be the actual order.”
The deluxe edition of the original score soundtrack will include an exclusive bonus “making of” feature with executive producer Brendon Small and cast/musicians, available on his website.
10. King Diamond, “Welcome Home” “This song functions as a great stand alone song with great riffs and structure, but in story it sets up the mysterious ‘Grandma’ character.”
9. Jesus Christ Superstar (musical), “Heaven On Their Minds” “This song musically, lyrically, and thematically is brilliant. The story is told by the enemy of the man who will turn the ‘hero’ in to the Romas, Judas, who is pissed of and denounces what Jesus is doing and wants him to stop with this ‘God’ stuff. Really smart and thoughtful writing.”
8. The Who’s Tommy, “Go to the Mirror” “This is a turning point song in the story where Tommy learns that he has inner power and can break the self-imposed prison. I love that it’s a simple rock tune but it keeps the suspended chord motif and foreshadows ‘Listening To You.’ Brilliant writing and Pete Townsend is a riff master and a story master. I bow before him.”
7. Rush, “2112 Overture” “Okay this is just a badass instrumental that sets up a great concept album and to be extra nerdy they quote the ’1812 Overture.’ If you want to know why Rush is worshipped by millions then listen and you will understand.”
6. Anthrax, “Among the Living” “One of the reasons I love Anthrax- besides being thrashy riff masters is Scott Ian’s love of Stephen King. This is a song that references a bigger story and that story is The Stand. A classic tale of good and evil, but this song focuses on the evil.”
5. Metallica, “Creeping Death” “Another song that is referencing a bigger story, and this story is the bible, yes the bible keeps coming back in rock and metal. But in this band’s defense its about an angry God destroying and punishing that’s pretty brutal. Great fiction.”
4. Queen, “Prophet’s Song” “I manage to find a way to put this on every list I make because it’s one of my all time favorite songs. But it tells a story- a story of the end of the earth. Brain May is a god.”
3. The Who, “A Quick One, While He’s Away” “Yes The Who again. This is a great rock tune that tells a great simple story of a man coming home to find his wife screwing around on him. But more importantly I believe this is the first albeit short, ROCK OPERA, that has ever existed- the spark that birthed TOMMY.”
2. Evita (musical), “And The Money Kept Rolling In” “Yes, this is a big gay musical and I love it. This soundtrack was playing in my childhood and influenced me. This is musically great and extra nerdy (as it’s in 7/8 NERDS!!!GET EM!!) Great part of a what could’ve been a boring story about a girl who rose from obscurity into world recognition (common theme also in JCSS and TOMMY) and flew a little too close to the sun and falls.”
1. Genesis, “Supper’s Ready” “Another great twisting turning song story-song that’s a little on the confusing side but dealing with a lot of religious imagery. See if you an figure it out for yourself here. But musically amazing and Peter Gabriel’s voice is beautiful.”