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CHARLEMAGNE - BY THE SWORD & THE CROSS

Christopher Lee Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Music

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Photos

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Biography

Christopher Lee: A Musical Journey

Sir Christopher’s ultimate love of fantasy has taken him into a new journey in the last decade. It all started when he was asked to appear in the role of The Wizard King for Rhapsody of Fire’s album ‘Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret’ (2004). That was then followed by ‘Triumph of Agony’ (2006), ... Read more in Amazon's Christopher Lee Store

Visit Amazon's Christopher Lee Store
for 3 albums, 3 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Mar 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cadiz Music Ltd
  • ASIN: B0037OUHC2
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. OvertureChristopher Lee 2:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Act I: IntroChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 1:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Act I: King of the FranksChristopher Lee, Phil S. P. 7:14£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Act II: IntroChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 1:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Act II: The Iron Crown of LombardyChristopher Lee, Mauro Conti 8:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Act III: IntroChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Act III: The Bloody Verdict of VerdenChristopher Lee, Vincent Ricciardi 6:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Act IV: IntroChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 2:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Act IV: The Age of Oneness out of DiversityChristopher Lee 6:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Act V: IntroChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 2:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Act V: StarlightChristopher Lee, Lydia Salnikova 4:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. FinaleChristopher Lee 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. IberiaChristopher Lee, Christina Lee 5:10£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. The Bloody Verdict of Verden (Instrumental)Christopher Lee 6:20£0.99  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

The story of King Charlemagne, First Holy Roman Emperor, acted and sung by the legendary actor Christopher Lee, one of the most popular and highest grossing actor of all time, with cinematic milestones such as "Lord Of The Rings", "Star Wars", "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Dracula".

The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
Christopher Lee, directly linked with Charlemagne, has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as "The Father of Europe".

Charlemagne is a concept album with original words and symphonic metal music.

Marco Sabiu - best known for his collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Take That, Ennio Morricone - has composed a huge epic canvas of sounds in the form of a movie score, introducing modern metal symphonies for orchestra, choir, two metal bands, and several guest vocalists.

The mesmerising lyrics meld with this powerful story, transporting the listener into the Dark Ages and allowing for the imagination to run wild. All these elements bring to life the legend of Charlemagne.

Review

The metal community will no doubt already be aware of Sir Christopher Lee's affinity with the genre through his Rhapsody of Fire and Manowar collaborations during the past few years. However, 'Charlemagne - By the Sword and the Cross' signifies his first venture into metal territory independent of an established band. I say independent as this is being marketed as a 'Christopher Lee' album, but a quick glance at the press release reveals a great ensemble effort at work here. The music has been composed by one Marco Sabiu (renowned for collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Take That, and legendary film composer Ennio Morricone) and is performed by a 100-piece orchestra, two metal bands, and a choir, together with several guest vocalists who both sing and narrate alongside Lee himself. Intrigued? I most certainly was, and the listening experience proves 'Charlemagne...' a fairly innovative cross-genre musical hybrid. Part film score; part history lesson; and part symphonic metal, Sabiu has fabricated a sonic tapestry rich with layers of orchestral grandeur and sporadically purposeful heavy guitars/drums that is aurally engaging from the offset and remains so throughout. Subject-wise, as one would guess from the album's title, it's centred around Charlemagne, the Frankish king and First Holy Roman Emperor who, during his reign from 768 - 814, expanded his kingdom into an empire that covered the majority of Western and Central Europe. Book-ended with two instrumental pieces, 'Overture' and 'Finale', the main body of the album is divided into five acts, each preceded by historical narratives, uttered by Lee's own daughter, Christina, and these serve to set the scene for each of the songs to which they relate. I guess "set the scene" is an apposite phrase as the underlying aesthetic is that of cinematic creativity. Interestingly, plans are currently underway to bring this project to the stage, so it will soon exist in visual form. And there lies another dimension of the album as it also has an undercurrent of the soundtrack to a musical, and an epic one at that. Lee's vocal performance is stunning, utilising the resonance in his classical baritone voice efficaciously to convey the drama inherent in the words he recites as the ghost of Charlemagne. The guest vocalists also bring with them a plethora of singing talent in their respective roles, adding drama to the story at all the right moments over the epically sonic backdrop of Sabiu's score. I do, however, predict that this album will divide listeners and journalists alike into a love it or hate it dichotomy. Personally, I'm in the former category and I await the stage version of 'Charlemagne...' with eager anticipation. All hail Sir Christopher Lee...the metal genre's newest, and oldest, singer! -- metal-discovery.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Metal God Rules! 9 April 2010
Format:MP3 Download
Christopher Lee is my favourite actor. Best Dracula ever.

Goddammit! Now he comes out with Charlemagne and me being a fan of metal, I had to buy this.

It's not Iron Maiden stuff but hell yeah, his voice still brings shivers to your spine. The music is a kind of big orchestra with metal guitars and drums thrown in. Works for me dudes. It's badassery!!!

I shed the blood of 4000 saxon men!

Album of the year.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee show us the way of the force. 24 Mar 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is an extraordinary venture and has worked extremely well and not in any way a novelty. The man's 87 and inspired by his work with Rhapsody of Fire has decided he wants some of the action himself. In homage to his distant ancestor Charlemagne he's created this brilliant project. The music is just awesome and really helps tell the story, I shuddered when the previous reviewer compared this to apocalyptica, no offence but there just isn't any comparison, it's not really like it. A better comparison would be Rhapsody of Fire or another Symphonically inspired band. The music isn't balls out metal, or even as metal as RoF, it's more inspired by metal, lots of orchestral work (which is fantastic and done by the European filmscore orchestra or something) with heavy riff driven bits interspersed, often chorus work.

