Ominous Latin Chanting

O Fortuna!
Velut Luna!
Statu variabilis...

Somewhere over the past few centuries, Latin became the "ominous" language. Maybe it's the fact that it's the language of a once mighty civilization that collapsed from over a thousand years ago. Maybe it's because it's also the traditional language of the Roman Catholic Church, and thus associated with divine power, spirituality, mystery, death, and Dark Age Europe. And from there it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to the idea of magic. And then there's the music with which Latin is often associated — for example, the unique sounds of the Gregorian chant — which can sound decidedly sombre, even spooky to a modern ear. Latin choirs also have those distinctive "ooh", "aah", "ooo" and "-us" sounds, ascending theatrically and descending dramatically.

So whenever you hear a choir singing powerfully in Latin, especially with Orchestral Bombing, it means that this is epic even when it's not. This trope is extremely common in movie trailers and the climax of devastating final battles; Hollywood will tell you that nothing can dictate "watch this movie" or "Grand Finale and the End of the World" more than potent choir chants in a language most viewers don't know, and that this is the way to give a scene that extra bit of ominous importance.

The actual meaning of the words is unimportant. They could be singing Latin nursery rhymes or reading from a Roman phone book for all we know, or even Dog Latin or complete gibberish; it's the sound that matters, but there are bonus points if the chanting is reminiscent of, or outright stolen from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, especially "O Fortuna", which is a lament about how You Can't Fight Fate. Another famous one is Dies Irae, whose lyrics are genuinely ominous. (If for any reason, such as parodying the trope, 4shared has an mp3 download link for O Fortuna.)

If the creators are particularly clever, the chanting will include a Bilingual Bonus.

Latin is probably the most familiar dead language due to its being the ancestor of modern Romance languages (even though English is a Germanic language, it still has a major proportion of Latin influence, primarily through French and science), and its prominence and impact on modern culture make it easy to fact-check. Nevertheless, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew and others are sometimes used to similar effect. If a work is set in Russia or the Soviet Union, expect Ominous Slavic Chanting.note  Eastern-style chanting is also having a surge in popularity, possibly due to the increase in stories featuring conflicts between Eastern and Western worlds. Creators that went to the trouble of inventing their own language for a work will likely find a way to feature it in this manner too. There's also a chance that the music only reminds one of ominous Latin chanting, opting to use "ooh", "aah", "ooo", and the like. Indeed, the lyrics don't need to mean anything; for the majority of the audience, Ominous Latin-Sounding Gibberish works just as well.

Compare Cherubic Choir and the One-Woman Wail. Often a part of Orchestral Bombing and Religious Horror. May involve Ominous Pipe Organ. See also Black Speech for the ear shattering version. See also Creepy Children Singing, where creepy songs and nursery rhymes are played in the background to add tension and fear to a scene. Often lends itself quite well to Mondegreens. Contrast Victorious Chorus, which has the opposite effect of this trope.

Plenty of the examples that follow have earned places on the Awesome Music page in case you feel like listening to them.


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  • The overuse of "O Fortuna" — particularly for huge, sprawling period epic war footage — was splendidly mocked in this advertisement for the Australian beer Carlton Draught.
  • In Britain, "O Fortuna" was used for an advert for Old Spice aftershave... and a parody of that advert many years later for Carling Black Label lager...
  • "O Fortuna" is also used by Dominoes for a commercial in which they ditch the "Pizza" part of their former name.
  • It also appears in a commercial for Rickard's Red beer, albeit with English lyrics praising the beer. Nevertheless, it's sung by an ominous red-robed choir that appears out of nowhere whenever someone orders the brand. A similar Rickard's commercial uses the above-mentioned "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana.
  • This National Guard ad starts off with Ominous Latin Chanting, but then switches to Ominous English Chanting. Let's just say that it doesn't have quite the same effect as Ominous Latin Chanting.
  • Used a lot in trailers. There are companies whose main occupation is to supply trailer music for certain previews. Immediate Music's Fury Unleashed, With an Iron Fist and Confronting the Dark Lord are particularly guilty of this trope. The more epic chorus and chanting, the better.
  • A disappeared channel in Latin America, Locomotion (the local precursor of Animax), used to feature epic commercials for its series, animation for grownups. An example was the one made for Evangelion. See here.
  • In 1997, a TV spot for Internet Explorer 4.0 used "Confutatis" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem as background music. The ad, which featured Microsoft's slogan, "Where do you want to go today?", was quickly pulled as word quickly spread of the lyrics' meaning: "When the damned are cast away and consigned to the searing flames."

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Ah! My Goddess movie had the world rebuilt to Latin choral music ostensibly sung by the three Norns.
  • The Berserk Golden Age Films have Sounds of Tortured Souls as well as Blood and Guts and there is also this music from the third film.
  • The song Lacrimosa by Kalafina in Black Butler has a point where it quotes directly from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Lacrimosa.
  • Bleach uses it when the Fifth Espada, Nnoitra, releases his zanpakutou. He yells his release phrase, the wind starts blowing, and the Ominous English Chanting choir goes nuts. The song is called "Treachery."
    • Episode 226 ended with "Stand Up Be Strong (Part 1)," which features Ominous English Chanting, during Ichigo's second fight with Ulquiorra. There's also "Invasion," which plays when Mayuri releases his bankai against Szayelaporro.
    • "Treachery" and "Invasion" also appeared during the final battle of The DiamondDust Rebellion, while "Stand Up Be Strong" comes from Fade to Black.
    • Meanwhile, the fourth movie, Hell Verse, is full of remixes of instrumental tracks that appeared earlier in the series, now complete with full orchestras and Ominous English Chanting, backing images of hell, angels, demons, and torment. These tracks began to appear in the anime episodes at the very end of the Aizen battle. Here's a sample.
  • Another example of Badass Latin Chanting is A Certain Magical Index which likes to mix chanting and techno music when a serious fight is going on; quite suitably as the series is about a cold war between science and magic/religion but damn if it's not Crazy Awesome. Case in point: Tsuki Genten, first played when Touma faces off with and beats the crap out of Biaggio who's a bishop. Quite an ironic choice of music...
  • This kind of music accompanies any scene involving Britannian royalty in Code Geass. The lyrics are English rather than Latin, but given the role Britannia plays in this series, that makes sense.
  • Death Note simply loves this trope, frequently employing it to make the act of writing a name in a notebook and eating potato chips epic. Whoever's name is written in the notebook will die 40 seconds later, so it is kind of an ominous moment when Light puts a name down. In fact, many of the epic Latin pieces in Death Note have the lyrics of a Latin requiem mass. The song that plays during the four-and-a-half-year timeskip montage, for instance, is a Dies Irae, which is about Judgement Day, fitting how Light imposes Judgement on criminals and the rotten (though somehow, it doesn't include the "liber scriptus" verse). Even in the more calm moments you have the Kyrie Eleison chant, which may as well be the anime's theme.
  • The 9th episode (third part of the "King of Swords" arc) of the Descendants of Darkness animated series features an elegiac choir or male and female voices singing in Italian.
  • The opening theme for Elfen Lied, "Lilium" is Latin with Greek touches, done in a Gregorian chant style. It sets the tone for the anime, which is similarly bleak, sombre, and spooky. The theme is a One-Woman Wail, but the song also appears in other scenes, such as next episode previews, sung by a male voice choir that sounds more Gregorian. There is a Theme Tune Cameo in the form of a music box, giving it yet another different sound.
  • The Fate/Zero soundtrack also has many tracks with latin chanting like Point Zero or The battle of the Strong. It has even been used for the revised version of The Sword of Promised Victory, also known to many as Saber's Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist : Lapis Philosphorum. The first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood starts up the chanting when Frost Alchemist Isaac MacDougal figures out that Ed and Al attempted human transmutation and ends soon after the Führer slices him up into chunks. Specifically, "Lapis Philosophorum." There's also Latin singing in "Trisha's Lullaby," but it's more nostalgic than ominous.
  • Lots of Kenji Kawai soundtracks feature Ominous Japanese Chanting, most notably in his soundtracks for Ghost in the Shell and GITS: Innocence. And also "Torukia" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
  • Giant Robo: The Animation not only features Dies Irae as background music for The Reveal of the Big Bad's secret weapon, but it also has Ominous Opera Singing: the leitmotif for the various and varying flashbacks to the "Tragedy of Bashtalle" is an arrangement of "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from the opera L'elisir d'amore.
  • Guilty Crown uses it to great effect in episode 6 when Gai glares down a deorbited Kill Sat about to land on his head. And it's awesome.
  • Several dramatic instances in Gunslinger Girl were punctuated by Ominous Italian(?) Chanting, such as Henrietta's Unstoppable Rage in the first episode. Also, The Reveal Flashback depicting Elsa committing murder-suicide strikes a bonus for having some Ominous Pipe Organ at the start of the piece.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Not even a (mostly) humorous series like this one is immune, as a choral score accompanied the climactic "final" episode. For a Bilingual Bonus, it's an ode to the creator of the universe.
    • Also, the episode where Koizumi shows the Celestial to Kyon is accompanied with a gregorian chant where the lyrics contain mostly the phrase "Kyrie eleison" ("Lord, have mercy" in Greek). Quite fitting.
    • The Movie of the fourth novel, Disappearance, turns this on soon after a minute or two of Quieter Than Silence (the conflict itself seemed over anyway), when Asakura stabs Kyon in the waist. Listen to "Rikishi no Tenkan Ten" here.
  • "Jigoku Rock" (from the Ironic Hell sequences) from the Hell Girl OST mixes this with... well... rock music...
  • Hellsing has the utterly terrifying Gradus Vita. The anime version of Hellsing includes Incognito performing a mock Latin-like chant to summon the Egyptian God of Chaos, Sett, to London.
  • The anime of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure's "Battle Tendency" has the track "Propaganda", the leitmotif of Nazi officer Rudolph von Stroheim during his tenure as a cyborg made from NAZI SCIENCE!. It consists of Ominous Chanting in the finest tradition of this trope even if it's in German and not Latin. For bonus points the lyrics are from Also sprach Zarathustra and talks about the nature of the Übermensch.
  • Kamichama Karin: Zeus no Yubiwa/The Ring of Zeus.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • What little we saw of the Negi vs. Chao Lingshen battle in the Mahou Sensei Negima ~Ala Alba~ OAD was accompanied with this.
    • Negima runs on this; nearly all the spells are activated by an incantation in either Latin or Ancient Greek. Supplementary materials usually give the translations of these incantations, and they actually manage to retain some ominousness even in English/Japanese.
  • Mai-HiME:
    • Half of the Mai-Otome soundtrack consists of Latin-sounding gibberish chanting (by an all-female choir), mostly during tense, dramatic moments — and the Magical Girl Transformation Sequence. This also shows up in Mai-HiME, particularly in Mezame and its various rearrangements/remixes.
    • The PS2/PC game for Mai-HiME has one track ("Fortuna" by Yousei Teikoku) that comes surprisingly close to averting this, though — its lyrics are mainly a smattering of quotes from classical Latin writers, particularly Virgil and Seneca, with classical rather than ecclesiastical pronunciation to boot. Taken as a whole it still doesn't make a lot of sense, but each individual line is perfectly legitimate Latin.
  • Shinn Asuka's personal battle theme in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, "Dark Energy", uses this trope; before fans knew the real name, they called it "the Evil Monk Chorus Song". Contrast with Kira Yamato's theme, which uses the One-Woman Wail.
  • Naruto
    • Akatsuki has a theme that carries the effect nicely.
    • And now we have the unearthly track Girei, the only possible theme for Akatsuki's leader, the godlike Painnote . Yet another example of Ominous English Chanting.
    • Also Orochimaru's theme/the epic fight music, although the chanting aspect is hard to hear or doesn't kick in until well after the fight and/or plot point is over (the 2 and a half to 3 minute mark).
    • Whenever Hidan's fear level goes up some sort of ominous chanting starts (with screams of pain in the background). When aided by Hidan's shrieking it gives goosebumps.
    • In the Sunny-Side Battle! OVA, an ominous choir can be heard as Itachi starts chanting incoherently the instructions to make and egg.
  • When the Church Choir in Noir starts up, rest assured that many, many people are going to die. (Specifically, the songs "Salva Nos" and "Canta Per Me". The later is Ominous Italian Chanting. Les Soldats, played at the start of every episode to accompany one of the female characters reciting one of three different versions of the Noir prayer, is also particularly ominous, considering it's the Leitmotif of an Ancient Conspiracy.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has Ominous German Chanting in episode 24, even though the lyrics themselves ("Ode to Joy") are anything but ominous in German.
    • The music of Rebuild of Evangelion sounds like this at first, but then we realize it's Ominous English Chanting done in a way that it sounds like Ominous Latin. It goes even further, with both a remake of "Angel Attack" and a new song played during the attack on Ramiel containing epic amounts of Ominous English Chanting, with some of it being pretty creepy for Western audiences too.
      • Rebuild 2.0 goes absolutely crazy with this, having no fewer than seven songs played during Angel attacks with Ominous English Chanting.
      • Followed by 3.0 having as many as twelve songs with Ominous English Chanting. As well as, calling back to the 24th episode of the show, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". At this rate, the final movie will probably have chanting for every single piece of music in the movie...
    "The war to end all wars is here... the air is filled with heavy fear... humanity is disappearing; suffering as millions see slaughter... this is the final showdown. There will be no tomorrow."
    • "Escape to the Beginning" from The End of Evangelion. It only plays during the beginning of the end of the world! The English lyrics are quite appropriate as well.
    Far in the distance / is cast a shadow,
    symbol of our freedom, / will bring us salvation.
    On the horizon, / hope for tomorrow,
    sweeping across the land / to give us unity.
    Look to the heavens / with tears of triumph
    to cherish a new life / and suffer not again.
  • Then there's the Read or Die movie, in which the threat is Ominous German Chanting via Clone Beethoven's Suicide Symphony.
  • Sengoku Basara
  • The intro to the Umineko: When They Cry anime is rife with ominous Italian chanting. While likely unintentional, the song's name, "One-Winged Bird", immediately bring to mind a certain other famous Latin-chanting theme of ominousness. From the visual novel, one of the game's soundtracks, sy, does have ominous Latin chanting. The phrase is "Dominus mā in dictorē astent in dictorum" (my God stands against the speaker in declaration). There is actually a few latin words interjected in the italian chanson.
  • The intros to Higurashi: When They Cry feature ominous backwards Japanese chanting.
  • Soul Eater has a few tracks that involve ominous chanting for fight scenes, specifically against the Big Bad, although it's tough to tell what language is being chanted. "Salve Maria/(Peace Be With You)" sounds like it may be Spanish rather than Latin, but either way it has a rather depressing, haunting feel to it (which fits well with the character it's often played for).
  • Pumpkin Scissors features ominous German chanting "Töten Sie sie!" ("kill them") whenever the main character activates his Lantern.
  • "Grain," the opening theme of Monster.
  • A staple of the Genesis of Aquarion soundtrack, particularly when Shadow Angels are involved.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Throughout the Ron Wasserman soundtrack for Dragon Ball Z's original dub, there are various gregorian-like synthesized chanting sounds. They appear quite frequently, and helped give the show's first two seasons a very sinister, almost otherworldly feel. An example of this type of music would be the track that plays at the height of Goku and Vegeta's beam struggle.
    • Starting with Dragon Ball Kai all of Frieza's Leif Motifs have this, as befitting of an epic cosmic emperor. There is his Kai' theme song, his resurrection theme song in Super'', and his Golden Frieza theme.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Beerus' more frightening moments are accompanied by a track called "Beerus Madness", which contains a low chanting.
  • GaoGaiGar has Beautiful Wings of Light, the theme of Soldat J, which plays during several of his [CMoAs], including his introduction and Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Happens on The Legend of Koizumi, sung by a choir of children during the Pope's introductory Crowning Moment of Awesome: "Fiat Lux!" "Dixitque Deus!". Coincidentally, a different "Fiat Lux" is used in the Tales of Symphonia OVA. Given what is happening while she sings, and knowing the context behind both the song and her ability to perform it, crosses over into Tear Jerker territory. Fiat Lux.
  • Gunnm, while being a manga series still fits the trope, as the Den's attack on the Scrapyard in the end of the original series is set to the lyrics of "O Fortuna".
  • The Wangan Midnight anime has Voices of S30Z the theme song of the the ominously named Devil Z, fitting since the car is not only the fastest on Tokyo's Wangan-sen, but also one of the dealiest to it's drivers (all previous owners had died in crashes, yet the car survives and continues to run). Later on, the song gets used for every major high powered car in the series.
  • Noein makes heavy use of Ominous Latin Chanting, mostly in the bombastic themes relating to the hellish dimension Shangri La.
  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica has some Ominous Latin Chanting, to make sure the titles are also in Latin, with a mix of Italian and Japanese, all collectively referred to as "Kajiuran" after the score's composer, Yuki Kajiura. One is Mami's transformation scene, Sayaka's and the other... Well the title says all.
  • Record of Lodoss War: Okoreru Kyousenshi/An Angered Berseker. "DIES IRAE, DIES ILLA, SOLVET SAECLUM IN FAVILLA!"
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena features quite a bit of strange, baroque music, but saves its Latin chanting for when the villain of the Black Rose Saga is recruiting.
  • There is some on the Saint Beast OVA soundtrack mixing up the Sanctus and some other gratuitous latin.
  • Sgt. Frog parodies this; ominous Latin chanting comes up whenever Angol Moa uses her Armageddon Attack (even at one one-trillionth power).
    • The "one-trillionth power" at least, is justified, as Moa's Armageddon Attack is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. So at one-trillionth power, it "only" creates a crater the size of a house, instead of, say, cracking the entire planet Earth open like an egg.
  • Tegami Bachi occasionally uses a music cue that resembles it.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the unusual variation of Badass Latin Chanting. Super Galaxy Gurren Lagann and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's theme music is a One-Woman Wail version of Libera Me mixed with the Hot-Blooded rap song that was earlier used as Kamina's theme in the Recap Episode and they together are called Libera Me From Hell.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew has not quite so Ominous chanting during the Christmas episode where Kish finally realizes that Ichigo will never be by his side.
  • Many themes from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, although the chanting isn't actually in Latin. The language is Kajiurago (see here).
  • The primary battle theme from The Vision of Escaflowne is the imposing, "O Fortuna"-inspired "Dance of Curse". At around the halfway mark, "Dance of the Curse" finds itself supplanted by the even more ominous and imposing "Epistle" as the primary battle theme. The fact that this is around the point where the battles get increasingly hellish and violent is probably not coincidence.
  • Witch Hunter Robin also features some chanting on its soundtrack. The chanting on "SOLOMON" is hard to decipher, and could just be nonsense words, but they do have a Kyrie (technically, ominous Greek chanting) that sounds absolutely amazing.
  • Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou has this as background music whenever a fight or something juicy is going on.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • The summoning of the Egyptian God card "Winged Dragon of Ra" required Ominous Egyptian Chanting to do properly. The Dub replaced this with Ominous... English Rhyme?
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light does have Ominous Egyptian Chanting for anything involing Anubis.
    • Also, the music that accompanied the summoning of God Cards (and other particularly important scenes) in the Japanese version was replaced with this kind of chanting.
  • The chanting in "XL-TT", "Attack on Titan'' 's go-to 'oh god we're screwed now' track, may not be in Latin, but it's certainly ominous.
  • The eighth episode of Pokémon Generations launches into a remix of the Weather Trio's theme when Archie awakens Kyogre, with the chanting kicking in when it finishes breaking out of its stone shell. Considering what happens next, it is entirely appropriate.
  • Maria The Virgin Witch has "Les serments de Chastet", a techno metal piece played as the shie witch Dorothy saves Maria from being burned by the church. It somewhat clashes with the orchestal tone the rest of the the soundtrack uses, but it only serves to make the scene more awesome.
  • Star Driver features this in "Emperor". Appropriately enough, this is basically the theme for Samekh, the giant King Cybody which upon being freed from Zero Time will absorb all Libido on planet Earth and thus kill every living being. There is also "Libido", reserved for intense fight scenes.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Kingdom Hearts fanfic Those Lacking Spines played this trope for laughs when the sinister Jeffiroth made his appearance to thwart our heroes, accompanied by an orchestra and choir that had appeared from nowhere and a helicopter airdropping Nobuo Uematsu to direct them both in a parody of "One-Winged Angel".
  • "O Fortuna" is the title theme to AMV Hell 1.
  • Invoked by name in this fan compilation.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
    • The series has its own lyrics for "Ave Satani" as the Bakura Show theme song:
    It's The — Bakura Show — He Is — Evil — He's So Evil — He Once Killed — A Puppy — It Was Cute
    • The eight episode also played it for Bakura's first major appearance, with each statement followed by chanting to emphasize how Obviously Evil he was.
    • "O Fortuna" was used to foretell the coming of Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's.
    • In episode 45 just before the epic duel between Bakura and Melvin, we get some Ominous Brooklyn Chanting, followed by some actual chanting during the credits
  • Used to great effect by the doujin circle WAVE.
  • Another Touhou remix combines "One Winged Angel" with "Cirno's Perfect Math Class"... so the chorus of seemingly-ominous Japanese chanting is actually just "Baka! Baka!" (Stupid! Stupid!)

