Christopher Lee, the famed actor known for Lord of the Rings and his portrayal of Dracula, is 91 years old. He may also be 15 years old. That is not a criticism of any kind, but many of Sir Lee’s interests align themselves cleanly with a number of kids I knew during my high school years. An obsession with fantasy tropes, an interest in early heavy metal, probably good grades in History and English classes, probably bad grades in Math. But if a 15 year-old with a three-hair mustache made a metal album called, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, it would be the sort of thing that gets you kicked out of the AV Club. When Christopher Lee does it, as The Guardian says he is, it makes perfect sense.
On May 27, Lee will release the aforementioned Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, the follow-up to his 2010 metal record Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. In composing the album’s music, Lee worked with Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner. However, the record’s guitar parts were not played by Faulkner, but instead by Hedras Ramos, who was 2009’s Guitar Idol runner-up, which is a contest I just learned about.
If you’ve heard the previous record in Lee’s Charlemagne series, perhaps you thought that it wasn’t quite 100% metal. Sure, 95% metal. Maybe. Well, Lee assures you that this one will be “100% metal,” at least in regards to his singing style. “I’ve done my bits and pieces, and they are heavy metal,” Lee said. “I’m not screaming or anything like that, but it is definitely heavy metal.” My fears are assuaged. Not that I should have worried, because his previous record did win The Spirit of Metal prize at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God awards, which is another thing I just learned about.
• Christopher Lee: http://christopherleeweb.com