On The Edge of Chasm – 2008 – Satanarsa/Dominion Of Sin
Dethroned Of impostor – 2010 – Vision By Fire/Apocalyptic Art/Dominion Of Sin
Wyrm Of Melancholy – 2012 – Metallic Media/Dominion Of Sin
Atenvx – 2013 – Hell Division
Nekrocosmo: Nocturnal Kali Yuga – 2015 – Symbol Of Domination
Drum-Ghoul – 2017 – Symbol Of Domination
Fragments Of nightmares – 2019 – NitroAtmosfericum
Hyperborea – 2020 - GrimmDistribution
Solar Despair - 2021 - More Hate
Into The Dragon's Domain - 2021 - Heimat Der Katastrophe
The Ghost Kings - 2023 - Acid Vicious
The Hobbit - 2024 - Heimat Der Katastrophe

Astarium image
Binary Dirge, Wendigo>>SIN [NIKOLAI SIKERITSKY]>>Binary Dirge, Wendigo

Binary Dirge, Wendigo>>SIN [NIKOLAI SIKERITSKY]>>Binary Dirge, Wendigo

Y'ha-Nthlei, Binary Dirge, Wendigo>>SIN [NIKOLAI SIKERITSKY]>>Y'ha-Nthlei, Binary Dirge, Wendigo


History & Biography
The solo symphonic/metal act was founded as a black metal project in Siberia in 2005 and has issued a series of full and semi-lengths ever since. The monicker was chosen as Astaroth was already taken. The man issued a demo called Monolith Of The Abysses in 2006 and it was off to the races. On The Edge Of Chasm made use of the songs again in 2008. The act appeared on the Tribute To Norwegian Black Metal compilation. Uran 0 and the act had a split at the tail end of 2009.

Invasion To Forbidden was a 2011 EP. During this period established his own imprint Dominion Of SiN, and released certain Astarium output in specific formats himself. Eternal Occultation was a 2021 EP. Further split releases were one with Necropus and another with Fire Messiah in 2022. A 2022 17-minute single was called Furies and was released through Masters Of Kaos Productions and was released on the 17th anniversary of the band. The local NitroAtmosfericum Records issued it for Russia, while Colombian label Masters Of Kaos held the rights for the rest of the world. SiN also had a side-project called Wendigo, which issued an album called Dark Ritual through High Spiders Records, a subsidiary of Wings Of Destruction. Despite the album’s name the side-project veered indie. Decayed Visions was a split release with Sarga in 2023. Astarium had an album called The Ghost Kings out through Acid Vicious. Blind Bastard Beholder of 2023 was an EP available on floppy disc (remembering that this is an act that had a 3" release earlier). In the midst of a creative bout, SiN added to The Ghost Kings full-length and Blind Bastard Beholder with The Hobbit, which was a cassette only release, a split with Perventor of Colombia called Forgotten Lands Of Burial And Pain, featuring self-cover versions, and a neo-classical EP called Ashen Spring, which was issued through NitroAtmosfericum Records and Dark East Productions. Wendigo was issuing an EP next too!


This band is a Russia-based “symphonic” act, which is code for keyboards, synthesizers and some more keyboards. Where is the metal? It shows up here and there in the form of a distorted guitar, screechy and croaking evil vocals and such, but otherwise Astarium is more probably an electronic synthesizer band with a few effects and tons of melody thrown in. It seems metal fans accept (solo) bands and albums like this as metal because they are told to do so.
Deep Purple fans suddenly became fans of the Jesus Christ Superstar musical just because Ian Gillan of Deep Purple starred in it in 1970. The musical’s music had nothing to do with Deep Purple or hard rock.
Hyperborea (is it a trend to call your album this?) has way too much keyboards, drum machine, medieval folk anthems and melody to satisfy a metal fan, but if you cannot get enough Mortiis crap in your life and if you have exhausted every soundtrack from every movie Tim Burton has been involved in there is the first five seconds of Curse From The Past! Likely inspired by Dimmu Borgir and a hatred for a powerful ‘drum’ sound, you can delve into the goth pop start of Halls Of Winter Gods, the chariot and horse effects of For The King! (personally much prefer ‘Kill The King’) and the very Eurovision-ish pop of Battle Glory. – Ali “The Metallian”