    Films — Animation 
  • The soundtrack to the film AKIRA contains a great deal of ominous chanting, but most of it is in barely-intelligible Japanese. Nemure, AKIRA, nemure... At the end, though, in that track they actually do use Latin as well.
  • Princess Mononoke has Ominous Japanese Chanting in the tune "The World of the Dead", which plays when the Forest Spirit's death goop is covering everything.
  • The Ghost in the Shell films make heavy use of Ominous Japanese Chanting — an antequated form of Japanese, no less.
  • In the trailer of the South Park movie, "O Fortuna" plays as the boys see Cartman's mom on the cover of "Crack Whore Magazine."
  • Darla Dimple's Battle Butler Max gets an ominous chanting to accompany his wall-smashing entrance in Cats Don't Dance — as though the red-tint, and the screaming reactions from the crew wasn't enough to show that Max is one scary dude. If you listen closely, it sounds like the chorus may be ominously repeating what was just said. "How does the kitty-cat go?" And Darla herself gets some as background in "Big and Loud".
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, animals chant in Swahili/distorted English as they try to coax Melman into killing himself to appease the gods.
  • The Ralph Bakshi cartoon version of The Lord of the Rings strangely uses ominous gibberish with the words "Isengard" and "Mordor" peppered in, rather than actually use any Tolkien language.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Considering the setting, it's unsurprising that a lot of the background score is based on Old-World church music, but the Latin vocals only make an appearance when someone's about to find themselves in serious trouble. Some awesome Bilingual Bonus within:
    • Non confundar in aeternum (Let me not be damned for eternity — during Esmeralda's execution as a witch)
    • Libera me Domine de morte aeterna (Free me, Lord, from everlasting death)/ In die illa tremenda (On that terrible day)/ Quando caeli movendi sunt (When the heavens shall be moved)/ Caeli et terra (The heavens and earth)/ Dum veneris judicare (When Thou shalt come to judge)/ Saeculum per ignem (the world by fire — during Quasimodo's breaking free of the chains)
    • Sit sempiterna gloria (May glory be eternal)/ Gloria, gloria semper (Glory, glory forever)/ Sanctus, sanctus in excelsis (Holy, holy, in the highest — when Quasimodo climbs the cathedral and claims sanctuary for Esmeralda)
    • Quem patronum rogaturus ("To what protector shall I appeal")/ Cum vix justus sit securus? ("When scarcely the just man shall be secure?" — when Phoebus leads the charge toward the cathedral.) These lines (and the lines in the entry below) come from the well-known 13th century Gregorian chant "Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath).
    • Confutatis maledictis (When the accursed shall be cast down)/ Flammis acribus addictis (Given to the searing flames — when Frollo is about to fall off of Notre Dame; Frollo actually quotes this line in English just before falling, too, albeit not in those exact words)
    • More examples can be found in the lyrics to "The Bells of Notre Dame" (Latin chanting during Frollo's chase describes the "day of trembling" when "the Judge is come,") and Frollo's Villain Song, "Hellfire."
    • Very cleverly used in "Hellfire". The interlude between Quasimodo's "Heaven's Light" and Frollo's "Hellfire" is an excerpt from Confiteor, a Latin prayer for confessions of sin. The Confiteor continues into "Hellfire", offering some intentional irony in the first few lines of the song. Most notably, when Frollo tries to claim innocence for his lustful thoughts:
    Frollo: It's not my fault!
    Choir: Mea culpa ([It is] My fault)
    Frollo: I'm not to blame!
    Choir: Mea culpa ([It is] My fault)
    Frollo: It was that gypsy girl, that witch who sent this flame!
    Choir: Mea maxima culpa ([It is] My most grievous fault)
    Frollo: It's not my fault
    Choir: Mea culpa
    Frollo: If in God's plan
    Choir: Mea culpa
    Frollo: He made the devil so much stronger than a man!
    Choir: Mea maxima culpa!
    • One of the primary "dark/ominous" motifs in the film uses the phrase Kyrie eleison ("Lord, have mercy") — technically Ominous Greek Chanting, but the effect is the same. The movie practically makes this phrase into Frollo's leitmotif.
    • The Dies Irae itself gets play during one of the most terrifying sequences, when Frollo is tearing the city apart and burning people's houses down to try to get to Esmeralda, culminating in burning Paris down.
    • Quantus tremor est futurus quando iudex est venturus cuncta stricte discussurus ("How much tremor there will be when the Judge will come investigating everything strictly" — when Quasimodo's mother is running to get away from Frollo.)
    • And, appropriately to the movie, most of these lines come from the Requiem Mass. "Libera Me" comes from the poem of the same name; the latter two come from "Dies Irae", which is not so much ominous as outright terrifying. "Sit sempiterna gloria," however, is a line from Thomas Aquinus' "O Salutaris," which is a Eucharistic Adoration hymn.
  • The Pixar short film "Jack-Jack Attack" on The Incredibles DVD makes use of "Dies Irae".
  • It is also included within Hans Zimmer's score for the wildebeest stampede and Mufasa's death scene in The Lion King. For bonus points, this same score (titled "To Die For...") also includes excerpts of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem when Simba finds his father's body. The only thing The Lion King lacks is actual Ominous Latin Chanting — there's plenty of Zulu chanting but it's hardly ominous (except perhaps the Zulu which is set to the "Dies Irae").
  • The opening credits of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm are accompanied by Ominous Chanting to the tune of Shirley Walker's memorable B:TAS theme. The chorus, once again, is actually chanting the last names of production team members backwards.
  • An even more intense version of Mozart's "Mass in C Minor — Kyrie" plays during the impressive storm at sea scene in The Triplets of Belleville.
  • The Prince of Egypt
    • The chanting's in English, not Latin, but that doesn't stop the chorus in "Plagues" and their description of what God's gonna do to the Egyptians from being scary. When they say that the pestilence won't stop "until you break/until you yield," you believe it.
    Chorus: "I send the swarm/I send the horde!"/Thus saith the Lord!
    • The number "Playing With the Big Boys Now", starts with Ramses' priests Hotep and Hoi(Steve Martin and Martin Short)(?) chanting the names of various Egyptian deities. The chanting can be heard later in the background.
  • Brother Bear has the equally ominous, joyful (yes, you can be ominous and joyful at the same time) and awesome "Transformation." Not Latin — accurate Inuktitut! Sang by the Bulgarian's Women's Choir, no less.
  • You know what goes well with chanting? Conlang! So Atlantis: The Lost Empire naturally had some ominous chanting in Atlantean.
    Naseithi basathos...
    Nasani batha
    Harutani strata
    Nasetani kataan
    Haanathaa Atland
    Naseitha sethos
    Haretana sanaalan!
  • Legend Of The Guardians The Owls Of Ga Hoole has a few "aah's" that are heard during scenes with the Pure Ones and sometimes with Soren. Chanting can be heard when Metalbeak tries to kill Soren.
  • The 2009 animated Fantastic Mr. Fox featured a chorus in the final action scenes, chanting a limerick about the villains:
    Chorus: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean / One fat, one short, one lean / These horrible crooks / So different in looks / Were nonetheless equally mean.
  • The LEGO Movie satirizes this trope while playing it straight. Listen closely in the underwater sequence to find that the choir are simply chanting, "under the sea" or even "Lego." Even operatic "yo ho." In addition, during Lord Business's fight with Vitruvius at the start of the film, you can hear them sing, "See all the Lego."
    • The Lego Batman Movie uses a similar satirical approach to its predecessor. When the Joker is sent to the Phantom Zone, you can actually hear the choir literally saying "The Phantom Zone".
  • The first half of "Armageddon" in The Gate to the Mind's Eye features a sinister-sounding man singing in Latin. In translation, featured in the CD booklet, he's singing about the horrors of Armageddon. Some segments of the song also feature the more traditional background chanting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The trailer songs for the Spider-Man Trilogy.
  • John Williams' now-classic "Duel of the Fates" from the Star Wars saga is the Molto vivace from Dvorak's New World Symphony, with the lyrics consisting of a Welsh poem sung in Sanskrit. Apparently it's about trees going to war or something. Williams admitted that the lyrics have no intended meaning, they just sound cool. Williams repeated his success in Episode III with "Battle of the Heroes". The Sanskritified lyrics come from the artistic-license-tastic translation of an old Welsh poem, The Battle of the Trees, as done by Robert Graves for his book The White Goddess: "Under the tongue root a fight most dread/And another raging behind, in the head."
  • Any Genghis Khan related movie and the occasional Hun-themed flick will have the Mongolian form of this trope, traditional Tuvan throat singing accompanied by a warlike drum track. Not to mention the fact that spoken Mongol is probably one of the most ominous sounding languages in existence.
  • Mozart's Dies Irae is used in this film version of Doom - Repercussions of Evil.
  • The Omen (1976) used "Ave Satani", an original piece inspired by "O Fortuna" as the theme for the young antichrist Damien. It's a a dark inversion of Schubert's uplifting "Ave Maria".
  • Spoofed in the Jackass film, where "O Fortuna" plays during the intro, which consists of the cast members careening down a street in an oversized shopping cart with rocks being shot at them.
  • Hot Fuzz
    • Spoofed when members of the conspiracy are discovered chanting Latin. Word of God states the words are "bonum commune communitatis," "for the greater good of the community."
    • Played straight with the inclusion of "Dies Irae" in the run-up to Tim Messenger's death.
  • Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky is perhaps the original instance. The Teutonic Knights are accompanied by an ominous Latin chorus, which rises in a crescendo during the battle scene. This made sense because the Teutons were evil Catholics fighting the goodguy Eastern Orthodox Russians in the highly propagandistic film. Prokofiev's film music for this sounds similar enough to "O Fortuna" that it may have inspired the use of Orff's Carmina Burana in movies. (The Orff piece was written earlier — by one year.) The chanted words: "Peregrinus expectavi pedes meos in cymbalis" themselves are snipped from Stravinsky's A Symphony of Psalms. Prokofiev, however, evidently realized no-one in the audiences would know Latin, because the words are randomly chosen from the Psalms, and mean, when read as one sentence: "I as a stranger awaited my feet on cymbals"
  • Subverted in Branagh's Henry V. The Crowning Music of Awesome is in Latin, but instead of ominous, it's meant to sound hopeful and triumphant after the big battle sequence.
  • Mozart's "Dies Irae" underscores Nightcrawler's attack on the White House in X2: X-Men United.
  • Verdi's "Dies Irae" is the main opening theme to the Battle Royale film. It also sees play during the attack of the Regulators (the forerunners of The Klan) in Django Unchained.
  • The Conan the Barbarian films heavily featured dramatic Latin music — despite there being no Latin in Cimmeria. See for example "Riders of Doom" (~1:37).
  • Ominous Latin-Sounding Gibberish plays when Queen Narissa enters the real world in Enchanted... and every time she uses her evil magic.
  • The Thin Red Line uses "In Paradisum" from Gabriel Fauré at the beginning. Other parts of the movie feature Ominous Melanesian Chanting.
  • Used occasionally in The Matrix trilogy:
    • The freeway scene in The Matrix Reloaded features "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by Juno Reactor, with Sanskrit chanting from "Navras," also by Juno Reactor & Don Davis.
    • The final battle in The Matrix Revolutions has some extremely Ominous Sanskrit Chanting in the background, although thematically it's rather positive: "And when he is seen in his immanence and transcendence, then the ties that have bound the heart are unloosened, the doubts of the mind vanish, and the law of Karma works no more." As the Wachowskis put it, "We couldn't very well have the choir chanting, 'This is the One, look at what he can do,' could we?"
  • The Lord of the Rings movies feature ominous chanting in a variety of languages, including the languages that Tolkien made up himself as the main purpose of writing the stories in the first place. Some of the songs were even composed by Tolkien himself. The words for lyrics of some original songs, other the hand, had to be improvised by linguists working on the film because of the meagre examples of non-Elvish languages that Tolkien left behind in his writings.
    • The Adûnaic chanting when the Nazgûl made their appearance is quite ominous in spite of being a "good" (i.e. Elven) language, being based on Latin and Finnish in about equal measure.
    Bârî 'n Nidir nênâkham. (The Lords, the Nine, we approach.)
    Nêbâbîtham magânanê. (We deny our maker.)
    Nêtabdam dâurad. (We cling to the gloom.)
    • Strictly speaking, Adûnaic wasn't an Elven language but the languages of the Men of Númenor, Tolkien's equivalent of Atlantis, which in itself is based on Semitic rather than the Latin/Finnish mix of Quenya Elvish described above. Nevertheless, the Adûnaic language is heavily influenced by both Quenya & Sindarin Elvish, and Númenoreans themselves were close allies and cultural imitators of the Elves, at least until they were corrupted by the cunning of Sauron, leading to their destruction save for those few who stayed loyal to the Elves, and ultimately giving (re)birth to the Nazgul themselves.
    • At two places in Fellowship you can hear parts of the Ring poem (though not those in the Ring inscription) sung in Black Speech, the lingua franca of Mordor. Perhaps surprisingly, these aren't used for Sauron, the Ring or Mordor (which have their own leitmotifs, but no lyrics), but for Saruman's lust for the Ring and its power.
    • The movies are also notable for the skilful use of a deep-voiced Polynesian choir during the definitely ominous Balrog scene.
    • One of the themes commonly used in evil-is-winning battle/chase moments begins with the words "Balin! Khazad-dûm!", which is likely Khuzdul (Dwarvish), and if not, is at least speaking of dwarves (Balin being a lord of the dwarves and Khazad-dûm being the Khuzdul name for Moria).
    • One piece played in Moria is essentially "O Fortuna" with Dwarvish instead of Latin (starting at about 1:12 here). The lyrics are notable for being as ominous as they sound:
    Urkhas tanakhi! Lu! Lu! (The demon comes! No! No!)
    Kâmin takalladi! Lu! Lu! (The earth shakes! No! No!)
    Ugrûd tashniki kurdumâ! Lu! Lu! (Fear rips our heart! No! No!) ...
    Urus ni askad gabil — (Fire in a great shadow —)
    Urus ni buzra. (Fire in the deep.) ...
    Arrâs talbabi fillumâ! Fillumâ! (Flames lick our skin! Our skin!)
    Ugrûd tashniki kurdumâ! Kurdumâ! (Fear rips our heart! Our heart!)
    Urkhas tanakhi. (The demon comes.)
    • Most of the music in the Howard Shore score that features lyrics has some level of Bilingual Bonus, whether in Quenya, Khuzdul, or the Black Speech, which is often relevant to the scene depicted.
    • Though Howard Shore was provided with full translations for the lyrics he used, he didn't always follow them linearly in the score, and sometimes they ended up quite chopped up. Plus mispronounced (the Sindarin rovail [wings] and naur [fire], in the battle at the Black Gate, should be pronounced as "roh-vile" and "nowr", not "roh-veel" and "noor").
  • Howard Shore's score for Al Pacino's Looking For Richard featured Latin translations of lines from Shakespeare's play. It was quite effective.
  • In the James Bond movie Die Another Day, Ominous backward English Chanting is used for the Big Bad's evil space laser. The phrase, according to the composer, is "look at the size of that umbrella."
  • RoboCop (1987) has a chorus that chants his name.
  • The Boondock Saints uses this trope throughout the movie, sometimes backed up with techno. The most pronounced is during the Il Duce firefight, which is accompanied by the same chanting that opened the movie.
  • The first transformation of Johnny Blaze into Ghost Rider is backed up by this chanting.
  • While not actual chanting, the opening driving sequence to The Shining is backed by a very slow version of "Dies Irae".
  • The flagellants from Bergman's The Seventh Seal sing the "Dies Irae," with lyrics "Pie Iesu domine, dona eis Requiem," translated, "Gracious Lord Jesus, grant them rest."
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail include a likely parody of The Seventh Seal by including a group of flagellant Benedictines who chant "Pie Iesu" while bonking themselves on the head with wooden boards. "Pie Iesu" is later used to add majesty to the Holy Hand Grenade.
  • The 2007 live-action Transformers film features a basso and an alto choir in counterpoint to each other being used for the Decepticon theme. Also used for the theme when Blackout attacks the base and when Megatron thaws.
  • Artists X-Ray Dog and Globus and others specialize in music for film and trailers, often featuring a lot of this chanting.
  • The Reveal for the title Cool Boat in The Hunt for Red October is backed by Ominous Russian Chanting — complete with Bilingual Bonus — to form a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, during the massive battle there is ominous chanting.
  • In the finale to Dead Again, the three-way battle between Frankie, Mike, and Grace is backed by this chanting.
  • In the 1963 film of Lord of the Flies, the choir approach singing "Kyrie eleison" repeatedly, in upbeat mood, accompanying a rather triumphant sounding trumpet. It sounds ominous only in retrospect (or if you know what's coming). Ironically, "Kyrie eleison" is part of the Catholic mass and translates to "Lord, have mercy." This is more what it would sound like in the traditional Latin rite.
  • There is plenty of Ominous Hindi Chanting during Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "Kali ma shukti de!"
  • In Young Sherlock Holmes, the snake cult chants ominously in some dead language during their climactic ritual. A lot of their lyrics are merely the name of the cult, "Rame Tep".
  • John Boorman's Excalibur features one of the more famous uses of "O Fortuna" during battle sequences.
  • The main title theme for the Francis Ford Coppola film Bram Stoker's Dracula features a chorus whispering and hissing on pitch in both Latin and Romanian.
  • This trope (usually substituting another language for Latin, though) shows up in a number of Bollywood films, including — but not nearly limited to — Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham, and Main Hoon Na.
  • Koyaanisqatsi features Ominous Hopi Chanting. Both it and its sequels (Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi) feature the film's title chanted (although in Powaqqatsi it's more joyful than ominous), but there are additional Hopi chants in Koyaanisqatsi, which are translated at the end of the film, on screen, as:
    If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster.
    Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky.
    A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans.
  • In the opening tune, and during the climactic battle in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, the enchanted armour sing the words of the 'substitutiary locomotion' spell that is animating them ("Treguna mekoides trecorum satis dee."). The effect is actually quite chilling.
  • Craig Armstrong's "Escape" from Plunkett and Macleane starts out as ominous and quite mournful, it being played as Macleane is about to get hanged, but soon turns into a driving and triumphant score when Plunkett gets his Big Damn Hero on and rescues him.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back: "Justice is dead!... or so Jay thinks!"
  • Parodied in Woody Allen's Love and Death, during the battle scene, with the battle music from Alexander Nevsky.
  • Listen to the music that plays during Galaxy Quest when we see the Omega 13 in all its glory. Go on, you know you want to.
  • Downplayed in Step Brothers. A short sound clip of this chanting plays when Brennan sees Dale's drum set (on which Dale has a strict 'do not touch' policy) sitting in the latter's room. It plays again when Dale, inspecting his drum set - suspecting it to have been tampered with - finds one of his drumsticks damaged. Cue the quarrel.
  • John Barry's music for The Lion in Winter makes liberal use of this trope.
  • The soundtrack for Glory is made up of something that sounds like this chanting, but it's also kind of pretty. Special mention goes to Charging Fort Wagner.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey features, as the monolith music, Ligeti's Requiem mass. The lyrics are "Kýrie, eléison; Christé, eléison; Kýrie, eléison", repeated in a loop — except each syllable is dragged a lot, and the different vocal ensembles don't sing together, adding to the confusion. His composition "Lux Aeterna" also appears, as the background music during Heywood Floyd's trip to the moon. It's not as ominous, though.
  • 1996's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet had epic "O Verona".
  • The trailer for The X-Files: Fight the Future also used "O Verona" (albeit a tecno-ish remix).
  • A main source of Narm in Hospital Massacre.
  • Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie, ostensibly a documentary about nuclear testing, is an excuse to show lots of really big explosions set to Ominous (Russian?) Chanting.
  • In French movie Les Visiteurs, Pseudo-Latino-Romanesque-sounding language chanting is part of main theme: Enae Volare. Fitting with the Middle Age setting, but less with the movie genre, which is a comedy.
  • Used in The Dark Knight Saga. Hans Zimmer put a link out that allowed anyone to record themselves doing the chanting he used in The Dark Knight Rises. The Arabic phrase used as the chant, Deshi Basara, translates as "he rises" and is very thematically important. It's also used in-universe as a chant in Bane's prison when someone tries to make the climb to escape.
  • Eyes Wide Shut: the masked ball scene contains diagetic music using an Orthodox liturgy chanted in Romanian and played backwards to make it more otherworldly.
  • Mission: Impossible
  • The Sum of All Fears has The Mission. While it's mostly a One-Woman Wail, the lyrics are in Latin and gives a rather haunting feel.
  • Dagon had Ominous Latin Chanting, except of course instead of Latin, the phrase "Iä! Iä! Cthulhu Fhtagn" was chanted.
  • In Godzilla (2014), György Ligeti's very creepy, very ominous "Requiem" (which had previously been most closely associated with 2001: A Space Odyssey) plays during the HALO jump. It was also used in almost all of the trailers for the film.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness uses what sounds like Ominous Klingon Chanting during the aerial chase over the Ketha Province of Qo'noS.
  • The trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road and one of its action sequences features "Dies Irae". It also gets used after the Bullet Farmer is blinded and he starts shooting in a mad rage.
  • Jurassic World has the chanting heard during the climactic battle between Rexie and the I-rex.
  • When Dom and Shaw start fighting in Furious 7, chanting can be heard.
  • Eye of the Devil has what appears on the surface to be a standard Catholic Latin Mass, but it is framed and shot to be very ominous, complete with a Bald of Evil Sinister Minister played by Donald Pleasence. Turns out it's a Satanic "black mass."
  • Parodied in Amber Benson's short film Shevenge, where the lead characters apparently don't know any actual latin.
    (Chanting) Latin latin latin... Latin latin latin...
  • Marketa Lazarová: Zdeněk Liška's brilliant dark, ominous and rapid chanting score. [1]
  • Broken Arrow (1996) has a brief chanting of "Agnus Dei" when Hale finds himself stranded in the Utah desert.
  • The Name of the Rose has four of them in-universe, used to make the abbey more realistic.

