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. November 2012

Rhapsody of Fire - Reign of Terror

 Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears of Angels (2010)

These latin lines are from the Gregorian hymn "Dies Irae". It talkes about a book which is called "The book of Life". In this book, God records the names of every person who is destined for Heaven or the World to Come.

liber scriptus
liber proferetur
in quo totum continetur

the well-written book
the book shall be brought
in which all is contained

liber scriptus
liber proferetur
unde mundus judicetur

the well-written book
the book shall be brought
whereby the world shall be judged.
lacrimosa dies illa
qua resurget ex favilla
Ah! that day of tears and mourning 
From the dust of earth returning

cum resurget 
pater lacrimarum
when the father of tears

cum resurget
pater tenebrarum
when the father of darkness

libera nos
relieve us

Rhapsody of Fire - Ira Tenax

Rhapsody (of Fire) - Legendary Tales (1997)

I'm back again. And today I gonna present you NO black metal, NO satanic rites and NO evil messages. Read and enjoy the light:

Male sit tibi tenebrarum rex
ab initio ad finem sacra ultio
cruenta pugna et epicus furor
contra mali discipulos
Ad perpetuam gloriam lucis
furor ira tenax
contra iniuriam et ruinam
rabies ira tenax

Male sit tibi tenebrarum rex

cruentus rex 

That's how the first Rhapsody of Fire album starts. Grammatically, everything is correct, which makes me happy. This is the meaning of these lines:

May you fare badly, king of darkness,
from the beginning to the end holy revenge,
bloody fight an epic rage
against the students/ followers of evil.
For eternal glory of the light
rage and tenacious wrath
against injustice and destruction
fury and tenacious wrath.

May you fare badly, king of darkness,
bloodstained king.

Freitag, 24. August 2012

Eïs - Lykoi

Eïs - Kainsmal (2011)

Today, a little bit of Ancient Greek. On "Kainsmal", there is a song called Lykoi. This means wolves in English (and, by the way, "Ulver" in Norwegian). The song starts with the words Outo pos exei kardian lykou periplanate monaxos - He who has the heart of a wolf inside of him, wanders alone.

Maybe you already know that the band started under the name Geïst (German for ghost) but that they had to change their name due to an alternative rock band with the same name. So they quitted the first and last letter and got Eïs. This is a German word as well and means Ice (the German counterpart is pronounced like the English word). But for having two dots (and I don't thing that they are röck döts) there is a second way of pronouncing this word - like a combination of the sounds of the "e" from "end" and "ese" from "these". Now you have a Latin word which means to them, for them.

I don't know if the band knows this or if it was the band's intention, but nevertheless: If you want to see it, you get another starting-point for your interpretations.

Donnerstag, 16. August 2012

The Foreshadowing - Second World

The Foreshadowing - Second World (2012)

Recently, Italian's Atmospheric Doomsters The Foreshadowing released their third record. On three tracks, they uses Latin quotes:

~ Havoc ~

Here, they changed one word, compared to the latin text of the Bible.

Gloria in excelsis Deo
Et in terra infernum laudamus te.

Glory in the highest to God,
And hell on earth. We praise you 

Originally, the bible says "pax - peace" instead of "infernum - hell".

~ Reverie is a Tyrant ~ 

The Latin words Absolve domine animas omnium fidelium defunctorum are from the Requiem and mean
"Forgive, o Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed."

~ Noli timere ~

The ninth track is called Noli timere which means: Don't be afraid. At the end they use some latin lines, which are a quote from Revelation I,17. They sound like Gregorian chants - nice and really atmospheric. Follow the link under the picture and check it out!

et cum vidissem eum
cecidi ad pedes eius tamquam mortuus
et posuit dexteram suam super me dicens
noli timere 

And when I saw him, 
I fell at his feet as dead. 
And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me
don't be afraid.

Freitag, 10. August 2012

Therion - Symphony Masses

Therion - Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas (1993)

Recently, I was asked about the meaning of the song title Symphoni Draconis Inferni. This latin title means Symphony of the infernal dragon. The band's name and the subtitle is ancient greek: therion means beast, big animal, and ho drakon ho megas means the great dragon.

