Christopher Lee Releases Metal Album

He sheds the blood of Saxon men

Not strictly movie news, and possibly not news at all if you’ve been following the build-up over the last few weeks, but with a week to go until release, we thought now might be the time to bring your attention to the astonishing fact that Sir Christopher Lee has made a heavy metal album. "I have been metal for many years," he says, "only I did not know about it."

That’s not a joke, or an early April fool. The concept album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, on which Lee sings and provides narration, has been put together by composer Marco Sabiu, who worked in the past with Ennio Morricone and Luciano Pavarotti (and, er, Kylie and Take That). According to the MySpace, Lee is backed by a 100-piece orchestra and choir, two (anonymous) metal bands, and accompanied by several “guest vocalists”.

It's not his first album: the Shatner-ish Revelation (Silent Night, O Sole Mio, Wanderin' Star...) came out in 2007, and if you've seen his star turn in The Return of Captain Invincible (or indeed The Wicker Man) you'll be well aware of Lee's rather lovely baritone. The loss of his barbershop trio (with Peter Bowles and Anthony Stewart Head) in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd is still a sad one.

But click here for the curious spectacle of Lee talking about symphonic metal and explaining how much he likes Rhapsody of Fire and Manowar, both of whom he’s worked with in the past. “Lots of people now see me as a metal singer”, says Saruman the White. “It’s come as a great surprise.” Yes, it has.

Vincent Price turned out for Alice Cooper, and Ingrid Pitt and Doug "Pinhead" Bradley have both worked with Cradle of Filth. What next? Our money's on a Robert Englund / Finntroll collaboration.