Music is the basis of language

What we’ve been saying for some time: music is communication. It reflects data in the world.

Contrary to the prevailing theories that music and language are cognitively separate or that music is a byproduct of language, theorists at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) advocate that music underlies the ability to acquire language.

The authors define music as “creative play with sound.” They said the term “music” implies an attention to the acoustic features of sound irrespective of any referential function. As adults, people focus primarily on the meaning of speech. But babies begin by hearing language as “an intentional and often repetitive vocal performance,” Brandt said. “They listen to it not only for its emotional content but also for its rhythmic and phonemic patterns and consistencies. The meaning of words comes later.”

Brandt and his co-authors challenge the prevailing view that music cognition matures more slowly than language cognition and is more difficult. “We show that music and language develop along similar time lines,” he said. – Rice University

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Therion – Les Fleurs du Mal

Therion reveals new album, Les Fleurs du Mal

Therion are busy making final preparations to celebrate their 25th year anniversary of the band and to release the new album “Les Fleurs du Mal” (Preorder: $18) during the tour. The tour is going to include 26 cities.

(Stockholm, September 2012) – Up to this moment, none of the songs have been made public. From Friday September 28th on, Therion is going to introduce it for the first time to their fans during their “Flowers Of Evil” 25th year anniversary concert tour.

The album “Les Fleurs du Mal” is a part of an art project that Christofer Johnsson has been thinking about for some years.

“The time was never right for it, but in celebration of the band’s 25th year anniversary, I thought now will finally be the right time for it,” Christofer Johnsson explains.

There are still many details that are unknown about this mystical art project, and so far only the album title “Les Fleurs du Mal” of Therion’s upcoming release can be officially announced.

The album title refers to Charles Baudelaire’s (French author and poet 1821 – 1867) famous poem collection “Flowers of Evil” (“Les Fleurs du Mal” in French) that caused such an upset of emotions in France that the author was brought to court and got fined for “insulting the public” with six of the poems, that remained forbidden in France until 1949 when the ban was finally lifted. The spirit of the project is a tribute to Baudelaire, and is imbued into both music and artwork. The album was recorded at Adulruna studio, located in a separate building next to Johnsson’s decadent “Villa Adulruna” where the band lived together while recording.

Christofer states that this art project: “Was being too controversial for Therion’s label, Nuclear Blast Records, by the final results, so I asked if it was possible to buy back the master tapes of the record and release it on my own label. And after some negotiations, my wish was granted.”

“But Therion of course is still signed to Nuclear Blast Records for future releases,” Christofer clarifies.

By having full control of the release now, Christofer has decided to do everything his own way, and starts by releasing the album to the loyal fans first that come to the concerts in Europe during Therion’s 25th Anniversary “Flowers of Evil” tour.

The album will of course also be officially released and distributed at a later stage to everyone who is not able to attend any of the shows, and will also be available through licenses to the territories outside of Europe.

Christofer explain that “This is the beginning of a new period that will last for a number of years, where the band will focus on doing certain projects performed by Therion rather than releasing regular albums. In the planning after the art project is a rock opera that is scheduled to take several years to complete.”

Now during Therion’s “Flowers of Evil” and the band’s 25th anniversary tour the audience can expect a classy performance which combines all the elements which have been the key to Therion’s success throughout the years.

Below is the schedule of the upcoming Therion tour dates.

Therion – “Flowers of Evil” – Tour 2012

Date Country City -Venue

28.09.2012, Holland Eindhoven – Effenaar

29.09.2012, Holland Groningen -Oosterpoort

30.09.2012, Belgium Antwerp – TRIX

01.10.2012, France Paris – Bataclan

02.10.2012, France Rennes – Antipode

04.10.2012, Spain Madrid – Heineken

05.10.2012, Spain Barcelona – Razzmatazz 2

06.10.2012, Spain Bilbao – Rock Star

07.10.2012, France Toulouse – Bikini

09.10.2012, France Lyon – Transbordeur

10.10.2012, Switzerland Pratteln – Z7

11.10.2012, Italy Trezzo d Adda – Live Club

12.10.2012, Germany Glauchau – Alte Spinnerei

13.10.2012, Czech Republic Zlin – Masters of Rock Cafe

14.10.2012, Czech Republic Prague – DK Vltavska

15.10.2012, Poland Krakow – Club Studio

16.10.2012, Poland Warsaw – Stodola

17.10.2012, Hungary Budapest – Club 202

19.10.2012, Romania Bucharest – Arenele Romane Tent

20.10.2012, Greece Saloniki – Apothiki Mylos

21.10.2012, Greece Athens – Gagarin 205

23.10.2012, Russia Rostov – ODO

24.10.2012, Russia Krasnodar – Arena Hall

26.10.2012, Russia St.Petersburg – Glavclub

27.10.2012, Russia Moscow – Milk

28.10.2012, Ukraine Kiev – Bingo

From the Therion webpage:

The CD has 15 tracks, but the edition sold at the concerts will have a bonus track and you will get a small poster with it. My aim is to sign and personally dedicate every single one of them at the shows.

