Christopher Lee
Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross


2.5
average

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (44 Reviews)
December 8th, 2012 | 51 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Christopher Lee enters the world of music by shedding the blood of Saxon men.

Everyone knows who Christopher Lee is. (If you don't then go out and watch Lord of the Rings, he plays Saruman, don't worry I'll wait.) At the grand age of 88, which is older than most band's combined ages when they begin, he comes out with Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross.

Charlemagne was the first Holy Roman Emperor, (My other job is a history student.), who conquered most of France and West Germany, paving the way for the foundations of an empire that would last 1000 years. Christopher Lee is descended from this great leader, and this album is his tribute to the Frankish King.

There in lies the first problem of Charlemagne, the album doesn't know whether it is an album or a biography. Roughly 15 minutes of the album is taken up by intros, which are comprised entirely of spoken word. These help to advance the plot of his life, by musically they are a total waste of space.

The album is set up like an opera, with each act having its own intro and song. This means that the music doesn't flow entirely well and the songs, which are rather good on their own accord, do not flow very well.

There are some brilliant tracks on his album, 'The Bloody Verdict of Verden' peaking out at the top. This song is one of epic proportions, with the deep bass voice of Christopher Lee contrasting starkly with Vincent Ricciardi, who sings in a tenor style. The song has a symphonic background until the guitar kicks in at around 2:20 and its chorus will have you singing 'I shed the blood of the Saxon men' for weeks afterwards.

Christopher Lee does not sing on this album, but he doesn't need to as his voice does all the work for him. The raw untapped bass of his voice holds up well on the album despite his advanced years, there are a few places however where his voice does seem to be a bit shaky, but he does extremely well. If this album had taken place 30/40 years ago then it might have sounded even better.

In conclusion, Charlemagne: By the Omen and the Cross is a mixed bag. The music is good when it turns up and is played well and rather catchy. But do not listen to the rumours as this is not a metal album, but rather a symphony with a harsh guitar thrown it. But this does not take away the fact that one whole quarter of the album is a historical biography with no music what so ever.

Recommended Tracks.

The Bloody Verdict of Verden
Starlight
The Age Of Oneness Out Of Diversity



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
December 8th 2012


634 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's quite short, but i think its all summed up there.

MO
December 8th 2012


18674 Comments


man is a legend

demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


haha oh man i forgot all about this. Dooku does metal

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

toxicgarbageisland1
December 8th 2012


81 Comments


^suck.

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


Shit band

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


YOU WILL TASTE THE BLOOD OF ROHANNNNNN

Buzzkillr
December 8th 2012


1541 Comments


"band"

lol

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


Yeah Darth Maul and Vader way better

Buzzkillr
December 8th 2012


1541 Comments


I preferred Gimli's dwarven big band tbh.

oltnabrick
December 8th 2012


30797 Comments


Darth Maul creeps me out. Why does he never talk? WHAT A FREAK RIGHT?

Digging: Monte / Magnétophonique - Split

demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


Maul suffers from mental retardation clearly, just like everything in the prequels

demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


dooku is awesome in star wars battlefront 2

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


Maul was the most evil, scary looking Sith ever, more so than Vader. Quiet yes but in a menacing way

By far the best aspect of the prequels

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


Yeah Dooku sucked, was so boring and old man

demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


i thought grievous was pretty cool



demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


yeah but he was the bees knees when the movie first came out lol. I was 12 or 13 though so of course a robot with four lightsabers was the best thing ever.

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


I remember feeling exactly the same, I first found out about him when I saw the Revenge of the Sith lego sets come out

I saw a robot with a cape and four lightsabers and was like "YES... OMFG YESSSSS"

Kinda lame in the movie though, his asthma is annoying and he dies waaaay too fast

Polyethylene
December 8th 2012


3084 Comments


(I was a youngin' back then)

demigod!
December 8th 2012


44381 Comments


agreed, they could have made him so much more threatening if they just made him a full robot with like a human(oid)'s brain/mind/something instead of what appears to be a cancer-ridden alien who shouldve quit smoking years ago

but not even that could have saved those damn prequels

Butkuiss
December 8th 2012


4178 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I SHED THE BLOOD OF A THOUSAND SAXON MENNNN


DAD DA DA

DA DA DA DA DA DA


This is the definition of tepid power metal.



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