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.

Mittwoch, 8. September 2010

Keep of Kalessin - Reclaim

Keep of Kalessin - Reclaim (2003)

Keep of Kalessin are in the big time at the moment, as it seems to me. "Armada" was thrilling and majestic, "Kolossus" epic and monumental, and "Reptilian" in general is a worthy successor.
But between "Armada" (2006) and it's predecessor "Agnen. A Journey through the Dark" (1999) there is a gap of seven years. The small EP "Reclaim" fills this gap with some fine songs, harsh but progressive black metal, and with the great Attila doing the vocals.

I wouldn't mention this EP, if there weren't some fragments of latin in the lyrics.

From the track "IX"

in limbo - in the limbo
in vitro - within the glass (means: life not in a living organism but in a controlled environment)

gigni de nihilo nililum, in nihilum nil posse reverti - Nothing can be born of nothing, nothing can be resolved into nothing (This is a phrase written by Persius, a Roman author (1st century a.d.) of dark, hard to understand satires).

From the track "Reclaim"

faber est quisque fortunae suae - Man forges his own destiny (Appius Claudius Caecus, about 300 b.c.)

lex Talionis - Talion's law (= An eye for an eye)

Vae victis - Woe to the vanquished (said by Gaul's leader Brennus who forced the Romans to bring gold and silver after he had captured the city of Rome in 387 b.c.)

fiat iustitia et pereat mundus - Let there be justice, though the world perish (motto of Ferdinand I., Holy Roman Emperor (1503-1564)

mortui non mordent - dead men don't bite

sic itur ad astra - that's how you reach the stars

exegi monumentum aere perennius - I've raised a monument more permanent than bronce (originally from Roman's famous poet Horace, Ode III, 30, praising his own poetry and claiming that his fame will last forever... where he's actually right because after more than 2000 years he's still (beside Vergil) the most famous and valued Roman writer).

So let us hope that Keep of Kalessin as well exegit musicam aere perennius.