The CD itself is fully financed by me. Nuclear Blast thought it was a bit too spectacular and we have totally different visions about how we should work on such a project. I’ve had a fantastic relationship with that wonderful label over the years. I’ve had total artistic freedom and much patience from them in a way that most other artists at our level only could dream of at many labels. So rather than having disagreements and make compromises, I suggested I release it by myself instead and they generously gave me their blessings for it. So our relation has never been better than now.

Financing a full Therion audio production mixing at ToyTown with the fantastic Stefan Glaumann, paying for orchestra and the Band members and many, many other things isn’t cheap. To be more precise, it cost 75.000 euro. On top of that I also carried costs for video clips, photo session and the costs for creating the art and stuff for the CD. I don’t have that kind of cash lying around in a drawer at home, so I had to go to the Bank and take a loan. I have always bragged about how I never compromise and am ready to risk everything with each release. It’s easier to say that when you have a record label being a bank for you. This time I had to put my money where my mouth is. So if you buy the CD, you don’t just buy a record with music, you buy a share of an idea, the idea and concept of art where the artist really risks everything to be able to bring out what he wants. Some of you will like the CD, some maybe not. But if you feel that I’ve done something worth raising a toast to over the years, there will be no better way of showing your appreciation than buying this CD. It will be sold at 15 euros and I hope the majority of those going to the shows will walk home with it after the shows.

I’ve been called risky and more crazy than usual with my ideas for this art project, by some of those very few who have been initiated into the mysteries of it. Even within the Band there has been quite some strong feelings about it. And clearly the record label didn’t think they had a smash hit in their hands. This pretty much reminds me about the feeling when Theli was recorded. I recall the record label saying: “Do you really think we can sell this? What will your fans say?”. But they didn’t have much other choice than releasing it and hope for the best. They had just invested more money in the sound production than with any other Band in the history of the label – on a Band that didn’t sell many records. But there were people at the label who really liked it too and carefully believed in it. Like the boss Marcus Steiger. But in the Band the atmosphere was really bad. The bass player Lars hated it to the core. “Fucking opera shit!!”. The guitarist Jonas didn’t like it either, it was “too much classical stuff and opera, should have been just some small elements of it as a spice”. Drummer Piotr kind of liked it, but thought it as kind of odd and didn’t have too much hope for it (just like myself, who thought it would flop too). But it turned out to be the album that made Therion a big band.

This time at least half of the Band thinks it’s great stuff and believe in it. But now I’m risking my own money and not the record labels. When I took the decision of borrowing money and release it myself, I was officially declared out of order in the head by some people familiar with the matter. Well, we will see about that. When a fan buy a CD directly from a band it counts as if they bought 10 CD’s at the store released via a record label. With loyal fans buying many CD’s at the concerts, a big part of the production costs will be recovered.

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Sammath “Godless Arrogance” tracklist released

Dutch storming melodic black hateful metal band Sammath have released the tracklist of their forthcoming album on Folter Records, Godless Arrogance.

The album will be out in Feburary/March 2013 and the tracklist will be:

1. Shot in mass
2. Fear upon them
3. Thrive in arrogance
4. Death (hunt them down)
5. This world must burn (hammer of supremacy)
6. Through filth and the remains of man
7. Nineteen corpses hang in the mist

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Schools ban sacred Hessian symbol as “resembling a gun”

Grand Island, NE — Hunter Spanjer is deaf, and uses a sign language symbol for his name that some school administrators say resembles a handgun.

More accurately, it’s the Hessian “devil horns” symbol, which teachers have been trying to ban since the early 1980s. Hessian activist Seamus Israel in Omaha offered the following analysis: “Teachers ban first, then look for a reason why they were right. Now they’re using fear of violence to discriminate against Hessians.”

Hessians, or metalheads, heshers, threshers, bangers and headbangers, is a term used to refer to those who are not only fans of heavy metal music but incorporate its values, imagery and outlook into their personal lives. “It’s a culture like any other,” said Israel. “Just because you weren’t born into it but found it later doesn’t make it any less legitimate than being French, Inuit, Maori, Jewish or a Wall Street economist.”

During the 1980s, American teachers banned symbols and behaviors they saw as associated with “Satanism” and sent students home. These included wearing all black, wearing Slayer t-shirts, wearing symbols like the ankh or yin-yang, displaying the “horns” symbol and reading H.P. Lovecraft at lunch when they should have been playing basketball or watching TV.

Used by Hessians worldwide, the “devil horns” symbol is formed by extending the forefinger and pinkie while tucking the other fingers and thumb into the palm of the hand. It is considered the sacred symbol of Hessian unity and allegiance to the ancient powers of darkness that existed before Christianity, humanism, democracy, reality TV and dubstep, said Hessian Reverend Vijay Prozak. “The devil horn symbol is our most sacred rite, similar to ritual dances or meditative breathing in other cultures.”

Protests continued at the campus on Wednesday. “This deaf child is paying the price for decades of American anti-Hessian bigotry,” said Israel. “In the rush to demonize the horns, and heavy metal music, teachers are now discriminating against deaf kids so that they can find ways to ban heavy metal from the campus.”

