Chuck Schuldiner Project

Monday, December 6, 2010

Charlemagne-Christopher Lee (Yes that Christopher Lee)

When I found out that Christopher Lee had a metal album out. (Yes that Christopher Lee) I was like I have to review this thing. Remember the dude was 87 when this was released back in March. I'm pretty sure he's the oldest person ever to release a metal album. It starts out with the track Overture which shows a really good combination between metal and classical music. There is orchestral backing for it and then guitar comes over it dominating the music, which still retains that classical feel. Actually its the coolest classical music ever. Actually I can not stop listening to this. Its literally a heavy metal play. This album has a bit of the Tolkien feel, in fact he uses the Tolkien Ensemble to provide the classical feel to the music. There is a really amazing story here but it still retains a heavy metal feel for some tracks.
The lyrics tell the story of Charlemagne, who in fact is an ancestor of Christopher Lee, whose just racking up points here. Wikipedia calls this album Symphonic Metal, which pretty much describes it. Its basically classical music with really cool electric guitar parts. This album is really beautiful and explosive. There are some sing-a-long bits as well. Actually the sing-a-long bits mostly compose of “Charlemagne oh Charlemagne” but still it's pretty cool. The story is a lot more plotty than other rock operas and tells more of a story then those other rock operas. The music is very ominous and dark preparing you for the explosion of the guitar parts. The guitar is reasonably skilled and the orchestra is just fantastic.
The lyrics are dark and imposing and operatic. Actually half of the heavy metallness of this album is the darkness of the lyrics, the guitar is not always present but the heavy metal style. The music is very epic in style and bleak. The vocalists on it are good at strengthening the dark feel of the album. It has literally the most ominous soundtrack that I have ever heard. The story is really amazing and just makes me smile, it has so much beauty in it. Actually I am considering playing this for my family, yes this is a very wide appealing album. I mean from a front of combining metal, opera, and classical music.
Overall this is a good album but it is not a traditional metal album. While it combines some heavy metal sounds it is by no means heavy metal in and of itself. However it is so powerful and symphonic that it is worth a listen. Soon I will try to do some of the heavier stuff Christopher Lee has done. Apparently he has worked with the classic bands Manowar and Rhapsody of Fire. When the guitar comes through this album this is an even more epic album. Totally worth a listen no matter what style of music you like. Even you extreme-metalheads might find something in the dark and doom laden lyrics.

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