Today I'm going to let you inside my head for a bit. Scary, I know. This may surprise you but I do a lot of thinking about music. I often rewrite songs in my head, assign new projects to vocalists, and dream up concept albums. Since today is a rather slow day and I don't have anything else to do I'll let you in on one of my "dream projects."
Concept Album about Jesus' birth, death, and resurrection.
I'm aware that this has actually been done before. A bunch of people got together and did Hero which I believe was a rock opera featuring Christian music's best and brightest. Michael Tait (DC Talk) played the part of Jesus. Mine would be a lot different. First, it would be a LOT heavier but progressive - like an Ayreon CD but with more heavy. Secondly, it would feature both Christian and non-Christian talent. I don't have a set cast list but here's what I've been thinking.
Mary - Hayley Williams (Paramore): I picked Hayley for Mary because she's young and has proven to me that she can tackle a wider range of styles and emotions than "angsty." Though to be honest having to birth the Son of God might make anyone angsty so there's another point for her.
John the Baptist - Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian): I love Hansi's voice and think he would be perfect to play the voice in the wilderness.
Zechariah - Terry Scott Taylor (DA, Swirling Eddies, Lost Dogs): Our friend Terry would have one good song, namely, "Benedictus." It would be soft, acoustic, moving, and beautiful all at the same time. It would perfectly capture the mood of someone able to die feeling fulfilled.
Herod - Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine): We need somebody nice and bombastic for Herod. I think Eric fits the bill nicely.
Jesus - Jimmy P. Brown, II (Deliverance, Jupiter VI): As a huge fan of the D I'm convinced that Jimmy has the passion and pathos to voice the Savior.
Peter - Damien Wilson (ex-Threshold, Star One): Damien's voice is another one of those that just gives me chills every time I hear it. I think he's got the gusto to match Peter's strong emotions yet the ability to also reflect Peter's regrets.
John - Dug Pinnick (King's X): Because we need some soul up in this joint.
Judas - Roger Rose (ex-Mad at the World): I was going to pick Randy Rose for this spot but I thought that might be a little too predictable. Randy's Morrison-esque voice would be too obvious. I think Roger's more sensitive vocal style would be a little more interesting also, let's be honest here, Roger can handle hard rock vocals just fine.
Mary Magdalene - Anneke Van Giersbergen (Various Ayreons): Anneke could provide a sensitive and quiet counterpoint to Jimmy's emotion, but she can also belt it out when the time is right.
Pontius Pilate - Claudio Sanchez (Coheed and Cambria): Claudio the vocalist spends most of his time question his place in the world as Claudio the character. Who better to as the question "What is truth?"
Satan - Devin Townsend (Devin Townsend Project) and Steve Rowe (Mortification): Do I really need to go into why these two would be perfect for the part? Satan's voice would be layered with Devin handling the higher register and Steve's old school death metal growl handling the lower register.
The Magi - Joey Belladonna (ex-Anthrax), James Hetfield (Metallica), and Dave Mustaine (Megadeth): I admit this one's a little silly but I find the idea of three of the "Big Four" lending their voices to the Magi to be too awesome not to consider. Heck, if he's up for it we can throw in Tom Araya (Slayer) too.
That's all the vocalists I have spots for in my head. As for musicians we'll have Rex Carroll (ex- Whitecross) for the facemelters because he's the MAN. We'll also have John Scheaffer (Iced Earth) on tap for some of those super-fast thrash riffs. Oh yeah, we'll need Derri Daugherty (The Choir) for the ambient stuff. We'll have Ryan Van Pooderuyan (or however you spell it) on the drums. Tim Chandler will be providing the bass on the more melodic parts and we'll go ahead and let Steve Rowe handle the bass on the heavier parts. We'll need a keyboard guy too but since I don't really have a favorite you'll have to think up your own.
There you have it. Feel free to post your own suggestions if you have any!