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.

Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014

Ignis Haereticum - Luciferian Gnosis

Ignis Haereticum - Luciferian Gnosis (2014)

Ignis Haereticum (The Fire of Haeresy) is a band situated in Cúcuta, North Colombia - a fascinating and charming country, where I sometimes have witnessed the mixture of old spiritual beliefs and Christian theology. It is a country still inbued with Catholicism. I think you have to be a pro or an anti, but normally you aren't indifferen ttowards it. Ignis Haereticum are anti. They express their beliefs with occult and orthodox black metal and therefore they use plenty of Latin. Unfortunately, I just found the song titles. 
  • sub tuum praesidium - under your protection
  • mysterium fidei - the mistery of faith
  • ad serpentem tortuosum - towards the winding serpent
  • de sphinge revelationem mysterii - about the sphinx the revelation of mystery (grammatically not perfect and therefore not quite clear)
  • exercitatus spritualium - as well not quite clear: the first word means litterally "trained, busy with, afflicted", the second one "of the spiritual/ intellectual ones". The genitive case can also be translated with "for the spiritual ones". Most likely: spiritually trained
  • sic luceat lux vestra - so shall shine your light!

Samstag, 22. November 2014

Epica - The Quantum Enigma

Epica - The Quantum Enigma (2014)

I have to confess that I have a bias against female-fronted power metal bands. I know Epica, which means that I know that this is a metal band. Up to the present I'haven't heard any single note of them. Just wait a second... Now I know the title track. Not that bad, but FFSM (female-fronted symphonic metal). If you love steaks, of course you "can" also eat vegan food, but...

Nevertheless, this is an objective blog and I gonna return to the point of interest. "Epica" sounds latin and they use plenty of it. I found a post in the internet where someone says that the band asked a Latin teacher to translate the phrases. Quite possible, because the grammar is almost correct and because Epica's lyrics are the only source where I can find the phrases. Normally, (black) metal bands consult the bible to find (un)holy sayings.

On Epica's newest record - I'll start there and plunge into their history - you can find three songs with latin fragments:

~ Originem ~
originem is the accusative case of origo - origin.

Nos sumus conjuncti - We are connected
Fontem nostram quaerentes -
searching our source
Originem sciendi - 
the origin of knowledge

Nos pleni vigoris - 
We're full of vitality
Quo colendo res fiunt - things happen by cultivating/ fostering it
Sic naturam fingimus - So we form nature

Aenigma solventes -
Solving enigmas
E(g)rediamur - we shall move forward
Nil, certum est - nothing is certain

~ The Second Stone ~

O, ne moriar bis - Oh, for not dying twice
Oro supplex -
I pray humbly

O, ne discedam bis - Oh, for not passing away twice
Oro supplex - I pray humbly

~ The Quantum Enigma ~

Visum commutamus - We change the view
Nihil certum -
Nothing (is) certain
Qui observat, visi -
He, who watches, is
pars est -
part of the view

Omne est vigor - everything is vitality
Sentimus eum -
we feel it
Sic(u)t concretum -
like the concrete (the real)
Vigor concrescit - Vitality compacts
Observatione -
by observation
Vita est mare -
Life is a sea
Infinitarum facultatum -
of infinite possibilities
Si quae emergant opperiens -
If it covers what emerges
Quod inspicimus -
this, what we recognize
Adipiscemur -
we will achieve

Freitag, 29. August 2014

Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum

Anaal Nathrakh - Desideratum (2014)

Did Anaal Nathrakh think of their fans when they called they record to come "Desideratum"? I in any case really look forward to the record. At the moment, I've just the album and song titles, and that is what they mean:

  • Desideratum - that what is desired (the Latin verb "desiderare" contains the root "sidus - star", I don't know if the band knew this while they were thinking about the cover design)
~ ~ ~
  • Acheronta Movebimus - we're going to move the Acheron (a Greek river, one of the five rivers of the underworld in Ancient Greek mythology)
  • Monstrum in animo - A monster in mind
  • Sub specie aeterni - Unter the splendour of eternity
  • Ita mori - so to die
All Latin phrases are grammatically correct.

      Sonntag, 24. August 2014


      The most of Abruptum's albums and/ or titles are written in Latin, sometimes correct, sometimes not. Here are the translations, beginning with the oldest record.