This is a six-song split release between two underground acts courtesy of Russia’s More Hate Productions. Aside from the music, which is obviously unique to the respective bands, there are a few peculiarities in these songs.
Astarium’s brand of synthesized music bears a few Pan-Thy-Monium style curious keyboard sounds, but the music is linear, which perhaps helps the man in charge keep up the speed vector. Hearing the second track Echo Of Niflheim is hearing that the keyboards are not just background fodder either. They act as a lead instrument with the guitar pounding away and the vocals shrieking both high and snarly low in pitch. Those harsh vocals are the act’s best feature as cold and ridden with effects as they are because they add menace.
Astarium has the slightly longer songs, but each band gets three tracks to its name. While Astarium gets the ‘cold’ themes contained in its songs, Fire Messiah takes on more scorching metaphors. This is a new band to me and, like Astarium, is drenched in synthesizers. The difference is that this band’s keyboards are even more Alphaville and the music has a slight industrial tendency. Misadventures In Creation is quite cheesy although Flirting With The End does veer aggressive.
Fans of Bal-Sagoth and Emperor would love this stuff, but metal fans should tread cautiously. Between them, the two solo acts wield keyboards and drum machines in and out of the 30 minutes and come with anti-futuristic productions, but forced to make a choice between the two Astarium wins and Fire Messiah loses for me. - Ali “The Metallian”

This Masters Of Kaos company is likely to crash and burn given the rapid pace by which it is releasing music. Here is a rare CD single from the label by the Russia-based solo act Astarium, albeit the track clocks in at more than 16 minutes and contains a full-on story and concept. The star of the show - other than the front and back cover model - is the vocals of SiN, which sound like he is in the middle of an exorcism. To be precise, he is the demon. Speaking of the whole eerie affair the song begins and ends with dub after dub of gnarly evil voices, while the track itself is a lo-fi tribute to the band’s underground chosen sub-genre. It is really too bad about the synthesizers. This could have turned out to be something heavy and metallic, but the synthesizers have infiltrated the scene like a STD in one of Putin’s fabled Russian prostitutes and there is no going back.
The first Emperor split is an easy reference here although Astarium does not shift into ultra fast speeds and is obviously using a drum machine. There is more than one channel of keyboards funnelled into this recording occasionally with the guitars swooshing in tandem synchronously. Still, the material here is somewhat complex and clearly more intricate than the group’s music on the split with Fire Messiah. The Astarium main man has received \lyriccal help for this, which has translated into some arcane wording, and while the words invoke hordes, invaders and death the cute species depicted evokes the opposite sentiment. There are only 100 copies of this disc roaming the universe. - Ali “The Metallian”

A mysterious or foreboding intro leads to aural visions of death and fire with shrieks of agony that is called Cadaveric Invasion. The opening rhythm is pure Dissection. The lyrics are exactly about the song’s title and even mention how silence precedes the attack by the horde. The song is extreme, the vocals snarly and menacing and the whole thing is fast. The vocals additionally alternate between the deep hollowed and disembodied voice and there is a layer of guitar chaos underneath that is made of tremolo picking. There is more than one vocal channel here in order to accommodate the different singing styles. Hear The Inhabitant Of Gloom. Too bad about the ubiquitous keyboards. Imagine the evil of this album if they were not present. The other weakness - remembering how this whole thing is a solo endeavour - is of course the drum machine. Still, the overall impression is that SiN of Astarium has attempted a return to more metallic roots. It is rather extreme and obviously involved. As alluded to above, the booklet contains the lyrics and a photo of SiN with facepaint signifying my earlier supposition that the record is indeed a deliberate attempt to revert to the past. Cursed Gates closes the disc again with the sound of ember leading to a synthesiser instrumental.
A fan or not, the listener can only think of the late 1990s. There really is nothing like that feeling of pure underground with no lust for gold, success or mass appeal. The best track here is clearly the third, namely The Ghost Kings. - Ali “The Metallian”

Astarium Interview
SiN of Astarium sent Metallian two discs for review and consideration recently. The man with the solo act was subsequently invited to Metallian Towers for a conversation whose transcription is below. The interviewer and interviewee touched on the music, the fundamentals of heavy metal and the cup size of the furia in a back and forth filled with information, actualities, philosophical retorts and repartees - 23.02.2023

