Legendary actor Christopher Lee, who has appeared in such cinematic milestones as “Lord Of The Rings”, “Star Wars”, “The Man With The Golden Gun” and “Dracula”, has celebrated his 90th birthday by releasing a second heavy metal album.
The singer-actor’s first creation, “Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross”, which won critical acclaim, was more symphonic than the upcoming “Charlemagne: The Omens Of Death”.
He told BBC Radio 5 “Up All Night”‘s Jamie Stangroom how he got involved in the genre.
“I was first introduced to metal when I sang with a [band] called RHAPSODY,” he said. “But what I sang was not heavy metal; I sang with a tenor. Then I worked with MANOWAR as a narrator, I think it was in Germany, and again, that was not me singing metal. I became rather fascinated by this, ’cause in terms of history of music, it’s fairly recent, really. And if it’s properly done and you can understand the story and you can understand what the people are singing and you have the right bands and the right singers, I think it’s rather exciting.
“When I was approached to do the first ‘Charlemagne’ album, ‘By The Sword And The Cross’, it is heavy metal, of course, but what I sang was more symphonic. Now on the second one, ‘The Omens Of Death’, it is 100 percent heavy metal. I’ve done my bits and pieces, and they are heavy metal. I’m not screaming or anything like that, but it is definitely 100 percent heavy metal.”
Lee also spoke about being presented with the “Spirit Of Hammer” prize by BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi at Metal Hammer magazine’s Golden Gods awards in London in June 2010, Lee said, “It was a most amazing occasion for me — very exciting — and something I’d never had happen to me my whole career, my whole life, in terms of awards,” he said. “I have received quite a few. But I was interviewed, actually in this room, by Tony Iommi, who founded BLACK SABBATH. And I hadn’t heard them, but I made it a point [to do so]. [And] I thought it was extraordinary. And then I went to O2 [in London] in front of a fairly large crowd, I would say, all, of course, very young. And I got a greeting, which was really quite amazing. The decibel level was very high. Very high, very high.”
You can listen to Lee‘s interview with BBC Radio 5 “Up All Night”‘s Jamie Stangroom at BBC.co.uk.