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, 3. November 2011

Deathspell Omega - Kénôse

Deathspell Omega - Kénôse (2005)

This little EP contains three songs, called I, II and III. All of them contain some Latin fragments , which I want to explain right now. But first, some comments about the title. The ancient greek word kenosis means emptiness and in theological contexts it means the emptying of oneself to be able to accept the divine grace.

Kénôse I - III

si non credideritis, non intellegetis - If you haven't believed, you'll not understand (Isaiah 7.9)

immaculata - the immaculated (female)

res rapta - the/a stolen/ catched thing

res rapienda - a thing that has to be stolen/ catched

in visceribus - in the entrails

et vestitus erat veste aspersa sanguine - And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood (Rev. 19,13)

in abstracto - in abstract

ecce lignum crucis in quo salus mundi pependit - see the wood of the cross in which the salvation of the world hung (which is a call to the worship of the cross on Good Friday)

thesaurus ecclesiae - the treasure of the church

sanctorum communionem - the community of the saints

Et proiectus est draco ille magnus serpens antiquus qui vocatur Diabolus et Satanas qui seducit universum orbem proiectus est in terram et angeli eius cum illo missi sunt
(Revelation 12,9) - And the great dragon was cast out that old serpent called the Devil and Satan which deceiveth the whole world he was cast out into the earth and his angels were cast out with him

consummatum est - it is completed

There are some German words as well, maybe you are interested in their meaning as well:

Du wirfst mich in den Moderstaub des Todes - you throw me into the musty dust of death

Qual und Tod bringt dieser Sarg, der ihn bestürmt, sein Herz zerreißt, Sinne zerstört - agony and death brings this coffin which besieges him, tears his heart into pieces, destroys senses


The saying lamma sabacthani is the cry of Jesus and means why hast thou forsaken me?

1 Kommentar:

Popess Lilith hat gesagt…

While your explanation of kenosis is largely accurate, there's a particular meaning and context for the word in the case of this EP. Specifically, Deathspell Omega is referring to kenotic Christology, the doctrine that God had emptied himself of divine attributes so that he could be manifest as a human being. To quote from Kenosis I:

"Was there not an inconceivable loss of knowledge at Bethlehem? Christ's abasement, His subjecting Himself to the laws of human birth and growth and to the lowliness of fallen human nature... Did the Son remain the transcendent Logos? Is there not a radical and fatal discontinuity between the consciousness of the transcendent Logos and the secular Jesus?"

Furthermore the lyrics in Kenosis I focuses on the text and meaning of Philippians 2, especially verses 5-8, which are often used by kenotic Christologists to argue for their position.

Here's hoping that this helps shed some insight on the lyrics.