6 September 2014

Christopher Lee - Metal Knight


Sometimes, fact is stranger than fiction.  Here I am, doing a blog reviewing a heavy metal album by a ninety year old man; but not just any man.  This man has played Dracula, Saruman in the Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit films, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, he has been a villain in the James Bond films and Frankenstein.  This is a musical release by Sir Christopher Frank Caradini Lee, stage and film legend; to some people he is THE only Dracula and a legend in the showbiz industry.  A few years back, he released his first metal album at the tender age of 88 called Charlemagne: By The Sword & The Cross.  To some people it may seem strange releasing this type of music at this age, but it is all about challenging yourself and to be honest, the way the man talks you would imagine that his voice was just as stunning.  Well, this is the third EP he has released so I will be bringing out the old EP marking system for this release.

Essentially this is an EP of covers and it starts with "I, Don Quixote", with the symphonic metal music suiting this operatic classic.  Lee's voice is as deep as his speaking voice and it is holding well for his age as there are some artists that struggle with the change to their vocal ability.  The other vocalist on this record is a strange contrast to Lee's bass vocals, but it still works none the less.  Next is a re-telling of "The Impossible Dream", a song I first heard covered by Carter: The Unstoppable Sex Machine.  This version once again suits Lee's vocals very well, however the key boards could have been taken back a notch and let Lee take centre stage as they seem to be trying to drown him out in places.  "The Toreador March" is the third track on here and this one works a lot better than the cover of "The Impossible Dream".  The music this time compliments Lee much better, instead of trying to overpower the song.  The fourth track is a cover of "My Way", which is something of a signature track for Mr Lee these days.  I really enjoyed this version, of course it is done with the tongue firmly in the cheek, but that is the point; also it is better than the Sid Vicious version.  After this there are extended versions of "I, Don Quixote", "The Impossible Dream" and "The Toreador March" which are just more of the same for each song.

This is just a fun release, short and simple. It does not outstay its welcome, it showcases that incredible bass vocals of Mr Lee and makes for an interesting listen.  The cover of "The Impossible Dream" is not quite right, but who am I to judge what Dracula wants to release.  Long may Mr Lee still be with us, I await the next release with the same sort of bated breath I did when I first watched his horror films.

4 out of five - This is really good, just short of perfect


You can purchase the download of the EP from Amazon here

You can visit the Official Christopher Lee website here (but it looks like it has not been updated for a while)

Here is a link to the Charlemagne Productions page about the EP

You can listen to Metal Knight on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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