  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Storm of Iron, the lead Chaos Titan is named Dies Irae.
  • Averted in The Divine Comedy where Latin chanting is (usually) a good sign and a contrast to the wailing screams of agony heard in hell.
  • In Andrzej Sapkowski's Hussite Wars series, utter polyglot nonsense was chanted by impostors-masquerading-as-exorcists, surprisingly, to quite the opposite effect. It summoned something unidentified. Which then immediately possessed the village idiot.
  • The Left Behind book series has Ominous Hebrew And Greek Chanting, as the demon locust swarm that emerges during one of God's Trumpet Judgments chants "Abaddon" and "Apollyon" in their respective languages.
  • In Victoria the heroes choose at one point to massacre hundreds of liberal intellectuals for the crime of "Cultural Marxism." To make sure the message isn't lost, they do so wielding short swords and wearing Crusader surplices. To make extra sure, they bring in a live choir to chant Dies Irae while they work, and the somewhat less ominous Non Nobis as they leave.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Japanese gameshow subtly titled Cat Weightlifting includes hints of Ominous (probably Japanese) Chanting when the scientists are placing the final fish on the ground. The show also features unnecessarily awesome music when the cats manage to escape with the increasingly larger fish, and some Metal when each cat gets knocked out in the final round. If you've no idea what it's about, go watch the video already.
  • "O Fortuna" was also used during the series finale of the cult favourite TV show, American Gothic.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • Ominous Latin Chanting is used in the 3rd season episode "Demons". However, that episode was about a group of Middle Ages humans being threatened by Sokar, so it's rather appropriate.
    • In later seasons, there's plenty of Ominous Latin Chanting related to the Ori, as well as in the direct-to-DVD movies.
  • The titular Hopi chant from the movie Koyaanisqatsi plays every time The Janitor gives someone the Death Glare in Scrubs. May God have mercy on the one who receives it.
  • The Daily Show used Ave Satani for the "horrors" that were:
    • Starbucks being closed for three hours.
    • Dick Cheney smiling more than ten times during the State of the Union address.
    • Jon Stewart revealing his true identity as the Antichrist or possibly Conrad Bain.
    • They also used "O Fortuna" to accompany footage of Jesus on a spring.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Atlantean cult in "The Underwater Menace" chant ominously in a gibberish language ("waa-aa-tuu-aah waa-aa-tuu-aah Wah! Wah! Wah!") while performing religious rituals (like chaining the Doctor and his companions on top of a shark pit). It is combined on the soundtrack with dissonant electronic hits and a creepy organ.
    • Ominous Buddhist chanting ("Oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ!") is used to summon the giant spiders in "Planet of the Spiders".
    • In the revived series, the first appearance of a massive Dalek army is accompanied by Ominous Hebrew Chanting. (The words are reported to be a translation of "What is happening?", which apart from being an appropriate response to the situation is also a Dalek Catch Phrase.) The words are "Mah Koreh, Mah Mah Koreh" (what's happening, what, what's happening) repeated over and over again. Here is the theme.
    • A moment in the following season's finale, featuring the use of the Dalek's Genesis Arc — sending millions of Daleks against the 5 million Cybermen that have already taken over the world winds up using the prerequisite chanting as well.
    • And then of course, there's "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night", which contains a mixture of Ominous Latin and Terrifying Hebrew Chanting.
    • In "Tooth And Claw", the bald monks chant "Lupus Deus est" — 'the wolf is god' — as the moon rises.
    • And in "The End of Time, Part 2", the Ood sing "Vale Decem" (Farewell, Ten) as Ten regenerates.
    • The Headless Monks of "A Good Man Goes to War" have a decidedly unsettling chant/song they perform before they attack. How they manage to chant, given that they lack heads, is anyone's guess.
  • The Borg's first appearance in the "Best of Both Worlds" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is accompanied by an awesome sounding synthesized choir (appropriate for the Borg's artificial nature).
  • Battlestar Galactica
    • As much mournful as ominous, the words in the opening credits (in all TV airings on UK television, and from season 2 onwards in the U.S.) are actually a Sanskrit prayer known as the Gayatri Mantra, considered to be the holiest verse in the Vedas, the founding texts of Hinduism. Roughly translated into English it reads:
    Oh God! Giver of life, earth and sky
    That heavenly light which must be worshipped
    Let us attain the radiance of God
    May our thoughts bring us ever forward into light
    Woe upon your Cylon heart.
    There's a toaster in your head.
    And it wears high heels.
    Number Six calls to you.
    The Cylon Detector beckons.
    Your girlfriend is a toaster.
    • "Kobol's Last Gleaming" from the season 1 soundtrack contains proper latin chanting, using the words "Ita Dicimus Omnes", "So Say We All".
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • The theme for Silent Witness is sung in Latin.
  • Used in the Korean Series Sign whenever the dramatic moment needs a extra kick.
  • In The Middleman, when Sensei Ping does the Wu-han Thumb of Death, it's accompanied by the "Dies Irae" from the Mozart Requiem (along with stock footage of Stuff Blowing Up).
  • Farscape: "Into The Lion's Den", the climax (if not the finale) of the third season, had two original tracks of this chanting, "Salve Me" and "Lacrimosa". Both are available at the official website, and both are Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • Played with in Kamen Rider Faiz in which a Corrupt Corporate Executive (though to be fair, the entire organization was corrupt too) played this chanting on a personal CD player in his office whenever he was on the job. The situation didn't matter; he could be planning world domination or just relaxing after a hard hour's work, but the Chanting would still be belting out at full volume. Thanks to the show having a serious tone 99% of the time, this came off as more creepy than humorous.
  • The opening credits to Mr. Bean had a real church choir singing the Latin for "Behold the man who is a bean", "End of part one", "Part two", and "Farewell, man who is a bean".
  • The theme to the darkly humorous Danish television series Riget (of which Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital is a remake) mixed genuine Latin phrases with gibberish, counting to seven in English and slow spelling of the word "rectum" [2]. Even the legitimate Latin is nonsense ("speculum et cetera"; "mirror and so forth").
  • An episode of Spaced features apocalyptic Latin chanting to reveal a cute dog lying with bamboo on Tim's bed, as he has a fear of both.
  • Even Survivor (yes, the reality show) has done this with a generally unliked contestant (somewhere between quirky, insane, and power-hungry) doing yoga in the rain (complete with ominous lightning and thunder) as "O Fortuna" plays in the background.
  • Warehouse 13 's pilot had Ominous Medieval Italian Chanting.
  • In the new Discovery Channel series Wild Tropics, whenever the sharks or other dangerous predators show up the music shifts to Ominous Polynesian Chanting
  • Ominous Chanting is quite common on Merlin (2008), though it's so indistinct that it's hard to tell whether or not it's Latin. Or what they're saying. It's very old English according to the DVD extras.
  • Invoked on Top Gear — for when things like a race to London City Airport between a boat and a bicycle just aren't epic enough.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has this. Usually, though, it isn't so much chanting as speaking it to perform spells and/or do rituals.
    • In one particular case in Season Two, it was ominous Italian opera when Giles discovered that Angelus had killed Jenny Calender. The moment is also another Whedon example of Anyone Can Die
    • While good characters are shown to use magic in the show, as a rule the good guys (okay, 'girls') cast spells in what is actually intentionally-badly-pronounced Italian (so it sounds ancient), whereas the bad guys e.g. Warren use Latin chants.
    • The straightest example of this comes in a flashback when the still human Drusilla enters a church for confession, and is encountered by Angelus who just ate the priest. The background chorus sings ''Pange Lingua'', an old eucharist hymn, presumably from The High Middle Ages, with some variations.
    • Gaelic is a rare variation.
  • Same goes for Supernatural with its various exorcisms and rituals, not only in Latin, but sometimes even in Enochian.
  • The soundtrack for Lexx includes a fair amount of random choral chanting (although a lot of it is just oohs and aahs).
  • Once a player goes to the third level ($50,000 and beyond) on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the background thinking music starts to sounds more and more dramatic, with a choir chant playing over top of the music. However, the background music for the $1,000,000 question is a complete subversion, instead consisting of just a low, deep bass note, a drum hit, and a heartbeat.
  • Parodied in an episode of Bullshit, which opens with a chant of "Ethay Aticanvay isyay Ullshitbay..."
  • Ominous Nonsense Chanting found its way into Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess in the Dahak story arc. Actual Latin found its way into the story with the Four Horsemen.
  • The logo for Renaissance Pictures (which appears on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess) uses this as music, accompanying visuals of lightning bolts and a Mona Lisa-like picture being ripped in half.
  • Hannity's America on Fox News has been known to use Carmina Burana as a cold opening sometimes, usually to a montage of "sinister" goings-on amongst (usually) Democratic political figures in Washington, D.C. Apparently it's supposed to be funny, although Hannity's America is generally serious.
  • Another "hard to tell if it's Latin or not" but the Highlander: The Series episode "The Immortal Cimmoli"
  • Licat volare si super tergum Aquila volat - A man can fly where he will, if he rides on the back of an eagle.
  • Parodied on How I Met Your Mother. When Barney pressures Ted to swear an oath to him as his bro (a "bro oath" or "broath"), he lends the ceremony some extra solemnity by playing a recording of some chanting monks. It takes Ted a couple minutes to realize the monks are actually just chanting the word "bro" over and over; Barney had them record it just for the occasion.
  • For the most part in Charmed, practicioners of Good Magic cast spells in English Rhyme, whereas Dark Magic was done in Latin.
  • A Left the Background Music On variation when Frasier goes to Bebe's hotel room and there's a choir singing outside the window. While she tries to seduce him, he throws open the window to get some air just as the choir hits a particularly ominous crescendo, accompanied by sweeping red floodlights.
  • Mission: Impossible: Done by the evil Satanic cult in "The Devils".
  • Spoofed in A Touch of Cloth III, where the sacrifice cult is accompanied by this kind of music, but the lyrics are just inane things like video game titles, brand names and politicians ("ESTEÉ LAUDER!" "SUPER MARIO!" "DAVID MILIBAND!")
  • Vikings has ominous chanting, only it is in Old Norse.
  • Happens on the original Japanese Iron Chef, whenever the Iron Chefs rise to the stage.
  • The miniseries adaptation of The Master and Margarita has Ominous Latin Chanting out the wazoo, with a few "abracadabra"s thrown in for good measure. "Woland's Hymn" is the most prominent example.
    Sator arepo tenet opera rotas
    Igni natura renovatur integra
    INRI, INRI, abracadabra...
  • Sherlock: Done by a secret society meeting in a desanctified church in Sherlock Special The Abominable Bride.
  • A Running Gag in the game show Pointless is that the hosts will imitate Ominous Latin Chanting whenever a round goes to a tie-break.
  • Lampshaded in the The Young Ones episode "Flood", where a group of monks walk by chanting "Dominus ad nauseam, dominus ad nauseam..."