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Amnesty International sues military for use of later Deicide in torture

For the last decade, the United States military has used loud rock music to torment captives from the war on terror. Isolated in dark cells, the captives are subjected to blastingly loud music on repeat for days at a time.

The international human rights agencies have been unanimous in their declaration that this is not torture until. Amnesty International spokesperson Bob Cratchit revealed that recent media sampling has provided a reason to declare this torture and end it.

The U.S. military has found the music handy at times. According to Mother Jones magazine, a song from Deicide’s album “Scars of the Crucifix” was played during interrogation of detainees in Iraq. The band said it was proud to do its part for the war effort. – AP

According to Amnesty International research, Deicide ended as a musical force after Once Upon the Cross and their remaining output is “so dishearteningly disorganized, aimless and without artistic merit as to create suicidal impulses in the listener.”

In fact, Cratchit added, “This music is so bad that most of our test subjects would only consent to listen to it when the only other option was Nickelback. Several test groups chose Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ on repeat over the later Deicide.”

Amnesty International acknowledges that early Deicide, from the self-titled album to the epic and devasting Legion, is ranked among the treasures of humanity. “Even Once Upon the Cross is an amazing album, although nothing like Legion.”

The US Fifth District Court held the injunction hearings and sampled the music in question. “The justices could tell right away,” said bailiff E.L. Saunders. “Old Deicide was distinctive and artistic, but the new stuff is a morass of confusion, like tormented souls locked in Wal-mart for eternity.”

The lawsuit by Amnesty International and three dozen other human rights and civil rights organizations allege that later Deicide, especially repeated, is a musical transgression that amounts to human rights abuse. Their lawsuit is pending before the courts at this time.

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Dark Descent sale

Sometimes, metalheads talk about shopping.

When it’s hard enough to get the music you like, it’s sometimes important to nab it whenever it appears.

Dark Descent records put up a sale that ends next Wednesday featuring many of the mainstays of their catalog.

Some highlights for the hardcore death metal or black metal maniac, especially those who like recent history:

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Metal has hipsters, and it’s a massive infestation

Someone had to say it:

Heavy metal hipsters are fellow Hessians who make it their goal in life to find the most obscure heavy metal/hard rock music, buy the expensive vinyl and then proceed to say, “You haven’t heard of Satan’s Love Pump? I thought you were metal. They put out a 7-inch in 1983 in Greece and have a song on a vinyl comp. They’re awesome!” And when you ask, “What else do they have out?” They look at you as if you’re retarded because that 7-inch and 1-song contribution to a vinyl comp is literally the ONLY music that band has released. What makes Satan’s Love Pump so awesome besides the incredibly badass name I made up? Is it the fact that they have no discography whatsoever? Or that the songs they do have are nothing more than basement recordings where the drums are too loud, the guitars are barely distorted, no bass at all, and the vocals aren’t in key?

Look, I’m not bashing obscure music; I love good obscure music. Yes, there were bands back in the day that never got the recognition they deserved and they’re discography is limited. I get it. But for a lot of those old bands, there’s a good reason why they never made it into the big time. All those demos, EPs, and contributions to comps never went anywhere because the band itself was subpar at best. – Jason Corpsemolester (Gravehill)

Hipster: someone for whom all publicly visible choices are designed to make the hipster look cool by being ironic, weird, different, unique, etc.

There’s no reason they couldn’t infest metal, and starting in 1994 they really got entrenched.

“Black metal! Far out, that’s so weird. I need to invade that and make it just like my indie bands!”

Thus the uniqueness of black metal was sacrificed to make it “unique,” and its quality declined because you cannot have quality when everything is a measurement of surface/face value.

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Thevetat – Disease to Divide (Dark Descent/Destro Records)

Thevetat’s demo CD “Disease to Divide” will be available early September. This is a collaboration between Dark Descent Records and Destro Records. The demo will be streaming on the Dark Descent Records Band Camp page when it becomes active later this month. The CD is the most limited Dark Descent Records CD to date, so don’t miss out. These will not be available for long. More info soon, including a link for preview on the Dark Descent Records Band Camp page.

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Progressive war metal

There’s a new style that’s rising which combines progressive metal with the True Metal styles that emphasize a warlike outlook.

While progressive metal has neat instrumentals and all, it’s generally caught in an effete urban altruism and disconnected from Machiavellian reality.

These progressive war metal bands are fixing that with epic, Nietzschean and complex compositions that challenge the status quo of “progressive” metal!

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Metal as transcendent sublime

Death metal, like Autopsy or Deicide, really is bizarrely brutal—one of the least-accessible forms of high-decibel torture ever to try to pass itself off as popular music. But once you move into other extreme metal subgenres, like black and doom, you face an uncomfortable truth. A lot of this music isn’t exactly aggressive or off-putting. Instead, it’s … kind of pleasant. Soothing, even.

Ukranian black-metal horde Drudkh, for example, may ideologically flirt with quasi-fascist nationalism, but musically they’re no more offensive than My Bloody Valentine or Sigur Ros. Drudkh is loud, certainly. But its loudness is lyrical and sweeping—less remorseless assault than transcendent sublime. – The Atlantic

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