Actor Christopher Lee releases heavy metal album

Saruman sings: British vampire icon releases sequel to 2010 opus Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross

Renowned British gothic actor Christopher Lee has released a heavy metal album to coincide with his 91st birthday.

Well known for his roles as Count Dracula in the 1970s Hammer Horror films as well as Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Lee is lead vocalist on his latest work Charlemagne; The Omens of Death. Hedras Ramos Jr and Hedras Ramos Sr are on guitar while Ollie Usiskin is on drums. The album was arranged by Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner.

The concept album is a sequel to his album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and tells the story of Charlemagne who was crowned as the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III* and was also known as Charles the Great. Lee explains the project in an 8 minute-long video which has been viewed by over 190,000 people.

"The first Charlemagne album was metal, of course, but what I sang was more symphonic. Now on the second one, The Omens Of Death, it is one hundred per cent heavy metal," Lee told the Guardian.

“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,” Lee said.

The tracklisting has 10 songs including songs titled The Portent, Massacre of the Saxons, The Betrayal and The Devil’s Advocate.

Lee was previously awarded a “Spirit of Metal” award in a Metal Hammer awards ceremony.

The album is available on CD, a 2 disc gatefold vinyl and Mp3.

* This article was amended on 28/05/13 to update a reference to Charlemagne's coronation as Holy Roman Emperor