  • Slovenian Industrial band Laibach bypassed ominous, going straight to nightmare fuel unleaded with "Vade Retro Satanas" from their album Nova Akropola. "[3]"
  • German electronica band E Nomine uses a lot of Ominous Latin Chanting — with good results. Then they combine it with the guttural voice of a Chain-Smoking German to make it even more sinister. "Schwarze Sonne" is a perfect example of just how epic this trope can be.
  • The song "Kann denn Liebe Sünde Sein" by the German metal band Eisbrecher has this in the beginning, but it's in German.
  • B-Movie sample pioneer Rob Zombie has used this technique in a couple songs, more notably in the White Zombie song "Super-Charger Heaven" (supposedly using a Latin excommunication trial).
  • Most power-metal albums, especially those with a fantasy theme. Any "Rhapsody" album starts off with a choir chanting ominous Latin gibberish.
    • "Lux Triumphans" from "Dawn Of Victory" is an excellent example of Ominous English Chanting.
  • While primarily instrumental, the band Nox Arcana employs vocal tracks on each of its albums. Almost all of those vocal tracks are in ominous Latin, as befits the band's name. Winter's Knight includes Gregorian hymns, which are neither intended nor played as ominous, but they have a somewhat spooky effect regardless. Necronomicon also has plenty of ill-boding chanting, but it's not in a human language. Blood of the Dragon is in the fantasy genre, not horror, but it still uses plenty of "O Fortuna"-inspired chanting throughout the album (particularly in the title track, where the influence is so obvious it's ridiculous). According to composer Joseph Vargo, most of the post-"Blood of the Dragon" albums contain pseudo-Latin Chanting.
  • In the penultimate scene of Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, a male chorus chants in a made-up demonic language ("Ha! Irimiru Karabrao!") as Mephistopheles triumphantly brings Faust into Pandaemonium. The final scene is set in the other place, where a Cherubic Choir welcomes Marguerite.
  • Pink Floyd showed they were just as capable of this as anyone else, with the "Atom Heart Mother Suite." It's a tangled mess of steel guitar, cellos, a brass band, organ and a lot of chanting in made-up languages, varying from merely otherworldly to absolutely doom-laden. Bonus points for having both male and female choirs in one piece.
  • Puccini's Tosca, at the end of Act I, with the Latin prayers underscoring the nefarious schemes of corrupt chief of police and sexual predator Scarpia, though the prayers themselves culminate in the first lines of the Te Deum, which is usually considered more celebratory than ominous. More ominously, Spoletta mumbles a few lines from the "Dies Irae" during the torture scene in Act II.
  • Puccini's Turandot (based on a Chinese fairytale) has the chorus (singing in Italian) playing the people of Beijing, reflecting the changing moods of the crowd, first as a frenzied mob screaming for blood, then cheering the Unknown Prince on as he successfully answers the princess' riddles, and pleading with slave-girl Liù, who has killed herself, to reveal the prince's name. Especially at the death of Liù, the sound of the chorus is chilling.
  • Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov has the chorus playing the Russian people. Many opera lovers consider the chorus to be one of the main characters, and they get their own curtain call. Their prayers, mob scenes, and laments, sung in Russian, sound spooky as well as heartrending, particularly at the death of Boris. At several points, some really ominous Latin chanting is heard.
  • The band Enigma combines Gregorian-esque chants with ethereal electronic sound effects. The album "The Screen Behind the Mirror" samples Carmina Burana — so much so that it could be said to be Carmina Burana with samples of Enigma. It was one of the few times where the original publishers sanctioned its use.
  • The band Gregorian plays covers of popular songs in a Gregorian-chant vocal style with modern instrumentation. There are a few of their songs which feature Ominous Latin Chanting including their cover of the inevitable "O Fortuna" and their original, "Gregorian Anthem".
  • While Swedish symphonic metal band Therion does not always implement Ominous Chanting into their songs, almost all of them have choirs singing in some capacity. They, too, have covered "O Fortuna". Other songs like "Seven Secrets of the Sphinx", "Via Nocturna", or "The Wondrous World Of Punt" may also fit this trope.
  • Although in English, AFI's "Miseria Cantare" tells you that Sing The Sorrow's plot (it is a concept album) is not going to have a happy ending. Yeah, the lyrics are nihilistic, but it is the background chorus and eerie music that show you the magnitude of the unhappy life the main character of the plot is going to have.
  • Brazilian power metal band Angra employed this in their song "Acid Rain", first to open the song, then to mark the passage from the bridge to the guitar solo.
  • "Warszawa" on the album Low, by David Bowie, has a long chanting sequence, made of Bowie overdubbing his own voice in several keys. Ominous, yes, and quite appropriately based on an old Polish composition, but the actual lyrics are gibberish.
  • Evanescence use it in the songs "Whisper" and "Lacrymosa," as well as the unreleased song "Anything for You." Whisper's lyrics translated are, "Save us from danger, save us from evil," and the other two are just from the "Lacrimosa" section of the Requiem mass.
  • Enya's Tempus Vernum is entirely Ominous Latin Chanting, which is essentially a list of pairs of opposites. ("Therefore, the earth and the stars. Therefore, the east and the west...")
    • Pax Deorum and Cursum Perficio. Enya seems to like this trope a lot.
    • She's also very fond of Gaelic (not surprising at all, given her musical and cultural background), and for Amarantine even developed an artificial language — complete with its own script — for those moments when neither Latin nor Gaelic met the dramatic requirements.
  • Power/thrash metal band Iced Earth has the 16-minute epic Dante's Inferno, based on, well, Dante's Inferno. It has sections of what sounds like this trope, although songwriter Jon Schaffer has admitted that it's just gibberish invented to sound evil. This chanting also shows up in the songs Damien (based on the movie The Omen) The Coming Curse, and Harbinger of Fate. Also in the middle of their song "Divide Devour" (Dies Natalis, Odisse, Mortalis).
    • Demons & Wizards also uses this: "Crimson King" starts with chanting choirs and "Chant," the outro on their first album is a (pseudo?) Gregorian chant that Hansi Kürsch made by multi-tracking his voice. For Hansi, the second album by his main band, Blind Guardian, opens with "Inquisition": Pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem chanted repeatedly. (This is the same as the chanting in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.) It's fairly relevant; the first song is about John the Baptist.
  • Inversion: "Orchestral metal" group Trans-Siberian Orchesta's rock opera Beethoven's Last Night features some chanting of this kind, but it's generally uplifting and set to a variation of Ode to Joy. The piece has the titular composer reflecting on his life and career, and how his music has affected the world.
    • The more traditional version makes its appearance in "Requiem (The Fifth)" from said rock opera, which, as its name implies, is a mash-up of Mozart's Requiem and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
  • AIM's Demonique combines, to wonderfully creepy effect, ominous chanting with dialogue from the movie "Halloween" and a trip-hop beat.
  • "O Fortuna". The piece has been popularly associated with Satanism ever since it was used in The Omen (1976).
    • Which this student of Latin finds saddening, because it's the most awesome piece of musical navel contemplation you will ever hear.note 
    • Also from Carmina Burana is "In taberna quando sumus", an Ominous Latin Drinking Song.
    • See a hilarious animated video with misheard lyrics here.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Dies Irae" from the Requiem gets almost as much play as "O Fortuna" in dramatic situations. Unlike most of the pieces on this page, though, it has the thematic weight to match its ominous tone when translated: the lyrics are describing the Apocalypse. In fact, the "Dies Irae" from practically any Requiem Mass qualifies by definition as this trope. Especially Verdi.
  • The original Dies Irae Gregorian chant is pretty freakin' spooky all on its own.
  • Adiemus, a classical piece by Karl Jenkins, isn't technically Latin (the composer invented all the "words" himself), but it's spine-tingling awesome.
    • His pieces containing real latin chanting are even more ominous, like Dies Irae from Requiem or Sanctus from The Armed Man.
  • Deathspell Omega frequently incorporate chanting in Latin and other languages into their music, usually to hellish effect.
  • Check the E.S. Posthumus album Unearthed and you're less likely to find a song without this type of chanting. The reason behind their use of it is the fact that the songs are all about dead civilizations and ruined cities of the ancient world.
  • A Song For Europe by Roxy Music has Bryan Ferry repeating the song's last couplet in French, then in Latin.
  • The song "Sister of Charity" by Finnish Gothic-Rock band The 69 Eyes contains repeated usage of this trope, made even more ominous coupled with the deep bass voice of the singer. The Latin words translate to "Between hope and fear... Charity in war".
  • Some Latin chants are so well known in classical music that they can be quoted in an instrumental piece without the words being used. The most ominous of these chants is the Gregorian Dies Irae. Examples of its many uses appear in the Witches' Sabbath movement of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Camille Saint-Saëns's Danse macabre and third symphony, Sergei Rachmaninov's The Isle of the Dead and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Modest Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain and Franz Liszt's Totentanz. Or in "Making Christmas" from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Or as part of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd".
  • Era, while very fond of the Latin Chanting, isn't usually Ominous. But then there's Enae Volare Mezzo, which is probably one of the sexiest sounding examples of this trope ever. There's also Ameno which manges to be genuinely ominous and creepy.
  • The French prog rock band Magma uses ominous chanting in many of their songs. They even made up their own language for it, called Kobian.
  • Our Solemn Hour by Within Temptation ("San-ctus Espiri-tus...").
  • Nightwish implements chanting in a few of their songs on their album Imaginaerum.
  • "Saltwater" by Chicane features ominous Gaelic chanting, sampled from the Theme Tune of Harry's Game.
    • "Four Seasons" by Blue Amazon also uses a Gaelic-sounding chant.
  • Epica has a whole album in which each features at least one verse with Ominous Latin Chanting.
    • All of their intros (with the exception of the largely instrumental "The Score: An Epic Journey") begin with Latin Chanting; some songs that feature ominous chanting are "Cry For the Moon" and "The Phantom Agony" (Ominous English Chanting) and "The Divine Conspiracy" (Ominous Latin Chanting). "Seif Al Din" may feature Ominous Arabic Chanting.
  • As mentioned in The Matrix entry above, the Juno Reactor songs "Mona Lisa Overdrive"(Kyrie Eleison) and "Navras"(ominous Sanskrit chanting).
  • Starflyer 59's "Underneath" and "First Heart Attack" (the first and last track from the album ''Old') feature sampled, wordless chanting, courtesy of Richard Swift's mellotron.
  • "Memories in a Sea of Forgetfulness" by BT uses (not so ominous) Arabic/Muslim chanting, which sounds like the Adhan prayer call. Also, "Firewater" has the Muslim chant "La illah illa Allah" ("I bear witness to no god but Allah").
  • "Scorched Blood" by Xorcist has this.
  • Vangelis has used the ominous singing, more often sounding closer to Greek but can evoke Latin and sometimes other languages (like Egyptian Arabic in one of the Blade Runner cues, courtesy of one-time bandmate Demis Roussos). Examples of this includes Heaven and Hell, Mask, his soundtrack to 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Voices, his various El Greco works and Mythodea
    • There's even a moment when baby sounds are used ... "Message" from Direct
  • Parodied with the mashup "Crank Dat One Winged Angel"[4], by Valley of Walls. Soulja Boy + One Winged Angel = the most sinister rap jam you've ever heard.
  • Ominous German Chanting, admittedly. Halber Mensch by Einsturzende Neubauten. Very awesome. Very creepy.
  • Iron Maiden's "Sign of the Cross", based on The Name of the Rose (a work full of priests) opens with one.
  • Thenote  operetta Candide accompanies an attack on the hero's home with a new Gregorian chant, which takes some liberties with Catholic doctrine. The chant include the phrase "Agnus Dei, Ora Pro Nobis" ("Lamb of God, pray for us"), which traditional Catholics would consider heretical.note 
    • The chant was written for the 1970s revival using the music of a pre-existing song, "It Must Be So." Most productions use the instrumental "Battle Music" instead.
  • Symphonic Metal band Tristania uses this a lot, along with Soprano and Gravel, with fairly epic-sounding effects. The song "Wormwood" uses a passage from Carmina Burana
    • As do Morten's side projects Sirenia and Mortemia. "The Mind Maelstrom" is essentially a praise chorus to Ominous Latin Chanting while Mortemia is strictly Morten's death grunts and Latin chanting— His formula is demonstrated well in "The Malice Of Life's Cruel Ways".
  • The 1965 Yardbirds B-side "Still I'm Sad" features wordless ominous chanting of the same melody to which Keith Relf sings the lyrics.
  • Most of the songs by Audiomachine are like that and can be heard in numerous film trailers.
  • Most of the songs by Two Steps from Hell contain epic chanting set to a driving, orchestral soundtrack suitable for battle scenes, for example Nemesis, Flameheart, and Freedom Fighters (used in a trailer for J.J. Abram's Star Trek (2009) movie), although it's hard to make out the exact words.
  • Enigma's song, "Gravity Of Love," uses "O Fortuna" to great effect at the start of the song.
  • Gekkakou by Versailles has a bridge supposedly in Latin, when it is in fact a list of spells from ''Harry Potter''. Somewhat justified in that the spells themselves mostly consist of Canis Latinicus, but are still shoved in there to sound cool.
  • Apoptygma Berzerk originally used a sample of Carmina Burana on the track "Love Never Dies: Part One."
  • Funker Vogt often uses ominous English, German, and non-lyrical chanting.
  • Carmina Burana itself. Originally it was a collection of medieval poems and songs, usually written by students and dealing with such topics as drinking, revelry, love and morality. Carl Orff, who composed the music in 1935 most likely thought that medieval texts in Latin must be definitely ominous, so he created famous and extremely dramatic score. 'O Fortuna!' ('Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi') is actually pretty mellow poem about waxing and waning whims of Fortune, clearly inspired by stoic poetry of Marcus Aurelius. If you know Latin, the dissonance between Orff's score and bawdier lyrics is outright hilarious.
    • The original Carmina Burana was written by vagant monks, more into the business of drinking and women than anything else. Most of the chanting was in latin, but the topics were anything but ominous.
  • Paid tribute to in Gowan's "(You're A) Strange Animal" during the final chorus, where Gowan belts out "Oh, Ominous Spiritus!" in a decidedly non-ominous, non-chanting way.
  • Omnis Mundi Creatura by Helium Vola is very ominous, and the creepy synths in the background only make it scarier.
  • Black Metal has a lot of examples of this trope. Mayhem's De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' title track is probably the most famous example.
  • Meat Loaf uses this in his album "Bat Out of Hell 3: The Monster is Loose". It is in Spanish, not Latin, but still ominous.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach has both Latin and German examples in his vocal works.
    • The St. Matthew Passion contains an example of Ominous German Chanting that doubles as a Song Style Shift. The movement "So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen" starts out as a fairly traditional duet, with occasional interjections of the choir. After the duet ends, the movement immediately turns into an incredibly angry-sounding chorus with such lyrics as "Open the fiery abyss, o Hell, crush, destroy, devour, smash with sudden rage the false betrayer, the murderous blood!"
    • The motet Jesu, meine Freude (BWV 227) contains Ominous German Chanting as well - this example is more forceful than the previous, with a strong emphasis on the word "Trost" (Defiance).
    • Bach's B Minor Mass, while mostly positive in tone, has a bit of strong and dramatic Greek at the very beginning of the work, with an ominous chanting of "Kyrie eleison!"
    • Bach's Magnificat also has ominous Latin in the movement "Omnes generationes".
  • A Soviet rock opera Juno And Avos uses Ominous Church Slavonic Chanting for the same effect. Opera also features an actual Latin chanting, but surprisingly it's not ominous at all.
  • Sunn O)))'s Monoliths and Dimensions album has guttural Hungarian chanting courtesy of Attila Csihar, as well as traditional church choir on the aptly named "Big Church".
  • Akiko Shikata loves to use this in her more epic songs, her privileged languages being Italian and Greek it seems. A good example is Umineko no Naku Koro ni, among others (the Italian here being about the greatness and cruelty of the witch Beatrice).
  • While the effect is more epic than ominous, Sakanaction's song "Aoi" features Ominous Japanese Chanting in the verses.
  • The group Mecano has ominous latin chant at the end of their song "No es Serio este Cementerio" (This is not a Serious Cemetery"). It says "Finis gloriæ mvndi homini"("The end of the glory of the world of men").
  • The Stooges use Ominous chanting during "We Will Fall" from their Self-Titled Album The Stooges.
  • The Cruxshadows use gibberish chanting in "Into the Ether", the opening track of Ethernaut.
  • Composer György Ligeti practically defines this trope, writing such pieces as the "Kyrie" and "Lux Aeterna." If you're not familiar with his name, he's the guy who wrote most of the eerie parts of the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack.
  • The Fun Boy Three's self-titled debut has an Album Intro Track consisting of 1:22 of them and Bananarama chanting ominously in Latin.
  • Daniel Amos's album Horrendous Disc ends with about a minute of wordless, ominous chanting, over dirge-like backing music.
  • Gloryhammer's second album Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards has the lines "Sanctus! Dominus! Infernus! Ad Astra!" repeated at the start of the song "Rise of the Chaos Wizards". Roughly translated it means "Holy God! Universe on fire!" "Universe on fire" is the title of a later track on the album.

