EsoTerra, the journal of extreme culture * Chad Hensley (editor) (2011)

EsoTerra (“arcane earth”) was a magazine that had nine issues between 1991 and 2000. I knew it, since the magazine also featured extreme music, flyers were also spread in the music scene that I go around in. I thought I might have a copy somewhere, but I guess that was wishfull thinking. I have never been much of a magazine buyer. EsoTerra started four years after the first publication of Adam Parfrey’s Apocalypse Culture and deals with similar subjects. Parfey’s book and also EsoTerra were quite controversial in their time, but the fact that Apocalypse Culture is available from Amazon and also this ‘best of EsoTerra‘, the shock has made room for curiosity. I must say that Apocalypse Culture looks more extreme to me than EsoTerra. When you look at my review of the book and the subjects features, EsoTerra comes as easy reading with perhaps an interview with a necrophiliac (like in the other book, but this time also a ‘light one’) and quite a few pages about different sexual preferences, but by far the larger part of the book are interviews with artists and some not too sensation-seeking articles about The Process Church Of Final Judgement or a man that visited John Wayne Gacy on death row a couple of times. The book is mostly enjoyable for historical interests. The interview with Genesis P-Orridge gives a nice insight in the early industrial/noise scene, the interview with Strength Through Joy some of the earlier ideas of the popband Ostara, Merzbow speaks about his early noise efforts and the sex-culture of Japan and H.R. Giger about his art. There are interviews with Albin Julius, Roger Karmanik, David Tibet, Boyd Rice, Mother Destruction, Women of Sodom, Trevor Brown, Joe Coleman and many more. All amusing, but not really groundbreaking or shocking. I had a fun time reading through this ‘best of’ over 300 pages with quality printing with people with weird interests read like a breeze. The only thing I would have liked is when the dates of the interviews were mentioned or at least the issue of original publication would have been mentioned to be better able to place the text in time.
2011 creation books, isbn 9781840681666

One comment

  1. How about that! I just ran into issues 7 and 9 when I was looking for something else, so I did have copies of this magazine. #9 Features both Giger and Trevor Brown and in the magazine the Brown images are in colour, contrary to the book!

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