What's all this fuss about?

Latin lyrics in Heavy Metal music are a common phenomenon. The darker the music, the more evil the band wanna be. What's better than using an old, mysterious, hardly understandable, cryptic, medieval and therefore almost satanic language? Unfortunately bands seldom know how to use this language properly. So, instead of evoking the demons of the realm of evil, they just evoke a hop-frog. Clatu verata nicto! - The most of you know what happened after this wrongly spoken spell.

Normally, two questions are the result of the fact that you've just read a latin phrase:
- What does it mean? (almost everybody)
- Is it correct? (just a few latin aficionados)

This page doesn't want to make fun of mistakes in latin lyrics. I wanna answer the first question to everybody who is interested. The second question is just for myself or for the two or three weird guys out there or for bands which are thinking about using a latin phrase as well. You can contact me if you want.

Freitag, 8. Februar 2019

Swallow the Sun - Lumina Aurea

Swallow the Sun - Lumina Aurea (2018)

As you surely know, this EP contains a single song in which guitarist and band leader Juha Raivio comes to terms with the death of his girlfriend. She died of cancer in 2016. It's therefore a very dark and ambient track. Latin Gregorian chants and latin lyrics - spoken and sung by Marco Benevento (The Foreshadowing) - play an important role.

The song reminds me of old myths in which dead bodies can/ has to cross a river in order to reach the underworld or the promised land. In ancient Greece mythology this river was called Styx, the ferryman's name was Charon and the underworld was called Hades). But there are other legends as well, I think the great CD "Saivo" by Tenhi deals with this topic as well. The cover also shows a boat and mysterious figures.

I searched the internet for the lyrics, but I couldn't find them. So here I present you what I understood (work still in process...).

The motto which is shown at the end of the video is 
mors fortior quam vita est, - death is more powerful than life,
amor fortior quam mors est. - love is more powerful than death.

Now the lyrics/ the fragments I understand.

Lumina aurea - golden lights ("lumen" is not only "light", but also the ability to see and the energy/light that shines as long as you live)

Gregorian chants start, which I don't understand

illic ubi olim meum cor erat - there, where once my heart was
in abysso lacrimarum acrium- in the abyss of bitter tears
saxum iacet illic - a stone lies there.

unde tenebrae numquam possunt excedere - from where darkness never can leave
nec iam lux penetrat. - and no light never penetrates.
omniaque requiro - (not sure) and I ask for/ demand everything
in me imprimuntur - (not sure) in me they are imprinted/ engraved
sidus argentium matutini (not sure) the star of morning silver
omnia in me signata sunt - everything in me is sealed

Ferte me, capita daemonum omnium - Carry me, heads of all the demons,
Quae feram ubi vere tenebris sunt- which I'll carry where really darkness is.
vos non timeo - I'm not afraid of you
non vos iam persaepe vidi - I haven't seen you very often / I no longer saw you very often
[a construction I don't understand totally...]

??? erratis ad aram nigram et cor arbor - you err to the black altar and the heart tree (?)
te procul abseodo(???) pro fetis - you in the distance ...???... instead of fetus (?)
quorum verba cara sunt - of which the words are precious
per cor meum pormas portas(???) nocte - trough my heart ...???...???... in the night
porta??te donec lacerti vacui - carry (?)  you(?) until the muscles are empty (?)
tenequis inverunt (???) - ???

[hard to figure it out. Some of the words I understand do make sense, but there are missing syllables. Other words are no correct latin words. At the moment, I have no clue.)

te adeptus et arreptus sum - I'm snatched and carried away from you
nunc denique omnia templa combusta sunt - now finally all temples are burned down
incensa procellis et noctis tenebris - set on fire by attacks an by the darkness of the night

te nebulis (?) - you by the fog (???)
in terram cecidimus - we fell to earth
abiecti longaeva atque ono(?) - crushed ???
de illis spei turribus ardentibus - from there burning towers of hope
qui portussae tusque (???) - ???
ad spritum extremum - to the utmost spirit/ to the last breath

Gregorian chants which I again don't understand

??? -
ad oram ???to the coast
??? fidelem (?) - the faithful
??? -

te per illud flumen nigrum secutus sum - through this black river I followed you
??? ad fines terrae - ??? to the end of the world
??? aquae (?) - water
??? -
??? -
digitis tuis - with your fingers

[again, a lot of gaps]

canite mei ?? - sing my (?)
nam vostr.(?) timeo - because ??? I fear
plages vestres ??? et vos - your attacks (?) - and you
??? -
etiam regis ??? - also of the king ???
sidus ??? - the star

amor dorsum per finem - love going down through the end
ita puncta tempore - so ???
ut lux ??? - like the light ???
donec tristem illuminat - until it illuminates the sad
iam lacerti vacui mei te vidunt(?) - yet my muscles see you (?)
donec iterum conveniemus - until we'll meet again
in insulam meus amor - to the island my love
in insulam - to the island
interim teneto ??? - meanwhile hold (?) ???
in itinere ma…??? te secur(?) - on the way ??? you save (?) ???
meus amor - my love
in itinere ma…??? per aquas nigras - on the way ??? through black waters
vectus imagine illarum avium nocti vaga…- driven by the image of those birds (night ???)
in itinere ma…??? meus amor. - on the way ??? my love.

If you have any clue, let me know!


Donnerstag, 8. März 2018

Arch Enemy - Tempore nihil sanat

Arch Enemy - War Eternal (2014)

The first song of this record actually is just an instrumental, but at the end a choir sings some Latin phrases:

De fumo in flammam - out of the smoke into the flame 
Tempore nihil sanat - literally: nothing heals by time or: time heals nothing 
Noli ignoscere - don't forgive! 
Noli oblivisci - don't forget! 
Odire humanum est - to hate is human.

The infinitive "odire" is an old, archaic form, later the form "odisse" was the normal one.

Mittwoch, 2. September 2015

Ghost - Infestissumam

Ghost - Infestissumam (2013)

"Infestissumam" is the superlative form of "infestus - hostile, threatening, dangerous". It's accusative case feminine: whom? - "the most hostile one". Because of the "u" instead of "i" it sounds like archaic Latin - like the English pronouns "thou" and "thee".

The lyrics are written in Latin and Italian, although the grammar isn't always correct:

Il padre - The father
Il filio - The son
Et lo spiritus malum - and the bad spirit
Omnis caelestis - every celestial one
Delenda est - must be destroyed

Anti Cristus - Antichrist
Il filio de Sathanas - Satan's son
Anti Cristus - Antichrist
Il filio de Sathanas - Satan's son
Infestissumam - the most hostile one (again, this is feminine!)

The second song is called: Per aspera ad inferi. This means "Through hardships into the hell." The grammatically correct phrase would be: per aspera ad inferos.