  • In a trailer for The Magnus Archives a mysterious voice chants vigilo, audio, opperior. The tape recorder picks it up when the archivist leaves it running as he momentarily leaves the room.

    Pro Wrestling 

  • The Undertaker has often gotten in on the act, as many of his Pay-Per-View entrances see him preceded by torch-bearing, black-robed druids chanting in Latin. Extra points to his Wrestlemania XIV entrance, where the druids actually entered to "O Fortuna" before Undertaker made his entrance to his usual music, a particularly-chilling rendition of Chopin's "Funeral March".
  • Raven's entrance theme from his short WWE tenure prominently features Ominous Arabic Chanting. Raven mentioned on his website that Jim Johnston (WWE's music director, and writer/composer of about 90% of the songs used by WWE) used it to make the song sound "creepy and alien". It works beautifully.
  • Ominous Arabic chanting was featured even more prominently in Muhammad Hassan's theme, but this time, it was post 9/11, and the music was deliberately chosen to, along with the entrance video that interspersed shots of Hassan and his manager, Daivari, with slow pans of various American landmarks, leave the viewer with a vaguely uncomfortable feeling. All of this played directly into Hassan's character, which was an Arab-American who was sick and tired of being stereotyped as a terrorist, and lashed out at everybody, including the audience, for doing so.
  • WWE has even integrated ominous Latin into The Merch — a Triple H T-shirt features, among the skull-and-bones motif, the single word "Eversoris"note .
  • Místico's theme song, performed by the band Era, consists of Ominous Latin Chanting, violins and a scorching guitar solo or two.
  • His WWE-issue music for his entrance as Sin Cara has some chanting as well, but it's of a somewhat-more uplifting nature. The Dark Reprise used by Costume Copycat Sin Cara Negra, however, fits the bill for "Ominous".
  • On two of the occasions when he broke out the Demon Bodypaint for the [[NXT NXT live specials]], Finn Balor's entrance was preceded by a distorted recording of a low demonic voice speaking in tongues that sounds like ominous latin.
  • The "trailer" for Boricuas Most Wanted, You Know Me!!!. It was actually used to stir up Latin pride.

    Real Life 
  • As reported by a Tumblr user that teaches Latin:
    My students kept forgetting how to conjugate esse, so I turned it into a rhythmic chant that I had them say over and over. The problem is that when you chant ANYTHING in Latin it sounds like you’re summoning a demon, which they decided was awesome, so uh. Now I’ll just be randomly walking through the hallway and hear voices chanting, “sum es est! sumus estis sunt!
    I’m 99% sure my colleagues think I’ve started a cult.

  • "O Fortuna" was used during the reveal of one of the three Super Bowl championship banners for the New England Patriots during the pre-game ceremony for the subsequent season-opener.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer has human magic users slowly become more and more influenced by their chosen magic discipline. In the case of White Magic users, this may make them able to sing in a chorus by themselves.
  • Warhammer 40,000 uses this one, too, but in dramatically different circumstances. The Imperium of Man is a theocratic fascist state, whose official language is High Gothic, usually rendered as Latin in the books. Anytime an Imperial choir strikes up, whether it be members of the Ministerium trying to bolster the morale of the Imperial Guardsmen defending against an enemy onslaught, or the Adepta Sororitas singing their battle-hymn Ave Imperator, this trope is in effect.

  • The song "All That's Known" from Spring Awakening has an interesting variation on this. The chanting is in Latin—but it's the start of The Aeneid, recited by students. As the singer is rebelling against this type of education, it's quite fitting.
  • The Book of Mormon: "Rectus! Dominus! Spookytus! Deus! Creepyus!"
    • A Shout-Out to themselves when they did it on South Park. See below.
  • Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM has "Cum Sancto Spiritu" and "Omé Yo Kanoubé"; for that matter, much of Cirque's KA has chanting too, albeit in "Cirquish".