The story itself is confusing enough to follow at the beginning, you really need to read the booklet the first time through as this means you don't miss any words. The history is interesting and it's amazing to think that Lee is a direct descendant of this man. The only bad bit is the narration, it is important as it sets the scene for each piece, but the woman's voice doesn't quite work in my opinion. She doesn't always sound right.

But anyway, this is recommended to all, it's a great ride, even if you only listen once, Christopher's voice really fits the subject matter, he sounds just like an old king retelling his story. If you are a Symphonic or Filmscore metal buff (Fairyland's genre) then this is a must (I'm neither, I'm just a metal fan who likes Lee) and to everyone else, it's worth a go. It's just so surprisingly good.

But anyway, good luck in your decision, but this isn't to be missed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise 10 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
Well, I was curious about such a weird concept, and about the legendary Christopher Lee "singing metal"?!? This is why I decided to buy "Charlemagne".
I have to say this is excellent stuff, well produced, well performed, and great music. One of my best buys this year.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross 11 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
The Cast:
Charlemagne: Sir Christopher Lee
Narrator: Christina Lee
Pippin The Short: Phil S.P.
Pope Hadrian: Mauro Conti
Young Charlemagne: Vincent Ricciardi
Hildegard : Lydia Salnikova
Storytelling Singer : Christi Ebenhock
Additional Vocals: Dave 'Grav' Cavill, John Wistow

In addition to being a die-hard metal fan, I am also a huge fan of opera and musical theater, owing to their storytelling qualities and grand, sweeping scope-qualities which they share with most heavy metal. Of particular interest to me is the style known as 'Music Drama', which was typified by Richard Wagner(The term itself was coined by Wagner after the composition of his opera Lohengrin). This style differs from other styles, in that the music follows the action of the story very closely, rather than being split into the traditional pieces which make up an opera: recitative, aria, etc.

Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross is just such a work. True, it is billed as a symphonic metal album, but that is certainly not what met my eager ears upon the first listen. Perhaps the most important distinction is that in traditional symphonic metal, the two elements which make up the style are presented almost apart from one another, as if the idea is to juxtapose the two against each other. In the case of Charlemagne, however, the metal elements are seamlessly integrated with the symphony; very well executed by the European Cinematic Symphony Orchestra And Choir, and conducted to a powerful interpretation by Composer Marco Sabiu. The metal instruments seem not as another element stuck beside the symphony, nor do they feel tacked-on; the metallic instrumentation feels like an extension of the orchestra.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CHARLEMAGNE IS MASTERFUL 24 May 2010
Format:Audio CD
CHARLEMAGNE - BY THE SWORD & THE CROSS

I really didn't know what to expect when I started to play this CD. I purchased it because I have been a huge fan of Christopher Lee over the many, many years and I have confirmed my belief that he is one of the most underrated actors of all time. On playing this CD his powerful voice filled my room and I could actually picture him acting out all the scenes. The music is described as "heavy metal" but I would expect hardcore fans of this genre to be a little disappointed. Personally, I loved the music. It is a history lesson told in words, music and song. The story is well written withe music that is rich, choral and melodic in a powerful opera style.

Christopher Lee is superb. His majestic, rich and powerful voice dominates throughout whether he is talking or singing. The rest of the performers, including a 100 piece orchestra, two metal bands and a choir are excellent. Unfortunately, for me, Christopher's daughter, Christina, who narrates, does not have the voice for such a demanding role. She almost sounds amateur and does not gel with the rest of the "mixture".

Highly recommended.

Colin Wilson
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
Absolutely amazing album, Christopher Lee's voice is sensational, I love the fact that it also tells a story aswell, I would recommend :)
Published 5 months ago by Warren Milton
5.0 out of 5 stars HELL YEAH !
After hearing the songs of this album, I am a great fan of Christopher Lee. My friends told me about the album and I bought the album
And i must say you can totally count on... Read more
Published 9 months ago by samarth bhandari
5.0 out of 5 stars Reliving Music
Well, I was curious about such a weird concept, and about the legendary Christopher Lee "singing metal"?!? This is why I decided to buy "Charlemagne". Read more
Published 9 months ago by aayushi sharma
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I don't generally like rock opera kind of stuff but this one is pretty good.Its not very christmassy but its awesome.I seriously can't take it out of my system...kinda addicting.
Published 9 months ago by Aveg
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an epic and sweeping album which tells the story of Charlemagne, his rise to power and constant struggles and wars. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Denise
5.0 out of 5 stars It's more!!!
I thought this album will be good but this is the most popular in this time. Every friend is talking about this album. Read more
Published 16 months ago by James L. Perrault
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased.
After hearing the songs of this album, I am a great fan of Christopher Lee. My friends told me about the album and I brought the album. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Thomas N. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Bizarrely Brilliant
Not only is this CHRISTOPHER LEE singing on his own metal album, but its also a history lesson as well as a session of Aural pleasure.
Published 19 months ago by Josh Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Enjoyable
I must say that at first I was slightly dubious. Really, Christopher Lee singing? But it works, it really does. Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2011 by Oscar
1.0 out of 5 stars Unholy Musical Hybrid
In order to evaluate this CD (because I am talking about what it is - a CD) one might need an elementary knowledge of pop music. Read more
Published on 24 Dec 2010 by Golovanov Alexey
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