METALLIAN: SiN, thank-you for your time. Welcome to Metallian Towers. As tenured as the band may be, many readers may not be familiar with you and your bands.Care to fill us in?
SiN: Greetings! My name is Nikolay SiN and I am a musician from Novosibirsk in Russia. I play guitars, keys, program drums, sing clean and different extreme types of vocals. At the moment I am involved in four projects:
Astarium is my one-man symphonic and atmospheric black metal project with neo-classical and dark ambient influences. It was born in 2005. During its existence, the project has recorded ten full-length albums, as well as many EPs, singles, demo recordings and splits, which were released in various formats on labels from all over the world. A couple of interesting facts about the project are: Astarium is the only black metal act in the world, according to the discogs website,whose single was released on 3" vinyl. The tenth album of the project Into The Dragon's Domain is the official soundtrack to one part of the board game, Proteus. This project is my great pride.
Wendigo is my one-man project in the genres of grunge,punk and garage rock with an abundance of metal impurities. It was born in 2019 and is based on the material written by me during my youth. Last year, the debut full-length album Dark Ritual was released. It was very warmly received by the audience and, according to the music magazine Astarta, became the "Breakthrough Of The Year.” This is my second pride (smiles).
Y'ha-Nthlei is a Lovecraftian horde in the genre of psychotropic experimental and raw black metal with elements of doom, drone and dark ambient. Here, I am the manager of the band and play bass. Y'ha-Nthlei was born in 2012 and since that time has recorded four full-length albums, as well as many demos, singles and splits. This is music for intellectuals, aesthetes of the beautiful among the disgusting, devoted fans of the genre and fans of the Master Of Horror.
Finally, Binary Dirge is my near-musical one-man project in the noise genre. Honestly, I don't even remember when it appeared… probably in 2016. This project is guided by impulses of desire, mood, inspiration, surprise, the interest of the sound and the ability to record this sound. When these factors are carried out all together a new Binary Dirge material is born. You know, such an event happens once every 666 days. It's a sacred ritual (smiles again).

METALLIAN: What about the name SiN? Is the meaning of the name to be taken as face value or is there a deeper meaning or an acronym in there?
SiN: Everything is simple. The pseudonym SiN is an abbreviation of my real name: Sikeritskiy Nikolay. I just turned on my fantasy!

METALLIAN: Astarium has two new releases. One is a single and the other is a split CD. Could you compare and contrast your newer music with the output from early in your inception?
SiN: From the point of view of writing music, little has changed except that I began to actively weave ambient and neoclassical into the structure of Astarium’s tracks. As then, I write both fairly complex tracks and fairly simple ones.Only I select and combine these into releases that correspond to the musical concept. So, for example, the material for the split with Fire Messiah is quite straightforward and unpretentious, but the Furies single has a very confusing structure. Lyrically, I have undoubtedly grown up and my lyrics have become more mature. From the point-of-view of the overall sound, I do everything by myself and always try to develop. I think that's why the sound is constantly changing on my different releases. In general, I try not to do anything by template and carbon copy, but I am constantly looking for new approaches, pedals, plug-ins and sample banks. I try to use ethnic instruments that do not require special skills. The only one instrument that has gone with me through the whole Astarium ‘from and to’ is my good old blue Fender.

METALLIAN: As mentioned, Astarium has a split release with Fire Messiah. Could you talk about how this release between yourself and this obscure act came about?
SiN: I met Nick Stewart (of Fire Messiah) through the Snow Wolf label. I sent a request about the possibility of releasing my material and the owner of the label offered me to do a split with Fire Messiah. I listened to the tracks for this project on Bandcamp and really liked them.I then contacted Nick and we easily found a common language. He is a very open and good person. I am proud to know him!
As a result, we started our cooperation and about six months later the result was released on CD in Russia on More Hate Productions and on cassette on Snow Wolf in the United States. We still maintain our friendship, periodically corresponding on social networks.

METALLIAN: One thing that is evident about this release is the conceptual and lyrical contrasts. Astarium, appropriately for its monicker, sings and writes of cold and barren themes. Fire Messiah, again apropos to its monicker, is all fire and heat thematically.
SiN: Yes, I agree that split looks like a combination of ice and hellfire, but it's interesting. Astarium is just as similar to Fire Messiah as, for example, Bad Religion is similar to The Exploited. And that's fine! Astarium is closer to classic Norwegian black metal, while Fire Messiah often uses thrash metal and punk rock in its music. Astarium is closer to the symphony, while Fire Messiah looks towards atmospheric chiptunes. But in the end, both of our projects play black metal with an abundance of synthetics and we are quite similar in spirit.

METALLIAN: Is there any Satanism in Astarium today? I ask because you refer to black metal and the Norwegian style, but today’s releases do not seem to contain such an adulation.
SiN: After all, we are talking about devil worship, not Satanism. These are different things. Satanism is a spiritual path of development, it is something sacred, whereas devil worship is a show-off, shocking, show. Did the Norwegians have devil worship in their tracks? Occultism, dark romance and philosophy, yes, were in abundance. Compare the lyrics of Burzum with lyrics of Dark Funeral, and you will understand the difference. Astarium follows its own spiritual and creative path and it is quite close to Norwegian black metal as it has grown with that music’s help. I do not see the truth in dancing with a ritual knife in the hands and burning cats in the fire in order to shock the audience and attract attention with such so-called cool actions. Yes, it is undoubtedly possible, but nothing more.

