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, 9. Oktober 2009

Ex Deo - Cruor Nostri Abbas

Ex Deo - Cruor Nostri Abbas - Romulus (2009)

Finally, not a Black Metal band using latin lyrics! I found "Ex Deo" (latin as well... "from the/ a god"), a Canadian .... let's think... maybe "Epic Power Death Band" with focus on the Roman Empire. Actually it's a side project of Kataklysm members.

In the quoted song you'll find the following lines:

EGO spiritus meus contemno
EGO dominor
EGO addo lemma ut suum filiolus
EGO ostendo haud misericordia
EGO ostendo haud diligo
Capio absentis suum posterus
EGO dico ordo
Telum crudus divum

I feel very sorry, but I have to say that this looks like latin, but it's horrible and not understandable. Maybe my english translation doesn't sound that bad (just "bad"), but the problem is, that the latin language has a lot of declinable forms while the english hasn't. This means that I have to use special endings to show that the word is "subject", "direct object" or "indirect object" and every adjective or pronoun must fit to the word it refers to in case, number an gender. Nothing of this happened in the lines above:

The try of a translation:

I the spirit mine I contemn
I dominate
I add title as like as his the little son
I show not the mercy
I show not I like
I catch from the absent one his the successor
I say the system
projectile still bloody divine

well... don't know what to say... The music definitely is better,
but form an opinion about them by yourself:
Song: Ex Deo - Cruor Nostri Abbas


Gomie hat gesagt…

I found your blog while trying to figure out what "abbas" meant. I hadn't looked up the lyrics yet but was trying to translate the title. Cruor nostri is Our slaughter, or our murder. I have no idea what abbas is, it isn't in my dictionary. It looks like it could be a verb with the ending, but i think it's more likely that it's a noun with a supplied est at the end.

For the rest of the latin I translated it as:
I despise my spirit/life
I am supreme
I bring the title as my own dear son
By no means do I show mercy
By no means do I reveal the thing I prize
I seize the future of the absent
I speak the order:
The bloodied spear is divine.

The ego at the beginning is more for emphasis of the subject and doesn't need to be translated. Dominor is deponent, so it looks like a passive verb but translated as active. And a few other places supply an "est" or an "id".

markheim hat gesagt…


I always deliberate about whether I post what the latin words "mean" or what they "should mean". Mostly I trend to the first option, especially
if the words are horribly translated.
Maybe because I'm angry, frustrated, amused or whatever while reading such lines.

But you're right: dominor is deponent, so I gonna correct that mistake.

Corneliu hat gesagt…

I was searching too for the translation of "Cruor nostri abbas"... If you know latin, abbas isn't it a form of abbot, wich means "father"?

Publio Cornelio hat gesagt…

Cruor nostri abbas = hurts' blood of our fathers.
Cruor is a word that means 'the blood of the hurts' (for example a sword hurt).
Abbas isn't a classical (1st century a.c.) latin word but instead is a later latin word (2nd, 3rd century a.c.)