Let Legend Mark Me as the King

Album: Charlemagne: The Omens of Death (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Charlemagne: The Omens of Death is a heavy metal concept album by English actor and singer Christopher Lee and a sequel to his 2010 set Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross. The music was arranged by Richie Faulkner, who completed the work shortly before he was called to join Judas Priest as lead guitarist. Said Lee to Skullbanger Media about the album: "Throughout Charlemagne's life, there had been key events which could have taken various turns, and these have shaped the world in which we live today. He was the 'Father of Europe' and responsible for carving the map as it is today.

    "As Charlemagne recounts his life, he focuses on these key elements which represent omens, hence the title 'The Omens Of Death'. By attempting to unify the people of Europe and take them out of the dark ages of ignorance and chaos, he also created death and destruction."
  • Lee announced on his 90th birthday (May 27, 2012), the release of this song as the first single from the album, making him the oldest Heavy Metal performer in history. Lee was joined on the single by tenor Vincent Ricciardi, who also appeared with him on Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross.
  • As King of the Franks, Charlemagne (742 – 814), also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, bought peace and Christianity to the war like pagan tribes of Saxons in Europe. During his reign, Charlemagne extended his kingdom from South Italy and Pyrenees to Bohemia and bought the Pope under his control. His Holy Roman Empire lasted 1000 years until Napoleon terminated it in 1806. His feast day January 28th, is an annual French school holiday.

    Charlemagne was fond of music and collected old Frankish ballads. He was also impressed by the beautiful Gregorian music of Rome and had monks sent over from the Roman capital to train his Frankish singers.

    The Frankish king was partial to cheese, fact fans, especially brie which he called "one of the most marvellous of foods." Charlemagne also insisted on having two mule loads of Roquefort sent to his palace every Christmas.
  • Christopher Lee first became well known for his role as Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror movies. Asked by Skullbanger Media how he feels about the fact that he has been a major influence to metal musicians through his film work and now that he is part of the genre itself, Lee said: "Going back to the early stages of my career, my work, my acting has always been influenced by the German composer Wagner. Now that I have been able to listen to many metal albums, I realize that the genre is a direct evolution of the world and the sounds that Wagner imagined. I am, of course, very pleased and honored to have been able to carry these themes through."

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