Charlemagne: The Omens Of Death review by Christopher Lee

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  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (18 votes)
Christopher Lee: Charlemagne: The Omens Of Death

Sound — 10
Let's begin with the basic facts: Christopher Lee, the actor famous for portraying Dracula in the 1970s, is a completely hardcore, honest-to-God Metalhead. He is such a Metalhead that he has now released a Metal Opera. And also, Christopher Lee is ninety-two years old. The sound of his attempt at a "The Wall" type epic concept album actually takes the term "Metal Opera" rather literally. This album sounds like a just about equal mix of Metal and Opera. Which is kind of strange, as Lee himself doesn't do much singing, but he does have an extremely powerful voice for his age and in general, which commands your attention from the moment he begins to talk.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics to "Charlemagne: The Omens of Death" do not really seem so much like actual song lyrics, they come off more as epic poetry, transformed into music by the Black Sabbath meets Iron Maiden meets the Trans-Siberian Orchestra-style music that accompanies the words being spoken by Christopher Lee. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as I mentioned earlier the man has a very strong presence. If he speaks, you can't really do anything except listen until he is done speaking. In other words, he has the perfect sort of voice for what he's doing on this album. The only downside to that fact, is that the few other voices throughout "Charlemagne" are rather boring, for lack of a better word.

Overall Impression — 10
This is simultaneously one of the most amazing things I've heard and also one of the most depressing. The reason is simply because "Charlemagne: The Omens of Death" turned out to be quite a bit better than I was expecting and the fact that a ninety-two year old actor can make something of better musical quality and artistic integrity than a fair amount of the groups who call themselves metal musicians, is both incredibly respectable for Christopher and a message to the previously mentioned musicians. The message is this: be original. Don't sell out like Metallica just so you can make a few extra bucks and be on the radio.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "The message is this: be original. Don't sell out like Metallica just so you can make a few extra bucks and be on the radio." What does that have to do with anything? First of all, it's not like Sir Christopher Lee is some sort of up and coming young star, who chose to follow his vision instead of "selling out", he's a legendary actor with quite a bit of dough to his name. Second of all, you come off as someone who has no idea how the music industry works and has never been in a band/performed. "Selling out" is something which has lost any and all meaning in terms of metal, since it's not a mainstream genre anymore, therefore, if one were to actually sell out, they'd be playing bubble gum rock like One Direction, or whatever's hot with young girls at the moment. And besides, nowadays, hitting it big and actually EARNING money as a band with its own vision in a niche genre, such as metal, is a huge deal. Sir Christopher Lee just wanted to have some fun and produced quite an interesting album. That has nothing to do with other metal bands trying desperately to earn a living. Also, way to overrate everything. It's interesting and incredible, that a 92-year-old is able to do all this, but the album's a 7 at best.
    did they sell out during St. Anger or Lulu? granted, not everything they've done has been great, but its kind of silly to call them sell outs. They seem to just do whatever they want regardless of whether the fans like it or not. To me that's like the opposite of selling out.
    I love how you say that he played Dracula in the 70s but completely ignore the fact that he played Saruman in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies and Count Dooku in Star Wars
    Aryan Death Man
    the review was good..until I read the last line.But the wtf was that in the end?Do you must compare Metallica with everything? Christopher Lee doesn't have to anything to do with Metallica.And with that last lost credibility
    About the album, it's very good and Sir Christopher Lee is already incredible as actor, so this is another great quality of his. But I don't think Metallica ever sold out. Load and ReLoad may be softer, but appeared to me that they really wanted to do that. I think it would be fair calling them sold out if they stayed in their comfort zone, always making the same thing, just for the money.
    i loved the parts i listened of the album and while it is awesome and epic i think this review kinda overates it. and while metallica did make softer albums, load and reload, i don't think they sold out
    Good review. I personally quite like the last line - but I suppose all that comes down it is personal opinion on Metallica. Still a cheap-shot though, yet I can understand your out-lash against standard "metal by numbers" metal.
    The lyrics dont fit for me since the vocals where copy and pasted off his first album, Of The Sword And The Cross I enjoyed more since Symphonic Metal is my favorite subgenre and the Lyrics fit more with its original composition. I found the Guitar Choppy and sloppy at times like ``The Siege`` and ``Massacre Of The Saxons``. But I really love the improvement on ``Starlight`` which is now ``Dawning Of A New Age`` My only problem is when buying both Charlemagne Albums you are only truly getting 4 new songs, and 6 re-recordings for 22 dollars.