Who? Well, for our readers under the age of 50, Sir Christopher Lee is probably best known as Count Dooku in the new Star Wars movies and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For our older readers, he may be known as Count Dracula from the series of films from Hammer Film Productions beginning in 1958. Either way, all you need to know is he is super-old (87), he is super-British (he’s, uh, from England), he is the highest grossing movie actor of all time (I am skeptical of this self-proclamation), and he has decided March 15th, 2010 is the perfect time to unleash his heavy metal musical based on the life of King Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. And whoever is thinking “Wasn’t Charlemagne the father of the German and French monarchies?” is totally a nerd.
According to Lee’s MySpace, the album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross is “a concept album with original words and symphonic metal music.” Composer Marco Sabiu, best known for working with Kylie Minogue and Luciano Parvarotti, provides the “epic canvas”, Marie-Claire Calvet created the story and lyrics, thus leaving Mr. Lee in charge of vocal duties. If anything, this little project has provided the world one of the most surreal YouTubes I’ve seen in a while:
No official tracklisting is available yet, but there are a handful of track clips available at MySpace, ready for your immediate listening pleasure. Or amusement. (If these guys tour, I’m voting for a cover of The Hold Steady’s “Charlemagne in Sweatpants” for an encore.)