Actor Christopher Lee, most known for his role as Saruman from the famed Lord of the Rings Trilogy, will be celebrating his 91st birthday involving heavy metal and a curious collaboration.
Lee plans to release a heavy metal album entitled Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, reflecting on the life of the French ruler. Charlemagne served as Holy Roman Emperor in the eighth century also ruling over France and Italy.
In collaboration with Richie Faulkner, guitarist from Judas Priest, this album will be the follow up to Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross which was released by Lee in 2010.
Lee explains the main difference between the two albums, as the Guardian reported:
“The first Charlemagne album is 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 heavy metal.”
Having worked with Faulkner before the guitarist’s transition to Judas Priest, the partnership was inspiring and almost fictitious. Faulkner replaced K.K. Downing in Judas Priest. Faulkner describes the experience adding:
“Most of the songs were already there, but they needed riffs, drum parts and musical parts that reflected what the guys wanted – which was a metal record with an aim to be played live by a band,” said Faulkner, “Some of the tracks didn’t have any music at all and were just Sir Christopher singing his melodies. I remember how surreal it was sitting in my place at the time with Saruman blasting out over the speakers! I’ve no idea what the neighbours thought.
The album will be released in the UK on Lee’s 91st birthday today, Monday May 27th.