Samstag, 16. Juni 2012

Merrimack - Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis

 Merrimack - The Acausal Mass (2012)

Soon, another french avantgarde black metal band gonna release their fourth full-length called "The Acausal Mass". Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis is one of the tracks on this record. This is a quote from Matthew 5:11 and means Blessed are you when people insult you. Check out the song, I'm quite sure that you will be blessed. Or, as the Romans would have said it: Beati estis carmen cum audiveritis

Donnerstag, 3. Mai 2012

Ne Obliviscaris

Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I (2012)

Soon, Australian's avantgarde metal band "Ne Obliviscaris" gonna release their first full length.... I'm really looking forward to it. So, you shall not forget to check them out. By the way, that's the translation of their Latin band name. If they've taken it from the Scottish Clan Campell, I do not know.

Dienstag, 1. Mai 2012

Kriegsmaschine - Altered States of Divinity

Kriegmaschine - Altered State of Divinity (2005)

In 2005, the Polish' black metal Band Kriegsmaschine (german for: war machine) published their first full length album which is definitively worth to check it out. Just follow the link above.

(I also want to say that there are several aspects (this link leads you to a German site) in Kriegsmaschine's interviews into which you can read a sympathy to nacionalistic policy. Hereby, I want to make clear that I want nothing to do with any form of hateful, contemptuous or racist behavior and/ or speech!)

Two songs on this record contain latin lyrics:

Altered State of Divinity
The words "Canite Deo, canite regi nostro, quia rex terrae Deus, canite, quia ipse Deus, Deus noster. Dominus salvabit me" are mostly  taken from Psalm 46 and mean: Honor God in song, honor our Lord, because God is the lord of the earth, sing, because he is God, our God! The Lord will save me.

From Psalm 50 and 55 are the words: "In Deo laudabo verbum, in Domino praedicabo sermonem. Multum lava me ab iniquitate mea. Et a peccato meo munda me." - I gonna praise the word for the God, for the Lord I gonna praise the speach. Cleanse me from my misdeed. And from my sin cleanse me."  

Donnerstag, 15. März 2012

Imperium Dekadenz - Procella Vadens

Imperium Dekadenz - Procella Vadens (2010)

Roman's emperor Vespasian and Horaz, one of the greatest Roman poets, were the inspiration for the artist's names of Imperium Dekadenz. In 2010, they released their third album, which has a Latin title and some Latin song titles. Procella Vadens means the coming storm/ onslaught.

Two other songs have Latin titles: Ego Universalis and Lacrimae Mundi. The first one means I, Universal, and the second one Tears of the World.

Freitag, 27. Januar 2012

Gorgoroth are right!

Long time ago, I wrote about the album title "Quantos possunt ad satanitatem trahunt". I said that it is "horrible latin" because it sounds like a google-translated phrase. Now, I recognized that Gorgoroth took this phrase out of a book written in the 11th century. So I thought: well, foolish medieval latin.

But - and right now I'm wearing sackcloth and ashes - now I have to confess that it's even good latin. I checked my big fat dictionary which told me that "quantus - as much as" is used instead of "quam" in combination with "posse - to can, to be able to".

Back to the 11th-century book. It's called "Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum - History of the archbishopric of Hamburg", written by the cleric Adam of Bremen in 1070 CE.
There you can find the title in chapter 33, where Adam of Bremem wrote: quantos possunt ad christianitatem trahunt. So, Gorgoroth did the black-metal-trick by changing one imporant word.

And there is a second reason for me quoting this book: maybe it's interesing for all the metal maniacs out there in America, especially in the U.S. In Chapter 38 Adam of Bremen wrote:

"Praeterea unam adhuc insulam recitavit a multis in eo repertam occeano, quae dicitur Winland, eo quod ibi vites sponte nascantur, vinum optimum ferentes. Nam et fruges ibi non seminatas habundare, non fabulosa opinione, sed certa comperimus relatione Danorum."

"Moreover, he has also reported one island discovered by many in that ocean, which is called Winland, for the reason that grapevines grow there by themselves, producing the best wine. That there is not even seeded fruit in abundance available, we do not learn through an improbable rumor, but actually through the report by the Danes."

This is the first example in literature of the "island" Vinland - Newfoundland, discovered by the vikings about 1000 CE. Burn in hell, Mr. Columbus!