Monday, March 15, 2010

Christopher Lee and Metal Music

I'm not sure I get this. Melissa Snell of the Medieval history blog brings us news that the infamous Christopher Lee (Dracula, Count Dooku, Saruman the White) has produced a "symphonic metal music" album entitled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. Apparently it tells the story of Charlemagne looking back at his life on his deathbed. Melissa notes:
Far and away the best thing about the album is Lee's performance. Now that he's in his 80s, his voice doesn't have the clarity it once had, but it still has extraordinary power and depth. The narration by his daughter, Christina, is quite good. The music is listenable, although there isn't a single track I felt compelled to listen to again, and some of the melodies stay with you. And, miracle of miracles, the content is historically accurate. I don't want Mr. Lee thinking I doubted his and his associates' ability to pull together an accurate portrayal of a medieval figure; it's just that I'm so used to popular culture falling short that it's a delightful surprise when somebody gets it right.

Unfortunately, although the lyrics were interesting as well as factual, they lacked poetry; and while the music was enjoyable, it wasn't as exciting as I'd anticipated. Of course, this is only my own personal opinion; music critics who know more about these things will probably think differently. I'm simply an extreme history enthusiast, and as such I can only tell you that, yes, Charlemagne did have trouble with his brother Carloman in the early years of his reign; and yes, according to Einhard he was betrayed by the Gascons on his Spanish expedition; and yes, he did have more than 4000 Saxons brutally executed when they refused to convert to Christianity.
A taste over at Christopher Lee's website:

It is interesting. But clearly not my thing. ;)


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