    Video Games 
  • Age of Empires III has this in one of the battle themes.
  • Anno 1404: Dawn of Discovery has Ominous Simlish Chanting to both latin- and oriental-sounding music whenever something big is happening. And the Theme Tune has both.
  • Bloodborne has this in spades. It's taken up to eleven in Yahar'gul when ending up there early in the game by getting kidnapped by a Snatcher and taken to the Hypogean Gaol. When you return there during the Blood Moon, you can't hear it anymore - and you find tons of the dead Mensis cultists, suggesting that you heard it when you were first brought to the Gaol because they were actually singing while performing the ritual.Listen
  • In Princess Waltz, a techno version of this causes Nerdgasms during badass moments in the game, and it definitely gets the player geeked out of their mind for the upcoming PWNAGE!
  • Features prominently throughout the score for Dragon Age: Origins, though Inon Zur manages to use it to create any number of different moods. Some of it is also in their constructed elvish language, too.
  • Eternal Darkness does this with ominous whispering that comes up in incidental music during chapters set in the Forbidden City in Persia.
  • ClockUp's Euphoria: If you get the Brute Ending, this plays during the credits.
  • Appears during the start menu in Star Wars: Republic Commando. It is perhaps worth noting that this is not Latin, but is in fact Mando'a, the Mandalorian language, which has been expanded into what is essentially the Star Wars equivalent of Elvish. Translated, it's a Mandalorian battle poem, modified for the clones to be able to sing about their loyalty to the Republic.
  • FORCED has this in a couple of its music tracks, most notably when The Master appears to taunt the player. This track combines whispering and chanting.
  • Crops up once in Primal, during the boss battle with Adaro.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3:
  • Possibly oldest among the trope users in gaming: Phantasmagoria opened with a full Gregorian chant called Consumite Furore. Only barely weakened by the use of poor Midi instruments in some portions. Here is the full version of it, compared to the shorter, faster version found in the intro linked above.
  • Payday 2 has this, but under very specific circumstances. Selecting the song "Ode to Greed" at the menu will greet you with Orchestral Bombing initially, but as soon as Captain Winters spawns, it dynamically changes from being purely orchestral to playing its Latin Counterpart, which features truly epic Latin Chanting that accompanies you until you Defeat Winters.
  • Tomb Raider is absolutely chock-full of this in its first three games, particularly the original game.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • "One-Winged Angel" (yes, that one), the Final Boss theme from Final Fantasy VII, is in Latin. With the exception of the repetition of Sephiroth's name, the lyrics are taken from sections of Carmina Burana. This music was updated somewhat for his two Bonus Boss fights in the Kingdom Hearts series. When the one and only Sephiroth made his film debut in the spinoff Advent Children, however, his theme song was given a massive makeover, complete with new lyrics (underlining the character's themes), a more operatic tone, and blazing electric guitars.
    • Final Fantasy VIII opened with "Liberi Fatali," or "Fated Children," splitting the camera time between a heated duel and a field of flowers. The lyrics themselves were rather ominous and dramatic even after translation and heavily foreshadowed the events of the game. Mind you, the initial words, "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" (which are also used at other places in the soundtrack), though sounding vaguely Latin, are actually an anagram for "Succession of Witches" plus the word "Love".
    • "Dancing Mad," the Final Boss battle theme for Kefka in Final Fantasy VI, is the predecessor to "One-Winged Angel" mentioned above. Made extra epic with the inclusion of the most ominous pipe organ fuge this side of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. And it was all done on the SNES with just a voice-synth card. The live version with an actual choir and (presumably) Latin lyrics properly invokes this trope.
    • Dissidia: Final Fantasy also had One Winged Angel as a battle theme.
      • In the prequel, Dissidia 012, the first part of Feral Chaos' battle theme, "Cantata Mortis," is this trope in spades. This then leads right into "God in Fire."
      • "Canto Mortis" from the same game shares some of its lyrics with the more expressive Cantata Mortis, but has a much more foreboding vibe to it. Fitting, considering the first time you hear it is when the six remaining Cosmos Warriors are marching towards nigh-certain death for the sake of sealing the source of the Manikins.
    • Final Fantasy X has Ominous Nonsense Chanting. "The Hymn of the Fayth," though slightly more upbeat than most of these examples, is actually Japanese written in one direction then read in another direction, the explanation of which can be found here.
    • Final Fantasy XI has Ominous Esperanto Chanting in its opening video.
    • And is continued in Final Fantasy XIII. Case of Fridge Brilliance as well. Serah (I meant Barthandelus) utters a hymn to Ragnarok at the end of Chapter 11. This is, in fact, the translation to "Fighting Fate":
    Come Day of Wrath.
    O Pulse l'Cie.
    Embrace thy fate,
    Thine home to burn.
    That fallen souls might bare our plea...
    To hasten the Divine's return.
    O piteous Wanderer.
  • Ace Combat:
  • 'Dies Irae" is Wolfgang Krauser's theme from the Fatal Fury games.
  • Used in some of the Warcraft III cinematics, mostly hauntingly during the return of Prince Arthas.
  • Gleefully utilized in World of Warcraft—Latin and otherwise.
    • Paired with more cheerful Inspiring Latin Chanting in the common theme A Call To Arms.
    • "O Thanagor" is played quite a few times in Wrath of the Lich King. The ominousness of the song itself is context-based. On its own, it's a standard long-live-the-king blessing. When applied to Arthas, it becomes so very terrifying: "Long live the king/May he reign forever/May his strength fail him never/First in battle, last in retreat/Even in death..." The version of the song sung in the Wrath of the Lich King trailer adds Latin to the whole shebang and makes it worse still. "Erigo Eo Draco Modo" (let this dragon be raised) and then "Specto Su Praesenti Caligo Caelum..." (see his power darken the sky). As if Terenas's voiceover wasn't enough...!
    • The background theme that plays during the Culling of Stratholme Caverns-of-Time instance has plenty of ominous Latin lyrics—unfortunately they're really hard to hear. What one can glean is often kind of terrifying though ("veneficus fatalis" is damn right).
    • And then there's Icecrown Citadel, which combines this with a healthy dose of Creepy Children Singing.
    • From Mists of Pandaria: The Mogu theme and the Forgotten Depths part of the Throne of Thunder raid.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl
    • The main battle theme for the Final Destination stage features this chanting, along with face-melting electric guitar solos. Interestingly, it's a remix of the main theme for the game, where the Latin Chanting isn't ominous at all; in fact, it's more lyrics than chanting. When you beat the Subspace Emissary mode, the theme plays again with a very loose translation of the lyrics displayed... and they're a thematic description of the events of the game (granted, a very loose and non-specific description). It's worth noting, though, that said piece was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the famed Final Fantasy composer responsible for the aforementioned "One-Winged Angel" and "Liberi Fatali". Man just loves his ominous chanting.
    • The "Fire Emblem Theme" music on the Fire Emblem stage also has Latin lyrics, and although it's much more upbeat, it's no less awesome. Translation here; apparently, it's the same choral group responsible for the main theme.
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn also had Latin in its main theme, but this is not the same as the Latin used in Smash Bros. The lyrics from Smash Bros. were, however, reused and enhanced in Fire Emblem Awakening, mixing the main theme with the Avatar's theme during the final battle with Grima.
  • Drakengard has instances of this chanting in background music. The trope is subverted, however, as every important plot event usually uses something other than this to set the mood. The game's composer was fond of discordant violins.
  • Alone in the Dark (2008) features a dark, haunting soundtrack with Ominous Bulgarian Chanting, courtesy of composer Olivier Deriviere and the female choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices.
  • Subverted in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter: The final boss, Mordekai the summoner, spends the entire battle chanting to himself in ominous-sounding Latin, but as the in-game bestiary will explain, having been risen from the dead, his brain has suffered significant damage, so he's constantly talking complete and utter crap to himself, in Latin!
  • In Fable, whenever you find yourself wandering around a graveyard, the background music will feature plenty of ominous chanting.
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline
    • Notable for its use of Melancholy Dutch Chanting in at least two missions, one of which ("Arnhem Knights") features a huge, chaotic battle; in the latter case it's to underscore that the mission itself is part of a losing battle and actually works rather well.
    • Or Melancholy Dutch Cherubic Choir.
    • The track "Sturmgeist's Armoured Train", however, plays this straight, combining loud and ominous "Ah-ah"'s with pounding percussion and powerful brass.
  • Starcraft The Teaser of the Expansion Pack features ominous opera chanting playing on an antique record player in Admiral DuGalle's quarters as he and Vice Admiral Stukov discuss the ethics of using the Zerg as a bio weapon while watching said aliens ravage a hapless human colony. It swells from Latin into Ominous French Chanting with a Bilingual Bonus of Soundtrack Dissonance — "Give everything for honour!" — as the Admiral orders his fleet to abandon the colonists to their fate. The French part of this song comes back to haunt DuGalle in the epilogue as he commits suicide moments before the Zerg catch up with his retreating fleet and completely wipe it out.
    • The trailer featured said Ominous Operatic Latin Chanting as the audio as clips from various cutscenes played.
    • Check out the music track "Liberty Air Waves". Chanting starts at about 4:37.
    • The Brood War Aria (actual track name, honest) comes back in Starcraft II as Emperor Mengsk's personal theme. In addition, several other tracks feature ominous chanting, such as the Escape From Mar Sara.
  • Homeworld used Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei" to a similar effect. It first plays at the beginning of the first mission, accompanied by cinematic views and radio communiqués of the Mothership preparing to leave its berth. It plays again on the third mission, when it returns from its hyperdrive test to discover that all life on Kharak had been destroyed. It plays a third and last time in the final mission, when your Mothership is being swamped by overwhelming enemy reinforcements... only the latest arrivals are rebels who help carve a path for your fleet to strike at their mad emperor.
  • Beyond Good & Evil had ominous unknown alien language chanting in most of the battles with DomZ. While most of it doesn't mean anything, the pseudo-ArcWord "Shauni" does crop up in it from time to time.
  • The Halo series has ominous Gregorian chant playing during all of the main menu screens, and plenty of chanting during the campaigns themselves:
    • Examples include Halo: Combat Evolved's "The Maw" (heard at the beginning of the level of the same name), Halo 2's Delta Halo theme, and "Ancient Machine" (one of 2's Flood themes). Several tunes also feature an Ethereal Choir. These aren't technically examples of this trope though, since the chanting isn't in Latin. In fact it's nothing more than "uh" and occasionally "oo".
    • There's also a few themes (notably "Destroyer's Invocation" from Halo 2) in which the chanting is reversed English. Then there's the music for the live-action Halo 3: ODST trailer We Are ODST, which features someone singing in Welsh about cheating Death and 'plunging headfirst into the afterlife'.
    • In Halo 2's "Delta Halo"/"Regret" missions, the Prophet of Regret can be heard chanting the series' theme in alien gibberish.
    • Halo: Reach uses a creepy droning chant several times, including during Noble Six's Last Stand.
  • Freedom Fighters features a lot of Ominous Russian Chanting in the more climactic parts of the game. This makes sense in two ways: the Russians are the ones that are invading the USA, and these songs are mostly based on the Soviet Army Choirs.
  • The menus in Age of Mythology are accompanied by Ominous Greek Chanting.
  • In the later games of the Myst series, the tribal-sounding choral pieces that open the games are all in the Myst Verse's fictional languages.
  • Myst III: Exile features its own language in the title song. Clips from it appear throughout the game at dramatic points.
  • Xenosaga
    • The game has a lot of Latin songs, but most of them aren't that ominous. Rather, the Latin chanting is more upbeat and action-oriented, though there are a few songs that get three out of three.
    • Ironically, the song Godsibb from Xenosaga 3 is not in latin, even though it sounds like it. In fact, it’s not in any language. It’s three minutes, twenty three seconds of gibberish.
  • Devil May Cry
    • The second and third battles with Vergil in Devil May Cry 3 feature battle music that ends in a foreboding chant, though it may not necessarily be in any specific language.
    • Also present when you visit the Divine Statues scattered everywhere.
    • Meanwhile, in the fourth game, Ominous Chanting (and not-so-Ominous Chanting) makes up a considerable portion of the soundtrack. Considering the game's Crystal Dragon Jesus themes, this makes perfect sense.
    • The song "Stage Music 9 (Demon World) by Tetsuya Shibata, in the soundtrack for the game, begins with nothing but such chanting.
  • God of War, appropriately, featured Ominous Greek Chanting that started up whenever something suitably spectacular came into view, Kratos killed a lot of things (or just one really big thing) or Kratos solved a puzzle... So, the whole game, yes.
  • The score for Dante's Inferno is full of Ominous Latin Chanting.
  • The whole soundtrack of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is peppered with Ominous Dragon Chanting, and whenever the Dragonborn levels up, comes upon a dragon, or Word Wall, variations of the theme begin playing. There's the title theme, "Prophecy of the Dragonborn", sung in The Dragon Language, as well as Sovngarde. Translating the lyrics of the main theme reveals it's actually a rather upbeat song about how the hero will come to vanquish evil and save everyone.
  • The indie title Larva Mortus is made of epic Latin orchestrals. The ambient tracks are not without chants, and the main theme and the boss fight music has lyrics composed of famous latin sayings(Si vic pacem parabelum, Acta Est Fabula, Etc). It's funny though, because the game is a simple horror themed top-down Shooter... One can take a guess on what most of the games budget was spended on.
  • Metroid:
  • Descent: Freespace had "Aaaahaaahs" in its cutscenes. Freespace 2 ups the ante by having them in the music played in action situations, as well as in the briefing music right before an important battle).
  • Resident Evil
    • Resident Evil Outbreak, among others in the series, has an example of this trope during the third fight against Thanatos. That it is the last boss fight in the game doesn't help either.
    • The Final Boss theme of Resident Evil 2 has this too.
    • The Zealots in Resident Evil 4. The language is Spanish, but it's a romance language, and the words for death are similar. Either way, hearing an eerie leech-infested monk whisper the word "death" over and over is about as ominous as they come.
    • Salazar and Saddler's boss battle themes both feature wordless ominous chanting; the former also has Ominous Pipe Organ.
  • Kingdom Hearts
    • Ominous Italian Chanting is employed in the first game, namely during "Destati" ("Awakening") at the beginning, "Fragments of Sorrow" (End of the World's battle theme) and "Guardando nel Buio" ("Watching in the Dark", one of the final boss themes).
    • Kingdom Hearts II also had Ominous Chanting in three songs: The Organization XIII Theme and both the main and battle themes to The World That Never Was. It doesn't appear to be in any particular language, however.
  • Castlevania
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • The Battle Cats features O Fortuna as a boss theme for the Cyclones and certain Crazed Cats.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Fire Temple from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Ominous Arab Chanting which was removed in later versions of the game because it was actually part of an Islamic prayer. The Shadow Temple also has an Ominous Chant of "aaaah — uuuuuh — ooooh"
      • There's also the ominous screaming that made up the Forest Temple's theme. That music by itself was nearly Nightmare Fuel just cause it made you so on edge.
      • The Song of Time was also chanted in the Temple of Time. No lyrics, just "Eeyaaah-eee-ee-yaaaah."
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker tacked on some disturbing chanting in its remix of Ganondorf's theme song.
    • The boss theme of Beast Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess features chanting in form of "Enyaaa" all the time.
      • The intro music of Twilight Princess has Gregorian-type chanting.
    • In the staircase of the Tower of Spirits in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. It isn't added to the song right until you almost reached the top.
    • This is also used for the final Ghirahim battle and Demise in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has this as part of Yuga's boss theme. As well as to a lesser extent in Lorule Castle. And the entire Sanctuary song is nothing but ominous chanting.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild uses chanting for the dungeon bosses, including the Final Boss. The chanting is also used in the battle against Divine Beast Vah Ruta, itself a remix of Prince Sidon's theme (as he's the one helping you out in that battle).
  • Assassin's Creed II features Latin chanting in the final mission. Justified in that the mission takes place in the Vatican. The sequel, Brotherhood, takes place entirely within Rome and has even more chanting...and whispering in a few tracks.
  • Used in the Trauma Center games when confronting the final type of each installment's disease:
    • New Blood features it when the final form of Cardia is revealed. To be fair, it actually makes sense, since the lyrics are calling the virus to awaken and kill the world.
    • Heard in Under the Knife 2, on the Alethia missions.
    • In Second Opinion, on the first Savato mission (and thus, X-Missions one through six).
  • The opening theme from Zone of the Enders: the 2nd Runner is almost entirely made-up chanting (there's some actual English in there too), but sounds awesome nonetheless. The song "Origin" (sampled in a lot of themes relating to Anubis) also has ominous gibberish being chanted (close examination of the audio files reveals that it's reversed Japanese).
  • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, the Pokémon battlefield stage had an ominous chorus remix of the Pokémon theme.
