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.

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.

Donnerstag, 20. August 2015


Absolutus - Pugnare in Iis quae obtinere non possis (2015)

Absolutus is an avantegarde black metal band from Belgium. They've already released two albums and one EP. All of them have Latin litles, whereas the lyrics are in English - as far as I could listen.

Album - Ostendit quam nihil sumus
He/ she/ it demonstrates that we are nothing - The ancient Roman philosopher Seneca used the phrase in his letter 101 to Lucilius. There he wrote: "Every day, every hour demonstrates us that we are nothing."

EP - Nihil mali non inest
There is nothing bad not in it. - A sentence from Cicero, taken from a letter he wrote to Atticus (VIII,4)

Album - Pugnare in iis quae obtinere non possis
To fight against this you can't obtain - A phrase from Quintilian (VI,14). All album tracks have Latin titles as well:

  • Abyssus Abyssum Invocat  - The abyss invoces the abyss   
  • Sunt Verba et Voces Praetereaque Nihil - There are words and voices and nothing more
  • Credo Quia Absurdum - I believe because it's absurd
  • Ego Sum Qui Sum- I am who I am
  • Damnat Quod Non Intelligunt - He damns what they don't understand
  • Pugnare in iis Quae Obtinere Non Possis - see above
  • Decepimur Specie Recti - We are decieved by the appearance of the right
  • Virgo Dei Genitrix - the virgin mother of God
  • Numen - Divine power/ presence