“Leona! Something to slip into the hymns next Sunday!”

Magna Carta, the Peace of Westphalia, the Declaration of Independence—all of these once-mighty works of human ingenuity crumble like ketchup-stained ATM receipts when placed alongside the mere promise of the one thing that everyone has been emailing me about this week: a symphonic metal concept album about Charlemagne performed and sung by veteran character actor Christopher Lee.

As someone who grew up in New Jersey during the 1980s, I feel qualified to note that the preview clips posted on YouTube suggest less “heavy metal” and more “weighty brass.” However, any bearded dude who’s portrayed the likes of Saruman surely knows how to grimace musically, so I have no doubt that Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross will weave trancelike melodies that slip over the transom of social consciousness and insinuate themselves into your dreams. But will it kick butt? We’ll have to wait and see.

5 thoughts on ““Leona! Something to slip into the hymns next Sunday!”

  1. Having now listened to the preview clips, I see what your warning at Per Omnia Sæcula was about; metal is not quite what I’d describe it as, for sure. That said I’m now slightly amazed that it’s the historic Charlemagne rather than the legendary one that is the subject: Werden and Lombardy feature where I’d have assumed that Roncesvalles and Jerusalem were on the menu. So hurrah for that!


  2. Curse you. Now I have to find my old Bloom County compendia and re-read the Billy and the Boingers strips. What a tragic waste of a Saturday afternoon.


  3. Bill: Perhaps, perhaps…

    Jonathan: I was disappointed to realize that my city drinking water probably has more metal in it than this album, but I think you’re right that their attempt to interpret history rather than legend is potentially a little bit interesting.

    ‘nora: “Gooooo to church….Saaay yoour prayers…Tithe! Tithe!”


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