  • Subverted in Universe at War: Earth Assault, where the Gregorian hymns are given to the Ancient Astronauts and Sealed Good in a Can Masari. The evil Hierarchy get heavy metal instead.
  • Jedah Dohma's entrance theme in Darkstalkers 3 contains Ominous Latin Chanting. This seems appropriate, as Jedah is the Antichrist.
  • Total War:
  • LittleBigPlanet
    • The game apparently contained Ominous Arabic Chanting. Unfortunately, this got the game labelled as blasphemous by some Muslim leaders, and triggered a recall in order to remove the lyrics.
    • It also has Nevsky's Battle on the Ice during the laughably easy final boss.
  • The opening theme to 11eyes has an Ominous Latin Chanting chorus in the background chanting the Seven Deadly Sins. (Superbia invidia ira acetia avarita...). This is more than just Gratuitous Latin, though. The Seven Deadly Sins extend to the Theme Naming of a very certain group of enemies that show up later in the game.
  • Call of Duty: World at War features Ominous Russian Chanting in the Red Army's theme.
  • The Final Ship Battle in Skies of Arcadia had this.
  • The whole soundtrack of Chaos Gate is this, it's awesome
  • Wario Land: Shake It had minor Ominous Chanting during the escape music in the haunted house levels Bad Manor and Boogie Mansion.
  • The music for Penny Arcade Adventures: Episode 2's final boss. Given the nature of the boss itself — a giant Fruit Fucker — one can only imagine what the lyrics mean!
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has this. Latin chants begin the theme that plays while the final boss battle. They sound like a religious chant of sorts, which is rather fitting, given that Solaris is a god.
  • The Legend of Spyro loves this trope. Not that's a bad thing, in some cases, it works quite well, such as Gaul's theme in The Eternal Night (and the theme for the Destroyer level in Dawn of the Dragon).
  • Rogue Galaxy had Latin chanting for the final boss and a block puzzle the size of Manhattan. Unfortunately, the chanting consists solely of a single phrase repeated over and over. It sounds cool, but "Hungary Bravara" doesn't actually sound too ominous.
  • Armored Core for Answer subverts this trope with the song "Scorcher", which plays a total of 3 times in the game (one of those times is For Answer's infamous Scrappy Level, the Occupation of Arteria Carpals) — it sounds like this trope at first, but it's actually English ("I can't go there, Find It! Pound It! I can't see clear, Stomp It! Beat It!"). Most of For Answer's songs are subversions, or rather, Ominous English Chanting. Only "Today" and the intro version "4 The Answer" are not in English. (Yes, even "Spirit of Motherwill" is in English.) Same goes for a LOT of Armored Core songs— although, the jury's out on what those Lyrics actually are (and in some cases, questioning what they may be is a form of Internet Backdraft- case-in-point "Thinker" from Armored Core 4)
  • EXA_PICO: It even has a language used solely for this purpose. In fact, anything can be done with this chanting: from attacking the enemies to remaking the world. The song "METHOD_REPLEKIA/" is a good example of attacking an enemy; the moment you hear this song, their annihilation is assured to the wailing of a hundred epic bards.
  • In Dance Dance Revolution Super Nova, the song Xepher uses Ominous English Chanting, by a Japanese vocalist.
  • The Disgaea series generally includes a few songs with with some wordless singing in each title. "Pathos No. 7" and "Last World" from Disgaea 3 and "Hold You Back" from Disgaea 4 consist of wordless choir singing.
    • The original Disgaea had a track of the same name with the word "Armageddon" being chanted at various points, along with wordless chanting featuring heavily. Appropriate, considering the context the song appears in.
  • Civilization IV
    • "Justinian of Byzantium's diplomacy theme certainly qualifies... unless they're singing in Greek...
    • Beyond that, almost the entire Middle Ages soundtrack consists of real, honest-to-God Gregorian chant. Ruling your empire as Allegri's "Miserere"note  plays is truly a strange experience.
    • The opening theme to the second expansion pack Beyond the Sword consists of Ominous English Chantingnote . However, the previous expansion pack (Warlords) avoids this by using a Lebanese song sung in Arabic, while the original main theme more or less inverts this by having the main theme in very non-ominous Swahili, while being a rendition of the legitimately latin Lord's Prayer, no less.
  • The scenario music for The Medieval World ("Messe de Notre Dame) and Denmark's War Theme, while the menu music for the Gods and Kings expansion combines this with the One-Woman Wail for contrast, while Brave New World features Uplifting Latin Chanting. Also, several war themes feature ominous [insert language here] chanting, most notably Byzantium.
  • Would you believe this trope can apply... to a boxing game? There are "aaaaahhh"s in the music when you fight Soda Popniski in Punch-Out!! for Wii.
  • Hitman
  • Blue Dragon
    • "The Seal Is Broken" from the final boss fight. Not sure exactly what language the music that plays during the Destroy battle is in, but it's ominous chanting. And Nobuo Uematsu is responsible for the game's music.
    • Lost Odyssey takes this a step further. There's Ominous Japanese Chanting, and then, half-way through the song, Ominous Japanese Rapping, and it is awesome.
  • The Ultramarines' Chant from Dawn of War. Only one part sounds like it could vaguely be Latin-ish, the rest seems to be gibberish.
    • That's clearly High Gothic, which is represented in-universe by Latin mixed with English.
    • The original Dawn of War had a track simply named "Chant," which underscored your first encounter with the traitorous Chaos Marines. Dawn of War: Winter Assault introduced the excellent Imperial Guard Theme, and several variations. Most of these contain chanting of some sort.
    • The soundtrack in the turn-based game Chaos Gate consists of almost nothing but this.
    • Appropriately for the setting, many of the music tracks in Dawn Of War feature ominous High Gothic or Eldar chanting.
  • Shadow Hearts has a recurring theme known as "ICARO", a term for a shamanic song dealing with removing baneful spirits from a person, which is chanted thusly.
  • The Zealot Ganados from Resident Evil 4 like to walk around chanting Spanish words like "¡Cogedlo! ¡Cogedlo!" and "Morir es vivir, morir es vivir" in deep or breathy voiced just before, or during their attacks. "Morir es vivir" translates to "To die is to live" and "Cogedlo" means "Catch him".
  • The soundtrack for Dot Hack GU has a lot of Ominous German Chanting. Specific tracks include "Great Temple of Caerleon Medb:, "Wailing Capital Wald Uberlisterin", "Welcome to the World" and "Over the Mountains".
  • For a budget shooting game, Starfighter Sanvein has this for its "Mine" stage. However, exactly because it is a budget game, the Latin chanting is just... keyboard synths. But damn it if isn't awesome (starts at 00:27).
  • Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain uses ominous chants in several musics. Most prominently in the Chechen terrorist theme, which is in Russian-sounding Simlish.
  • In R-Type Final, the Final Boss music features an ominous Gregorian chant similar to the Halo theme. No words. Also has ominous organ.
  • Ōkami has Ominous Japanese Buddhist Chanting in the theme of Oni Island, the Geisha Spider's battle music, anywhere this plays (that is, anywhere there is something evil), and anytime where you put your divinely lupine butt inside a cursed zone.
  • Tekken 6 has this trope everywhere, although not all of it is Latin. Azazel's Chamber and Fallen Colony are the primary examples.
  • Bayonetta has Christian/Roman Catholic symbolism out the wazoo, so it's only fitting that its soundtrack is all over this trope like jam on toast. The two best examples are the Final Boss theme and the fight against Balder. Although the language used here isn't Latin, but a dead angelic language pioneered by a mathematician called Enochian.
  • Ominous Enochian Chanting makes a return in Bayonetta 2, except here it's used mostly for demonic enemies (in particular Alraune, Whisperer of Insanity), while angelic enemies tend to lean more towards the Ethereal Choir side of things.
  • Sam and Max: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak Parodies this trope with pig latin.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic:
    • German instead of Latin, but the same basic premise fuels the Opera-style music and singing in the towns for Heroes of Might and Magic II, especially in the more villainous towns. The lyrics are quotes from either the Luther Bible, or Nietzsche.
    • The lyrics are in Latin in Heroes of Might and Magic IV. However, it's less ominous, since two of the tracks are those of good-aligned towns (and the remaining one is more about expressing craziness).
    • The fifth game's main menu theme has lyrics from Dies Irae.
    • Happens in some areas, mostly ones including temples, in the later games of the main series, too.
  • The intro of Gran Turismo 4 uses an orchestral version of "Moon over the Castle" with Italian chanting.
  • The Europa Universalis series and several other historical grand strategy games made by Paradox Interactive have this in spades. It's not always necessarily ominous, though.
  • The first half of "Xizor's Theme", and "The Destruction of Xizor's Palace", especially the part used in the Skyhook Battle, from Shadows of the Empire.
  • Pokémon:
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has an extreme fondness for Ominous Demonese Chanting, as exemplified by the theme of Chaos.
  • BIONICLE: The BIONICLE Music, played during the Toa Mata's battle against Makuta Teridax in the Mata Nui Online Game.
  • The final boss music in Super Meat Boy has this choir. The song is even called "Carmeaty Burana".
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • The game has the Tank's theme which plays whenever the ten foot tall-muscle bound zombie that can kill you in one punch appears. Not actually Latin, just a bunch of "Ohhhh"s, but still.
    • The Sacrifice campaign invokes this trope for the introduction music to the campaign, using nothing but ominous sounding "ooooooo"s as a foreshadow that one of the survivors will not make it by the end of the campaign.
  • Drop Dead from Twisted Metal starts with a Carmina Burana-style chant. Even better is its remake from Twisted Metal: Black. A few other Black musics also feature chanting.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The Fatalis Battle Theme from the original game is an example of this, albeit with an in-game language rather than latin. Found here.
    • The White Fatalis Battle Theme from Monster Hunter Dos is another example of this, found here.
    • "Moonquake" from Monster Hunter Tri has Ominous Indonesian Chanting. Fitting, since you're fighting an Elder Dragon which the locals see as a god.
  • The intro movie of Empire Earth II. That is all.
  • The final area in the first Silent Scope has chanting reminiscent of Carmina Burana.
  • Guilty Gear:
    • Guilty Gear 2: Overture has "Dignity", complete with this chanting, played in the mission before the final fight against Valentine's One-Winged Angel form. "Sorcery" also has this; just wordless.
    • "Awe of She", Dizzy's theme from various other games in general, which, unlike "Dignity", is also rock/metal music and, like "Sorcery", also has no words.
  • BlazBlue:
    • The series does this with all the final boss themes, like "Awakening the Chaos", "Endless Despair", and "Sword of Doom".
    • Used in "Curse", a wordless song that plays when Take-mikazuchi fires its laser beam down on and destroys a random heirarchial city and when Hazama turns Noel into Mu all the while mocking her attempts to resist him.
    • Used at the beginning of "RIOT", which plays on different occasions like when Rachel deflects Take-mikazuchi's blast to defend Kagutsuchi, when Hazama/Yuuki Terumi collects the souls of many Librarium soldiers to feed to the cauldron he is transforming Noel into Mu within, and in Noel's Gag Reel when the BlazBlue cast is ordering the Kagutsuchi puffer fish simmered in peppers and spices from Noel and Carl, who are currently running the restaurant as the current chef and waiter.
    • Terumi's True Form, Susano'o's Theme "MUST DIE" has in a variant of Japanese style. Fitting for the Japanese God.
  • RosenkreuzStilette:
    • The game features "Dark Purple Moonlight", the theme for Grolla's stage, "Dark Purple Moon ~ Dance of the Moon ~ Rebirth", the theme played when Spiritia talks with Grolla, when you encounter her now-undead grandfather Raimund, and in the options and replay sections of Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, and "Fighting Eternally", the theme when you fight Graf Michael Sepperin. All three have no words, just "Aahh-aahh-aahh".
    • Zorne's talk theme "Sinner" mixes this chanting with heavy metal, orchestra, and church organ sounds, making it one of the most ominous songs in Rosenkreuzstilette. Strangely enough, it centers on such a short-tempered, impulsive, and moody young girl who would do anything for her adoptive father, and not on a true villain of the Doujin franchise like Iris, her adoptive sister.
  • Return to Krondor has five music tracks that can qualify as this. The first track plays whenever the Tear of the Gods appears, even though the chanting in the tracks sounds more peaceful than ominous. The second track, which definitely sounds like a singing church choir, plays when the characters fight against a demon, death nagas, and shadows. The third track, which has some choir singing in it, plays when a group of vampires are finally vanquished and in one battle when a fake priest revives dead townspeople as zombies. The fourth track, containing some ominous chanting, plays when a vision of an evil wizard opening a portal for a dark god is shown and when one character has a nightmare of his murdered girlfriend. The fifth track, consisting entirely of ominous chanting, plays during some fights in the second last chapter and during a fight with a dragon soul in the final chapter.
  • NieR: 90% of the soundtrack is ominous chanting, and the other 10% falls under Ethereal Choir or One-Woman Wail.
  • Persona 2 has Knights of the Holy Lance, which happens to play towards the end, where Hitler is summoned, oh boy oh boy, along with anytime you fight a Longinus 13 member.
  • Falcom examples:
  • Slightly subverted for the final boss theme from Death Smiles IIX. Never before has a latin chanting final boss theme sounded so jolly and happy.
  • In Xenoblade this trope is applied for the two themes when the party battles the final boss Zanza, as well as during a cutscene just before Meyneth/Fiora battles him earlier.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has a lot of English lyrics in its songs, but it's not really chanting. The chanting comes in the form of wordless chants for the game's main theme, and some German chanting for the primary boss theme.
  • Time Crisis 4's main theme. Better, the final battle music.
  • MediEvil: Resurrection gets its own in the Hilltop Mausoleum level.
  • Asura's Wrath, taking Influence from Hindu Mythology and Buddhism, has Ominous Buddhist/Hindu chanting, with a few tracks like these:
  • The main theme of the Infinite Dungeons Downloadable Content campaign for the first Neverwinter Nights.
  • The Binding of Isaac:
  • The Final Mission music in P.N.03 uses a Tuvan throat singing sample.
  • The FEAR series, notably the second game, occasionally uses Gregorian or tribal chanting samples.
  • Mass Effect 2 uses this, e. g. during Samara's recruitment mission. There are also staccato "Ahhs" during the Suicide Mission which build up in the latter half.
  • The awesome opening to Namco's Star Ixiom.
  • Portal 2 has PotatOS' Lament, a haunting song sung by GLaDOS's voice actress Ellen McLain. Word of God says the lyrics are completely wrong and don't mean anything. Just proves Ellen can sing complete gibberish and still sound awesome.
  • Dragon's Dogma. Epic chanting with a heart pounding drumbeat and an electric guitar for emphasis. And this is only the miniboss theme!
  • Parodied in the final sequence of Lego City Undercover. The music for that part has a choir that chants "LEGO, LEGO, LEGO // CI- TY, CI- TY." However, it doesn't make it any less awesome.
  • Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver features Ominous Hebrew Chanting in the Credits track.
    "Ishkokum Mes Mos Of She'res"note 
  • Played with in Astérix and Obelix: XXL 2 which uses male Latin choirs and orchestral music during mass battles with legionaries, but singing in a distinctly pop/indie-rock style rather than the expected classical style or One-Woman Wail. This fits the series Anachronism Stew feel and the fact that Romans in the Asterix comics are rarely very intimidating. It's still played straight in some other tracks, which have a lot of pounding brass and ego sum victorium and ego sum glorium going on. These vocals are pitched down to a point where they sound like a silly cartoon choir rather than a real one, doubtlessly intentional.
  • The updated version of the final boss theme in Etrian Odyssey Untold, "Throne of Creation".
    • Unlike the instrumental used in-game, the super arranged version of IV's final/bonus boss theme features lyrics from Dies Irae.
  • All boss themes in Pandora's Tower are of this type. Notably, all of them except that of the Final Boss are the same, but the voices are different (the first version is sung by men, the second by women and the third by all singers).
  • Deathborn from F-Zero GX has ominous...something chanting in his Leitmotif, in addition to the sinister, guttural vocals present in Black Shadow and Blood Falcon's themes.
  • The 2013 Killer Instinct masterfully creates a terrifying vibe with swedish chanting in Spinal's theme.
  • Warframe updated the Void background music to include this in 15.6 to better reflect the nature of the Orokin as Precursors.
  • At one point in Super Dangan Ronpa 2 the group is trying catch and confront a rogue Komaeda, bursting into a room they believe he's in, only to be confronted with a pitch-black room blaring ominous choir music from a nearby mp3 player. Turns out the music was there to draw attention from the room catching fire as part of Komaeda's elaborate assisted suicide ploy. The music returns later when Hinata is confronted with his true identity as Ultimate Hope (and Despair) Izuru Kamukura.
  • Telepath Tactics features this in its final boss music.
  • Ori and the Blind Forest uses ominous wordless chanting when Kuro attacks.
  • Featured prominently in Raiden V's soundtrack. Special mention goes to the final stage theme, Crystal of Abyss.
  • Chaos Legion 's soundtrack is peppered with plenty of chantings.
  • Child of Light's boss battle themes all feature very epic Latin chants, which are unfortunately absent from the official soundtrack release.
  • The Talos Principle: Virgo Serena, the music that is played on the title screen and in World C.
  • Miitopia has the theme of The Dark Lord, and also the theme of the Darker Lord, which is a creepy remix of the Great Sage's theme.
  • Of all games, Hey! Pikmin features this during the three versions of the music playing against the Berserk Leech Hydroe, the third phase using this trope the most.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout has Acolytes Of A New God, the theme of the Cathedral. It's reused in Fallout: New Vegas in various locations, most notably the Angel cave of Zion Valley, where you first meet Joshua Graham aka The Burned Man.
    • Fallout 4 Far Harbor has "The Children Of Atom" for both the cult of the same name and their headquarters on Mount Desert Island, the The Nucleus (formerly Mount Desert Island Naval Facility). The song has a heavy and foreboding drone punctuated by bells and a chant, seemingly performed by one of the Children of Atom himself.