      • obscuritatem invoco amplectere me - I call the darkness to embrace me (This translation is not correct, because "to embrace" is not an infinitve but a final clause. The English language is ambiguous in this aspect, the Latin language not. Correct translations would have been: "ad me amplectendum" / "me amplectendi causa" ... and others)
      • In umbra malitiae ambulabo, in aeternum in triumpho tenebrarum - I will walk in the shadow of malice, into aeternity / eternally in the triumph of darkness
      • Vi sonus veris nigrae malitiaes - This sentence I don't understand. Vi is ablative case and means by force/ power, sonus means sound (nominative case), veris is dative or ablative case and means therefore to the true people / by the true..., nigrae is genitive or dative feminine case and means of the black / to the black, and malitiaes means malice as written above, but the ending -aes doesn't exist.
        So, this sentence doesn't make sense. Maybe it should mean: In power (lies) the sound of true black malice, but this is a very doubtful interpretation.
      • De profundis mors vas consumet - Out of the depths death will consume the container, which means "body", the container of the soul, I guess.
      • On the record Casus Luciferi there are four songs, all with Latin titles:
        casus Luciferi - the case of Lucifer
        in ictu oculi
        - in the gaze
        ex inferno inferiori
        - out of the inferno of the underworld/ out of the undermost inferno
        Gehennae perpetuae cruciatus - the crucified of eternal Gehenna
      • maledictum - swear word/ blasphemy
      • Potestates Apocalypsis (Pestilencia, Bellum, Fames, Mort/ Mors) - The powers ot the apocalypse (pestilence, war, hunger, death)

      Samstag, 23. August 2014

      Opeth - Pale Communion

      Opeth - Pale Communion (2014)

      I have to confess, I was not the first. For I was on holiday the last days, I couldn't buy the new Opeth record yet and therefore it was wikipedia who told me that there are three latin sayings in the triptych you can see on the cover. Where are my sackcloth and the ashes?

      • On the left: An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur? - Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?
        The Swedish statesman Axel Gustavsson Oxenstierna wrote this sentence to his son in 1648, because he wanted to encourage him for the forthcoming negociations which leaded to the Peace of Westphalia - the end of the Thirty Year's War.
      • In the middle: Hoc tempore obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit. - In these days friends are won through flattery, the truth gives birth to hate.
        This sencence appears in the comedy "Andria", written by the Roman author Terence in 166 BC.
      • On the right: Ille dolet vere qui sine teste dolet. - He grieves truly who grieves without a witness.
        You can find this phrase in Epigramma I,33 by Martialis. In this little poem he blames a girl because she just weeps over her dead father when witnesses are around.

      Donnerstag, 21. August 2014

      Schammasch - Split my Tongue

      Schammasch - Contradiction (2014)

      Schammasch loves the light! You'll find this topic quite often in their lyrics. In the first record's title you had "lux - light" and "luceat - it shall shine". Now, in the second track of their new record, there is the adjective "lucidum - shining, bright, lucid".

      Aleph lucidum in noluntas Dei - A shining beginning (lies) in the displeasure of God

      This is my interpretation; "aleph" is the first letter in the Hebrew "alpha"bet (!), the verb "to be" I added because such a simple verb often lacks in Latin sentences. And - to use the teacher's red pencil again - it should be "in noluntate". Well....

      Freitag, 16. Mai 2014

      The Tower - Hic Abundant Leones

       The Tower - Hic Abundant Leones (2014)

      The title of the reacord means Here we have an abundance of lions. In old maps this saying (sometimes together with a picture of a lion) was used to express that this area is still unexplored and might be dangerous.

      The first song title is Non Omnis Moriar. You can find these three words in the poem Carmina III.30, written by the famous ancient Roman writer Horace (he who also wrote Carpe Diem). In this poem he says: I'm not gonna die wholly. With an abundance of self-confidence he says that he has created something which will last longer than eternal bronze, so his work will survive.

      Montag, 28. April 2014

      Ævangelist - De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis

       Ævangelist - De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis (2012)

      This title is quite nice, because a title starting with "de" - "about" was typical for scientific and/or philophical works written in latin (in ancient Rome as well as in times of Humanism and Renaissance). It means "About the cheewing of the deads in the graves". The title's meaning is ambiguous: it means that the dead are still chewing as well as that the dead are eaten.

      On the album there are two titles with latin words:
      - Anno Mortii - In the year of the dead
      - Crematorium Angelicum - the angel's crematory

      In 2013 they released another album with a Latin title: Omen Ex Simulacra. The word omen means the same as in English, ex means "out of/ from" and simulacrum image, reflection, shadow, illusion, wraith.

       Ævangelist - Omen Ex Simulacra (2013)

      Sonntag, 6. April 2014

      Schammasch - Sic luceat Lux

      Schammasch - Sic luceat lux (2010)

      All good things come in threes! A few days ago Vader used three latin words to name their next album, right now I found the Swiss Band Schammasch, who named their debut Sic luceat lux - So shall shine the light!
      The track you can listen to above is from their forthcoming album "Contradiction". Great stuff!

      Donnerstag, 27. März 2014

      Vader - Tibi Et Igni

      Vader - Tibi Et Igni (2014)

      Just three words to translate. They mean For you and for the fire. As far as I found out, tibi et igni was a postscipt written under secret documents. Luckily, the CD won't gonna destroy itself after you've listened to it.