Most 91-year-olds can barely move let alone record a heavy metal album. Three years ago I reviewed Christopher Lee’s 2010 symphonic metal album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross with little enthusiasm, but this time it’s different. Almost every complaint I had about that Andrew Lloyd Webber sounding piece of garbage has been reversed on “The Omens of Death”. Gone are the tiresome string arrangements and large ensemble cast of unmemorable vocalists. The Omens of Death is metal as fuck. Walls of wailing guitars attack the senses, accompanied by the booming basso of The Count himself. Yeah, it’s still stupid as hell but at least now it rocks.
The tracks were arranged by axe man Richie Faulkner (currently a guitarist in Judas Priest) with some spectacular guitar solos from 21-year old prodigy Hedras Ramos. Amazing to think there is a guitarist on this album that is 70 YEARS YOUNGER than the frontman. But these guys make The Omens of Death feel like a fun call back to 80s metal. “Charles the Great” is a definite standout with it’s chugging onslaught of guitars and proud Anglo-Saxon backup singers. “Let Legend Mark Me As the King” is another head-banger with some serious shredding. As for Christopher Lee himself he has a magnificent voice for 91-year old. Hell, I’d be surprised by anything a 91-year old could do.
Though in all serious this is still incredibly stupid. I had fun listening to this album but I’m sad to say it’s really more of an ironic douchebag kind of fun. But what do I know? I don’t even like metal that much. Maybe there’s some Metal-heads that can appreciate it instead of laughing at it. Whatever the case, I have nothing but admiration for Christopher Lee. There’s no one I’d rather see as the singing ghost of King Charlemagne.
Favorite Tracks: “Charles the Great,” “Let Legend Mark Me As the King”