DEAD REPTILE SHRINE – N.T.K. LP (Final Agony Records)

As Black Metal moves ever further away from its dangerous, mysterious and antihuman roots, it is perhaps more timely than ever to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution to this once cursed, fanatical and adversarial art form of the deliriously oddball and occult entity that is Dead Reptile Shrine. One of BM’s most eclectic, inaccessible and intriguing forces, Dead Reptile Shrine is an uncompromising countercultural phenomenon that has harnessed down through the years, nay decades, a rich legacy of weird, jarring, and unpalatable sonic misanthropy, never following the flock, always ignoring trends, blazing its own indignant path.

Originally released on cassette in 2002, ‘N.T.K.’ is the second full-length conjured by S. Devamitra under this twisted banner, delivering three-quarters-of-an-hour’s worth of shamanic, satanic subterranean antihumanism … manic, deranged and reeking of bleak desolation. The music on this record is about as primitive and depraved as one could wish for, imbued with a genuine darkness that cannot be faked (though too many try to do so these days).

The blasphemous intent behind these ten nocturnal emissions is palpable, as an artist sincerely possessed crafts and exorcises disturbed dissonances by the most primitive means possible. Never depending on technical prowess or a polished production – in fact, thriving on the exact opposite – this is the kind of DIY inebriated / annihilated spirituality and not-giving-a-fuck-ness that made Black Metal so special in the first place. Before it was invaded by fucking weak conventional morons who can’t back up their music with either words, ideas or actions.

Authentic Black Metal (like any art) is something you just feel – it is a state of mind rather than strict adherence to a particular sound or set of sounds. Thus, painfully-limited trailblazing underground bands like Dead Reptile Shrine and Akitsa can incorporate punk, noise, ambience or anything they like into a pioneering soundscape to put their own twist on things and somehow end up being more Black Metal than Black Metal itself.

Evilometer: 666/666