Saruman from 'Lord of the Rings' to release concept album of 'symphonic metal'

I’m an absolute Christopher Lee fiend—an appropriate term given the veteran British thesp has portrayed the devilish likes of Dracula, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. However, I didn’t know that he has a sideline as a heavy metal vocalist. It turns out Lee has performed with both New York metallers Manowar and Italian rockers Rhapsody who recruited the great man to sing on their 2006 opus—and I think “opus” is probably the right word to use here—Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret.

Now the 87-year-old Lee is striking out on his own. In the video clip you can see below the actor reveals that in March he will release a concept CD of “symphonic metal.” The album is called Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and features Lee singing the part of the titular 8th century European leader. That’s right: Christopher Lee is about to get medieval on your a–!

You can listen to snippets from Charlemagne on MySpace. Personally, I’m a big fan of Lee’s performance on “Act III: The Bloody Verdict of Verden” and in particular his rousing cry of “I shed the blood of the Saxon men!” But, hey, I’ve never heard a song about Saxon men blood-shedding that I didn’t like.” I’ve also embedded below a video of Lee playing with Rhapsody which proves that Lee really is quite a good singer, and that Italians really are crazy as hell.

Check it all out and tell us what you think. Is Lee’s career curve ball an honorable departure or as horrifying as many of the parts he has played?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Pierre Vinet

Comments (7 total) Add your comment
  • Dinosaur

    So you EW guys have never heard Lee’s version of “Mack the Knife” (sung in German)? Or his “Ghost Riders in the Sky”?

  • Rush

    First! I would buy an album of this guy reading or singing the phone book.

  • paige

    i love symphonic metal! if anybody is curious you Gotta listen to a band named Therion– its literally Opera with Metal!!! and just awesome

    • Erika

      Thanks for the heads up–I’m gonna check them out–I love symphonic metal!

    • Vivyahna

      Hey, you guys should listen to Nightwish… that’s true Symphonic Metal. It’s amazing.
      At least, when they had Tarja Turunen.

  • Curt

    Surely it can’t be as bad as Leonard Nimoy’s album from the 70’s. I forget the name of the album and it’s been around 30 years since I heard it last but I still hear the cheesy lyrics to “Bilbo Baggins, The Bravest Little Hobbit of Them All” and “I’ll Go My Way By Myself” tumbling around in the back of my head from time to time.

  • alex

    Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross – AMAZING ALBUM TITLE!

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