By The Sword And The Cross


How can one begin to write about a man such as Christopher Lee and the […]
By Dimitris Karametros
April 1, 2010
Charlemagne - By The Sword And The Cross album cover

How can one begin to write about a man such as Christopher Lee and the impact his persona has made in the fields of acting? With a history beginning in 1948, he is one of the oldest and active actors alive appearing in more than 266 films and was knighted by the queen in 2009. As a person, actor and musician he never hid his passion for the epic and symphonic genre and all this came to life as he portrayed one of the more iconic villains in the history of high fantasy, Saruman from the great epic "The Lord Of The Rings" in the big screen.

Now he attempts in his twilight to impress again with a symphonic Metal album referring to the life of Charlemagne, King of Franks and master of Western Europe circa 800 AD. Christopher Lee found that he is a descendant of the line of Charlemagne and together with the fact that he loves symphonic Metal he created an album about Charlemagne's life. I was eager to hear the album and so I did. Well, not much can be said about such a work other than the fact that the historical facts are well narrated and there is a hint of an epic mood. Oh sweet Goddess...IT WAS BOOORING, dead boring, Sir Christopher Lee I am so sorry, it's like I am listening to a BBC show, the Metal part is not enough and the symphonic part is also not enough and that is that. It's like a history book with soundtrack; oh I am repeating myself, right like a BBC history special about Charlemagne.

The whole album is lacking in all the fields, I was hoping for something powerful, something that would sweep me of my feet from a man that knows what epic is. Maybe it's the fault of the producer Marco Sabiu who has probably never heard of any symphonic or epic Metal band in his life. Well, on the spot I have three in my mind that actually wrote history and he should have listened to at least one album: MANOWAR (one is enough preferably "Sign Of The Hammer"), VIRGIN STEELE and BLIND GUARDIAN. As I wrote above there is not much Metal to actually make it a symphonic Metal album and the narration is too stale to leave an impression. In the shadow of Christopher Lee's voice all other narrators are unimpressive, there is a small theatrical moment but that does not save the CD.

I am really disappointed and hoped for much, much more. There is no need to remember this album in Sir Christopher Lee's astonishing career.

4 / 10

Nothing special

"By The Sword And The Cross" Track-listing:
  1. Overture
  2. Act I Intro
  3. Act I King Of The Franks
  4. Act II Intro
  5. Act II The Iron Crown Of Lombardy
  6. Act III Intro
  7. Act III The Bloody Verdict Of Verden
  8. Act IV Intro
  9. Act IV The Age Of Oneness Out Of Diversity
  10. Act V Intro
  11. Act V Starlight
  12. Finale
  13. Iberia
  14. The Bloody Verdict Of Verden
Charlemagne Lineup:

Christopher Lee - Vocals
(Various Artists And Musicians In Included)

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