Dracula star Sir Christopher Lee is set to release his own heavy metal album about one of his distant ancestors, he has disclosed.
The prolific actor famed for his spine-chilling roles as Count Dracula and other dark characters, has recorded songs for the album about Charlemagne, the First Holy Roman Emperor.
The 87 year-old star, who was knighted by the Prince of Wales in October last year, said the album would be called Charlemagne: By the Sword And the Cross.
It is set to be released in March, with the actor, who also starred in the Lord of the Rings and the James Bond film The Man with The Golden Gun, singing and acting alongside a full orchestra, choir, and a large cast of undisclosed guest vocalists.
Admitting it was “pretty unexpected” he said the album, written by Italian producer and composer Marco Sabiu, would be “symphonic metal”.
"To my surprise and indeed great pleasure, I have suddenly found that there is another string to my bow," Sir Christopher, said in an online video posted on YouTube.
“My belief is that in March, when this comes out, it’s going to be sensational.
“There's a lot of characters in this particular album. A lot. There's Charlemagne himself of course, which I sing, and then there's young Charlemagne, Charlemagne's father, Charlemagne's brother ... [even] the Pope."
Lee, who became known for his blood-curdling performances opposite Peter Cushing in the Hammer movies, added: “I am through the Carandini family [his mother's] actually descended from Charlemagne.
"It's fascinating for me that at this stage in my life, people are beginning to look upon me as a metal singer.”
Lee released an album, called Revelation in 2006, which had bizarre covers versions of songs including Frank Sinatra’s My Way and the Christmas Carol Silent Night.
His prolific career has seen him earn several Guinness World Records, including Most Connected Actor Living; Most Films With A Swordfight By An Actor and Tallest Actor In A Leading Role (Lee is a lofty 6ft 5in).