Christopher Lee – Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross
Hmm, the man behind such legendary villains as Count Dracula, Count Dooku and Saruman singing symphonic metal? Not to mention he’s 87 freaking years old! You have to respect Sir Christopher Lee for still having the energy to keep busy at such a ripe old age (he’s got five movies coming out this year.) I guess that’s why he’s the last of the classic Horror movie stars still standing.
So what is “Symphonic Metal”? Maybe a metal-head would have a better idea but I can still give you my interpretation. I take it as a blending of almost operatic and classical styles mixed with overly distorted guitars, occasionally descending into a face melting solo. Sounds cool but here it just sounds like a painfully cheesy Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
I had no intention of going into this album with a serious mindset. No offense to the Count here but this whole idea is well, kind of stupid. An 80 something year old man singing about the legacy of King Charlemagne? Chances are it’s a formula for confusion and unintended laughter. Though they could of found ways to cut down on the “cheese factor” here are a few of my suggestions.
1. Got to cut back on all the other vocalists. I didn’t get this to listen to them, I want to hear an 87 year old man sing about bloodshed and war!
2. More METAL! No one wants to hear sub-par classical arrangements, so spice em up with more shredding guitar solos or heavy drum fills. Drums are a real disappointment here.
3. Too much story! If I wanted to learn about Charlemagne (which I don’t) I’d read a book or go on Wikipedia.
So it’s an amusing idea. I mean who wouldn’t want to hear a grandpa accompanied by the chug of a distorted guitar? Unfortunately, it gets old fast and is nothing more than a bizarre curiosity. Hopefully this won’t result in my execution by old man lightsaber.
Favorite Tracks: I’m amused by segments of a few songs but not enough to say I have any favorite tracks.