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.
After posting my comments about Otargos I recognized that an attentive guy from the Netherlands wrote me asking about some Watain lyrics. I mention this little fact at the beginning because I've just seen both bands in combination on tour a few days ago. The show was very impressing, as you can see above.
But let's go back to the Lucifer's Case, which is the translation of the album's title. There are two latin phrases on this album:
Song: I am the Earth
Hic est draco caudam suam devorans - Here is the dragon that devours his own tail. This is the subscription of a medieval emblema which shows the dragon Ouroboros. (Click on the picture to see the information's source which offers many more informations).
Ouroboros (ancient greek for "the self-devourer") is a ancient Egyptian alchemic symbol. For the Greek philosopher Platon the Ouroboros was the perfect being, a circulation with no needs from outside. This symbol is not only limited to the Egyptian mythology - the Norse Midgard Serpent as well bites it's own tail to surround the Earth.
Song: From the Pulpits of Abdomination
This song as well contains a line in... well, not in Latin, but in ancient Greek. It is Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter - which means: Jesus Christ God's Son Saviour.
The first letters of each word form the acronym I.CH.TH.Y.S. This greek word means fish, and that's why the fish was an identification symbol among christians in early christian times and still is until today.
Just a short note: Otargos is a French Black Metal band which has released their fourth CD this year. On the record there is a song called Cuiusvis hominis est errare. It means: It's characteristic of any human to err.
On this song, the last line is Homines quod volunt credunt - Humans believe what they want to.
Did you find some latin in heavy metal music? Do you wanna know what it means? Do you think the name of your beloved band could be latin? - Send me an email and help me to enrich this page. Write to: heavylatin (at) gmx (dot) net
Are you musician and right now afraid of my teacher-like red pencil (you shouldn't)? Do you want to use latin in your song? Feel free to contact me and I'm fond of giving you some humble piece of advice.