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.