365 Days of Mike Patton: “The Omen (Ave Satani),” Fantomas (2001)

On a Fantomas album filled with strong covers of movie soundtracks, “The Omen (Ave Santani)” stands out. Mostly because the lyrics are in Latin—and because it’s about as metal as Latin can get (unless, of course, we’re talking about “Pig Latin”).

“Ave Satani” is the theme song from the soundtrack to the horror classic The Omen. The tune, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, was nominated for an Oscar in 1976, and according to the Through the Shattered Lens website, his idea was to take “one of the most holy rituals in Roman Catholicism and [invert] it to praise Satan instead of the Virgin Mary. Jerry Goldsmith took the rite of consecration and came up with what one could call the rite of desecration for a purported Black Mass.”

Sounds spooky, yeah? Well, listen to the original version (which I had never heard until just now).

And now the Fantomas version.

While I love Patton’s version, Goldsmith’s original is more haunting while being much less in your face. Well, Goldsmith’s version sounds like a movie soundtrack song, and Patton’s version sounds like a metal song. Both are pretty great, but I almost lean toward the original.

Patton would probably agree.

“This bombastic score absolutely made the movie,” Patton said, via Revolver. “If you watch the film with the sound muted, you will see what I mean. Beautiful choir textures that, over time, have become iconic in the horror genre.”

The Fantomas version is good, but it’s not quite iconic.

That song title, though, is. So what does Ave Satani mean? Translated from Latin, it means simply, Hail Satan.

Previously from Fantoma’s The Director’s Cut:

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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