Tell me a story. You don’t have to use words if you don’t want to, but any good piece of music tells you a story in some way. And you might disagree with the way the narrative is being presented, and you might just flat-out dislike the message it’s sending, but the way I see it, if you can accept such opinions when they’re presented inside the cover of a book, why can’t you when it is presented as music?

Here are five picks that I couldn’t live without on my desert island, and taken as a whole, you’ll really only find one common thread among the choices: there are stories being told here. I’ll give you a brief explanation why I chose them aside from what I’ve just said, but it really doesn’t make a difference to you what I think of them. Yours is just to experience them for yourself and make up your own mind.

The beauty of any creative process is that it is completely transferable from one person to another, and no one truly has “the last word” on what it all means.

King Diamond – Conspiracy: Metal’s ultimate showman, loved and hated by all sides. Some say he’s too extreme while others believe he’s way too theatrical, which is obviously why I think he’s so great. King Diamond brought an almost operatic sensibility to metal, both with his sky-scraping wails and the gothic horrors of his storytelling. To get bogged down in the iconography surrounding his, and his former band Mercyful Fate’s, presentation is to ignore what that actually is.

Yes – Big Generator: There is a mood that hangs over the track “Shoot High Aim Low” that I can’t put into words, but I also can’t shake it off. Is this a song about a mercenary’s last night of life and his memories, is it about love that’s fallen apart when the memories that held it together unraveled, or is there a clear narrative at all? I don’t know myself, but I know if I could write something that opaque, but retain that level of listenability, I will have achieved something great. I shoot for that goal every time I step up to the microphone.

Mozart: Before you say it, stop. This isn’t a conversation about why someone who sings in a metal band should enjoy the music of Mozart. It’s about why you should believe I wouldn’t. And no, I couldn’t pick from the lot of his works, but if I was pressed, it would be the Requiem, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and Eine Kleine Nacht Musik. I’d deeply regret not taking the rest, but these are your rules, not mine.

Morbid Angel – Blessed are the Sick : Sometimes, you need fire.

Vangelis – Voices: Sometimes, you don’t.

Core Device is one of the latest bands to sign with the upstart metal label Heaven and Hell Records. Their second album, What I ‘ve Become, will be re-released through Heaven and Hell with a bonus track and brand new packaging in Spring 2011. Meanwhile, writing commences for the band’s third release.

Touring is a must for Core Device in 2011, so check out their website at www.coredevice.com and come out when the band comes to your town. To get you started, check out this promotional video below featuring the first single from What I’ve Become, “Spiritual.”

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