Charlemagne: the Omens of Death [Vinyl LP]
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Limited to 500 copies Frosted clear vinyl. Legendary actor Christopher Lee, who has appeared in such cinematic milestones as Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, The Man With The Golden Gun and Dracula amongst many others, is releasing the Heavy Metal album Charlemagne: The Omens Of Death on 25th May 2013. The singer-actor's first solo affair into the metal genre was the critically acclaimed album, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross (2010), which was more symphonic than its successor. The Omens of Death, signifies his move into full on Heavy Metal. In an interview with Jamie Stangroom for BBC Radio 5 live Up All Night he said: I was first introduced to metal when I sang with a [band] called RHAPSODY, he said. But what I sang was not heavy metal; I sang with a tenor. Then I worked with MANOWAR as a narrator, I think it was in Germany, and again, that was not me singing metal. I became rather fascinated by this, because in terms of history of music, it s fairly recent, really. And if it's properly done and you can understand the story and you can understand what the people are singing and you have the right bands and the right singers, I think it's rather exciting. When I was approached to do the first Charlemagne album, By The Sword And The Cross, it is heavy metal, of course, but what I sang was more symphonic. Now on the second one, The Omens Of Death, it is 100 percent heavy metal. I've done my bits and pieces, and they are heavy metal. I'm not screaming or anything like that, but it is definitely 100 percent heavy metal. Lee also spoke about being presented with the Spirit Of Hammer prize by BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi at Metal Hammer magazine's Golden Gods awards in London in June 2010, Lee said, 'It was a most amazing occasion for me very exciting and something I'd never had happen to me my whole career, my whole life, in terms of awards', he said. 'I have received quite a few. But I was interviewed, actually in this room, by Tony Iommi, who founded BLACK SABBATH. And I hadn't heard them, but I made it a point [to do so]. [And] I thought it was extraordinary. And then I went to O2 [in London] in front of a fairly large crowd, I would say, all, of course, very young. And I got a greeting, which was really quite amazing. The decibel level was very high. Very high, very high.' The music was arranged by Ritchie Faulkner, now the lead guitarist at Judas Priest. In an interview with Peter Hodgson at Guitar Talk, he said: 'Yeah, that was a really interesting project to work on. Sir Christopher's team sent me some songs that were very orchestral and symphony-based and asked me to arrange them into metal songs. Most of the songs were already there, but they needed riffs, drum parts and musical parts that reflected what the guys wanted which was a metal record with an aim to be played live by a band. The team and Sir Christopher were great and they gave me a free creative reign really for any ideas I felt the songs needed. Some of the tracks didn't have any music at all and were just Sir Christopher singing his melodies. I remember how surreal it was sitting in my place at the time with Saruman blasting out over the speakers! I've no idea what the neighbors thought!.' The album features Guitar Idol Champion Hedras Ramos Jr, who takes over the lead guitar duties from Richie Faulkner. Singers: Christopher Lee as Charlemagne (Ghost) Vincent Richiardi as Young Charlemagne / Phil S.P as Pippin The Short / Mauro Conti as Pope Hadrian / Lydia Salnikova as Hildegrad / Gorgon Tittsworth as Roland / Aaron Cloutier as Duke Lop Musicians: Electric Guitar: Hedras Ramos Jr. / Bass Guitar: Hedras Ramos Sr. / Drums: Ollie Usiskin.
ohne Ende und all diesen bei ähnlichen Projekten typischen Kram. Hier mal nicht die üblichen Songstrukturen vorzufinden, auch mal Sprechgesang zu hören...kein Problem. „The Omens Of Death“ gefällt mir durchgängig gut, der Einsatz der unterschiedlichen Stimmen hält das Ganze wunderbar zusammen! Da muß ich dann auch die schaurige story nicht unbedingt durchschauen... Dickes Lob an die Macher um Christopher Lee herum, Richie Faulkner(Judas Priest) war hier wohl federführend tätig. Die Geschichte des hardrock/heavy metal muß nicht umgeschrieben werden, aber „Charlemagne“ ist für mich eine recht gelungene CD aus der uralten Rubrik „Metal+Horror“.
Hut ab Sir Lee, das wirkt nicht aufgesetzt und künstlich...wie bei so manch anderen Oldies die sich gerne mal einem anderen Publikum anbiedern...ähhh...öffnen!
Dieses Album hätte sich Christopher Lee lieber sparen sollen.
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This album impressed me more than his first Charlemagne volume, <i>By the Sword and the Cross</i>. It completes his epic and operatic telling of the life of one of history's great conquerors; one who not only won battles but also led a (unfortunately short-lived) renaissance of learning and culture with his sponsorship of scholars and scribes from across Europe. But it doesn't ignore the dark side of a king haunted by all the death he's wrought; Lee's Charlemagne tells himself it's justified, but the uncertainty and fear for the state of his own soul is almost palpable.
The musical quality doesn't disappoint either. Lee has a wonderfully rich, deep, classically trained voice which lends itself well to the more "operatic" style of heavy metal vocals, though this album is less symphonic than its predecessor. And with his acting background, he's attracted a talented group of musicians eager to perform their best for one who inspired them to explore the world of fear and darkness that anchors heavy metal. I found <i>The Omens of Death</i> more impressive than Lee's already respectable first metal album. "If it's too loud, you're too old," but at 91, Sir Christopher Lee proves that his age doesn't have to be a hindrance as long as he keeps a mentally "young" attitude, unafraid to expand his already-broad horizons.
Treebeard was literally correct in the Lord of the Rings: "There was a time when Saruman would walk in my woods. But now he has a mind of metal .."
I have to admit, though; Some of the songs(Let Legend Mark Me As the King or Massacre of the Saxons) were pretty amazing and well done, but other songs (Charles the Great, the remake of Act I from the previous album) seemed a bit off. It sounded as though they cut and pasted the vocal track over the new instrumental track. The vocals seemed to not quite keep up with the new tempo at some points. It's a shame they didn't completely redo the vocals to match the new style. Despite that it was still enjoyable and definitely worth the purchase.
If you like a good heavy metal song that also tells a good story, get this!
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