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    Western Animation 
  • South Park
    • Parodied in the episode "Damien", the son of Satan's arrival in town is accompanied by a choir of voices chanting "Rectus Dominus Cheesy Poofs" — which is obviously supposed to be Canis Latinicus for "Ass Master, Cheesy Poofs" can actually be translated as "Straight master, Cheesy Poofs".
    • The episode "Fantastic Easter Adventure", which spoofs both The Da Vinci Code and the Easter holiday, featured a pseudo-Latin version of "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" that memorably includes the phrase "Hippitus, Hoppitus".
    • "Britney's New Look" had the characters chanting ominous Latin.
  • Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain have a humorous take on this when an episode has a secret conspiracy Christopher Walken look-alike. His appearance was preceded by chanting of an incongruous group of words, always ending in "Lactose!" I.E. "Rialto, Ontario, Gluteus Maximus, LACTOSE!"
  • A Robot Chicken parody of Final Fantasy VII set at a fast food restaurant featured Sephiroth make his entrance with the background music being a parody of One Winged Angel but with the chorus chanting "HAMBURGER! HAMBURGER!"
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Mega Muriel the Magnificent", Ode to Joy plays whenever Muriel, possessed by Courage's Deadpan Snarker computer, attempts a death-defying stunt in front of a crowd of spectators. Could also be an example of Soundtrack Dissonance, considering Ode to Joy's melody is, for lack of better wording, joyous. On the other hand, since Muriel pulls off some pretty awesome stuff, it does fit a bit.
  • The Invader Zim episode "Gaz, Taster of Pork" featured cues of a chorus singing "Pork! Pork! Pork!" and later, "Piggy-piggy-piggy-piggy...". Spoofed additionally with "Meats of Evil."
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The Lion Turtle's appearance is heralded by ominous Chinese chanting of the Pure Land Buddhist prayer mantra "Nianfo". He's not a bad guy though. Just old, wise, mysterious, a bit scary, and very big.
    • The same chant appeared on two other occasions: once when Roku came back on the Winter Solstice to kick some Fire Nation ass, and another time when Aang fused with the Ocean Spirit to form a spectacular One-Winged Angel and kick some more Fire Nation ass.
  • Spoofed in The Simpsons when Marge recalls that she accidentally had a single drop of wine while pregnant with Bart. As the foetus acquires spiky hair and a devilish expression, the Background Music plays an Ominous Chant of "Ay Caramba!"
  • The title theme music to the animated Silver Surfer series had Latin-sounding singing interspersed at ominous points against the instrumental background.
  • American Dad!: "O Fortuna" plays during a suspenseful scene in which Francine nearly walks in on Stan's date with Rosie Palms. Doubles as Crowning Music of Awesome.
  • In the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Shredder has his own self-titled (as shown on the TMNT 2003 cartoon website) music that plays whenever he appears as his fully-armored alias. It uses wordless chanting of this type at both the beginning and at the end whenever it's played, unless it's shortened for some occasions. There are also other different variations of this ominous tune, and on some occasions, this tune and some of its variations also use the Japanese samurai-inspired "yoo" sound.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man. Mysterio's spells are all Latin, however they are nonsense phrases when translated. They sure sound ominous though.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    Bacteria! It all began with one!
    Bacteria! Two is what we then become!
    Bacteria! Each of us becomes two more!
    Bacteria! We become stronger than before!
    Bacteria! We keep growing at this rate!
    Bacteria! No longer shall we wait!
    Bacteria! As our plan unfolds!
    Bacteria! We will take over the world! (Rocky sprays the toilet bowl with disinfectant)
    • "The Job" featured ominous pizza topping chanting (because Richard got a job delivering pizza which was destroying the universe).
  • Batman Beyond. During the episode "Babel", Terry experiences a flashback to the death of his father. Throughout the flashback, Gregorian chant (the Pange Lingua) is interspersed with the show's usual rock background music.
  • Argai: The Prophecy: Both the opening and ending credits.
  • Transformers Prime - the chanting is usually saved for the more epic moments. The most recurring occurence is in "Prime Finale", notably used during Optimus Prime and Megatron's first battle, and Starscream using the Energon Harvester on a hapless Vehicon. Another, very dramatic use of chanting occurs as the Nemesis prepares to fire on the Autobot base as Optimus moves to destroy the Groundbridge inside. This is also used in a book end as the same piece of chanting is used as a reformatted Optimus prepares to destroy Darkmount's fusion cannons a few episodes later.
  • The Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels has music like this:
  • Megas XLR features an episode centred on the REGIS Mk V, a planet-destroying Grey Goo machine voiced by Michael Dorn that is accompanied by something reminiscent of O Fortuna whenever it's on screen. Combined with its endless stream of Badass Boasting, and the fact that Coop couldn't defeat it simply by smashing it, this type of music is very appropriate.

Alternative Title(s): Ominous Chanting