Christopher Lee
Charlemagne: The Omens of Death


3.5
great

Review

by Matthew Hopkins USER (45 Reviews)
June 29th, 2013 | 24 replies


Release Date: 05/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ‘Saruman has a mind of metal’ – Treebeard, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

In 2010 Sir Christopher Lee, at the grand old age of 88, released his first ‘heavy metal’ album, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. 2013 brings us his second outing into the heavy metal genre, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, which is described as being Sir Christopher’s first proper heavy metal album, shying away from the symphonic metal that defined his first.

Omens of Death is something of an interquel to By the Sword and the Cross. The story set in the first album is played out between track two and track seven of this album. This is possible due to the fact that each song on the previous album had its own spoken intro. Omens has none of that here, and the album flows very well as one continuous piece of music.

Sir Lee brings his entire heavy metal repertoire to the field, and Omens contains all the necessary ingredients for a decent heavy metal record. He has a brilliant guitarist who is on the rise, an excellent bassist and enough vocalists to make Ayeron jealous. The only weak link is the drummer, who does his job well but never seems to stand out.

For a man who was alive for fifty years before heavy metal existed, he has a remarkably good grasp of the genre and fits quite well in it, no doubt helped by the addition of Richie Faulker the current guitarist of Judas Priest as the arranger. His famous, deep, bass filled voice still sounds intimidating as the nine hells despite his advanced age, and he manages to sound better on this album than he did on the previous one. However, one downside is that he occasionally appears to be speaking too slow for the music, meaning that it sounds as if the music and vocals are not entirely in sync.

Christopher Lee’s duet with tenor Vincent Ricciardi goes extremely well due to the vast difference in their voices, with Sir Lee’s deep voice slamming into Ricciardi’s tenor sound brilliantly. Vincent is perhaps the single remaining symphonic feature on this album, which isn’t so much of a bad thing. In addition the album also contains several other singers, and for the most part they work like a charm. Apart from one example on the song ‘The Devil’s Advocate’, were the other singers sound like a mixture of bad 80s glam metal and poor quality death metal.

Omens of Death is packed full of guitar riffs that sound well done and coherent. If you listened to the previous album, you will be able to hear some similarities in the sound, ‘Charles the Great’ has the same overall melody as ‘King of the Franks’ and the lyrics are almost identical. What Christopher Lee gives you is an album that is entertaining and historically accurate to a degree.

The guitars are handled by Hedras Ramos Jr. and are exceptionally well done considering the fact that he is only 21 years old. He sounds excellent on this record, especially on the last few tracks which give him more room to maneuver as they are not connected to the original album in any way. Instead they are about Charlemagne’s campaign in Spain and what happens after this. The bass is handled by Hendras Sn. and the father and son team work with such grace that can only be achieved with a lifetime of working together.

Omens of Death is a reasonably good album, but is let down by the occasional hiccup. The song ‘The Devil’s Advocate’ sounds like something a poor metal-core band would produce, with its terrible lyrics, poor death growls and clean vocals by the supporting artists. The song really does knock the whole album down a level, and is a terrible let down.

What Christopher Lee has provided us with is a vast improvement over his first album. Ditching the symphonic overtones and the interludes was a brilliant idea, and this album flows much better. Omens of Death is an enjoyable record by the oldest man in metal despite its few flaws. Treebeard’s statement was correct, Saruman does indeed have a mind of metal.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Hoppoman
June 29th 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Man is made of pure metal. Originally posted here.

http://meltingalbumreviews.com/2013/06/30/christopher-lee-charlemange-the-omens-of-death/

Mister Twister
June 29th 2013


1780 Comments


I love that Christopher Lee is fucking awesome at everything, and even metal is included in that.

Digging: Panikk - Unbearable Conditions

Hoppoman
June 29th 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed hard. Guy is a pure Nazi hunting legend.

Mister Twister
June 29th 2013


1780 Comments


Yeah, I'm gonna have to check this out later. The Bloody Verdict Of Verden or whatever was campy but still damned awesome, in a weird way (kind of like how GloryHammer is funny but still awesome). If this is better than the first album, it'll probably rule.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 29th 2013


3717 Comments


lol, a 90 years old fuck recording metal music.

RESPECT ONLY !!!

Hoppoman
June 29th 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's called massacre of the saxons now. Still has the cheesy lyrics but the music is a lot better.

Acanthus
June 29th 2013


9545 Comments


Loved his work with Rhapsody Of Fire, will check this out.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

thespaceforthis
June 29th 2013


518 Comments


this rules

Acanthus
June 29th 2013


9545 Comments


Kinda wish he'd sing less, though it definitely fits with the older heavy metal vibe (voice is awesome spoken alright sung with others); not sure if I can get behind it.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
June 29th 2013


7150 Comments


What a perfect fucking summary lol. This man is a true badass.

SitarHero
June 29th 2013


4720 Comments


I don't always quote the most interesting man in the world, but when I do, it's Christopher Lee.

Good review. Great summary. Pos.

JustinKing
June 29th 2013


1366 Comments


I literally told my friend about this album yesterday, and he made the exact joke as the summary.

Epicenter
June 30th 2013


174 Comments


A man made of pure metal. I can't respect this man enough.

EvoHavok
June 30th 2013


1476 Comments


Christopher Lee for the win!

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

Hoppoman
June 30th 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hope he has it in him to make another album.

tempest--
June 30th 2013


14410 Comments


wait so this is actually good?

Hoppoman
July 1st 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Indeed it is, I was surprised too.

Mad.
July 1st 2013


4068 Comments


Summary is priceless.

The question is, can he survive long enough to make another album?

Rowan5215
July 1st 2013


27913 Comments


Dude he's Christopher Lee, he's fucking immortal.

Hoppoman
July 1st 2013


654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Aye, I don't reckon he'll be slowing down yet.



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