Label: Charlemagne Productions Ltd
Available: May 27th, 2013
What do you get when you take the man, the myth, the legend Sir Christopher Lee (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) singing heavy metal, epic heavy metal guitars and a whole lot of history and mix them together? You get a whole lot of epicness exploding your head into a volcano of pure metal glory and it’s called The Omens of Death!!!! So climb this volcanic mountain and firmly plant your metal flag and behold the glory of Charlemagne!
Only in today’s age do we see such a blending of different eras, genres, styles, interests and generations with such frequency and ease. Sir Christopher has been a legend well before he ever set foot in the heavy metal arena from his VAST work in film ranging from the Hammer films where he played villains such as Dracula, the Lord of the Rings films where he played Saruman and the Star Wars prequels as Count Dooku. Now, having worked with metal bands Rhapsody and Manowar it must have awakened the inner metal beast for Sir Christopher and he decided to do his own metal work with his band called Charlemagne. Now we are offered Sir Christopher’s second foray into heavy metal with his new album Charlemagne: The Omens of Death accompanied by some VERY accomplished musicians.
‘The Omens of Death’ feature 10 tracks full of some superb metal music my friends and with Sir Christopher on vocals and narrating brings the songs to a whole new level. To hear the voice of the man who has sported so many villainous roles and inspired from those roles, many metal musicians, actually singing heavy metal makes you think in many ways things have truly come full circle. Tony Iommi has even said in a way Sir Christopher helped create heavy metal because Black Sabbath drew from many of the Hammer Films Sir Christopher starred in as inspiration for their songs.
Aside from the great Sir Christopher singing on the album ‘The Omens of Death’ the album features the fantastic guitar work Hedras Ramos with all the music arranged by Judas Priest’s guitarist Ritchie Faulkner. Ramos’s guitar work is absolutely fantastic and gives the songs a whole new level of greatness that fits with the historical nature of the song’s lyrics. You have fantastic leads, solos and just amazing guitar work overall on the ‘The Omens of Death’ that any fan of great metal guitar playing will truly appreciate.
On another note, I think the historical theme of the album based on Charlemagne would be a great teaching tool for classrooms. You have Sir Christopher detailing the history of England and the ruler Charlemagne in the songs which I think would make the learning interesting to children. When I was in college there was an instructor who used Iron Maiden’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner song to help teach about the poem so it’s not unheard of. (EDIT: It has come to my attention that the Saxons mentioned in this album may be referring to the Saxons in mainland Europe and Germany of the time and NOT the Anglo-Saxons of England so I may have made a history flub here!)
‘The Omens of Death’ is a must listen to anyone who is a fan of Sir Christopher but also for any fan of the metal genre, as it really marks a milestone for the genre in having such a living legend genuinely contributing to the genre we metal fans love so much.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5!!!