Book review – Esoterra: The Journal of Extreme Culture

By on 20 February 2013



(editor: Chad Hensley)

As the cliché goes, the most obscure information on the extremest of creative human endeavour is readily available these days to be spoon-fed to the wireless generation. Nostalgically pining for the golden age when it took efforts of pilgrimage proportions to find stuff out is equally problematic; had I known, at the age of 14, that one day all my desires would be attainable via sci-fi networks and machines, I’d be rightfully thrilled.

The ingredient missing from both polarities is perfectly filled by the timely reissue in book form of almost the entire contents of the cult magazine of the ’90s. Esoterra, and that ingredient is authority, a sense of editorial vision and responsibility (to seduce us to the dark side) connecting between dots and turning isolated, disparate, seemingly random bits of, well, esoterica, and educating us impressionable kids about the existence of an entire subterranean way of life, expressed through music, graphic art, philosophy and uncategorisable borderline activities involving sex, death, and transgression.

The interconnectedness manifest on the pages of Esoterra between extreme music (very early Marilyn Manson, Emperor, Aghast, Mortiis, Sunn O))), Isis, Psychic TV, Current 93, Merzbow, Boyd Rice, Allerseelen), outsider art (Alan Moore, Trevor Brown, HR Giger), outer-limits writers and publishers (Iain Sinclair, Adam Parfrey) is not only a chance to read classic interviews by influential anti-luminaries, but, equally importantly, bypass internet clutter and chaos and hold on to a systematic primer on just why is it that chaos reigns. Most important is outlining the difference between radical and extreme culture: while the former is committed to political responsibility and agendas, the latter is indebted to nothing but absolute artistic freedom. To Quote Der Blutharsh’s Albin Julius words in the book, “the right tries to sneak in; the left needs an enemy…I do what I want, without offering explanations…”


Buy it HERE

About Matthew

Die humans.

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