METALLIAN: Could you describe the single for the readers? Sixteen minutes makes it an EP all unto itself.
SiN: Furies is a single that includes one track with a duration of almost seventeen minutes. This is a very complex work with an intricate structure and an abundance of atmospheric ambient inserts. The musical genre can be attributed to classical symphonic black metal from the ‘90s. I would say that this single is a kind of retrospective at the time of the first two albums of the project, according to the general mood, this work is close to it. In general, the music has absorbed all the best that Astarium has done during its existence. There are guitar tremolos, rhythm changes, majestic melodies, folk interludes, an abundance of blasts and doublebits, as well as an abundance of ambient and cosmic-infernal samples, and even thrash riffs. And the most important thing is that this musical vinaigrette sounds not like a bunch of incompatible shit, but beautiful and harmonious! In general, I am very satisfied with this single. By the way, Furies is dedicated to the seventeenth anniversary of Astarium.

METALLIAN: Is there a significance to the voices that begin and end the recording?
SiN: That is an infernal spell in Latin, which is read by a demon! It gives the track a certain sacredness and mysticism.

METALLIAN: Furies, and the lyrics indicate this, sounds like a dangerous horde. Could you elaborate on the background?
SiN: In the context of this single, the name ‘Furies’ goes back to ancient Greek mythology. These are the cruel and merciless Chthonic goddesses of revenge, the daughters of Pluto and Knox. To be honest, I saw in them a reference to the ideology of black metal, as a genre honouring self-destruction and self-damnation. The text of the track is quite brutal and was taken from the tragedy of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, a part of the trilogy of Oresteia. This poem is called The Song Of The Furies. It is very exciting to touch something that was written about 2,500 years ago. But, this is not my first experience in combining the lyrics of imperishable classics with my own music.

METALLIAN: You may have answered this, but would you elaborate on who the collaborators listed on the CD single are and how did you make their acquaintance?
SiN: This collaborator has been dead for 2,500 years, and his name is Aeschylus. In general, I write absolutely all the music and 95% of lyrics myself and the remaining 5% of lyrics are poems by classical poets. In addition to Aeschylus, I combined my music with the lyrics of Edgar Poe, H. F. Lovecraft, Andrei Bely and Arthur Machen. To be honest, I can't explain how my choice falls on this or that writer. Somehow everything works out subconsciously.

METALLIAN: SiN, let's face it, you are a gentleman and come across as an intelligent person too, but fact and reality is that metal and keyboards do not mix. They are like oil and water. Class and tramp stamps. Donald Trump and the truth. Metal is meant to be heavy and extreme. Keyboards are the instrument of the weak and pop music. Can we keep it real?
SiN: I'm willing to bet with you that the keys are the lot of the weak.
I'll start with the fact that when I was about 20 years old, I heard Nokturnal Mortum’s Funeral Winds Born In Oriana and almost went crazy from the symphonic hurricane that burst into my ears. it howled, twisted and destroyed, but what can I say, the whole Nechrist album left such an impression. Then there was Goat Horns with a verified pop sound, but when I listened to it, I just lived in this music. I felt like I was taking part in this black mass myself. It's unforgettable! Then I got my hands on a very melodic symphonic demo called Wintersturm from Eisenwinter. What a shock I received when I found out that there were no guitars on the record! But, in terms of sound and atmosphere, this is a real black metal, I would even say, a reference for black metal. In short, I was so inspired by these projects that I decided to try playing something similar by myself. That's how Astarium appeared.
Over time, I stopped dividing music by genre, but rather perceive it as ‘I believe or I don't believe. Whether the track captures me with its atmosphere or not.’ And I perceive the keys as a tool to achieve this, that is “I believe” or an atmosphere conceived by the author. What I am leading this conversation to is the fact that a musician is a kind of an artist and what that means is that what he uses to achieve his plan is not important.

METALLIAN: Yet, you admit that keyboards are the lot of the weak?
SiN: I don't agree with the wording of the question. What do you mean “weak”? Based on my understanding, the keys add piquancy to the atmosphere of the track, contributing to the understanding of its essence by the listener. And also, from the point of view of me as a musician and arranger, this is at least a plus one instrument in the mix. And this means that the work will already be more interesting and creative than with the classic four instruments, which is two guitars, bass and drums.
Another argument: we recall Det Som Engang Var or Dunkelheit. Are these weak tracks? But the keys play a leading role in the. Imperishable classics! I think that in this matter everyone will stand by his opinion.

METALLIAN: We certainly disagree, but thanks for your thoughts, SiN. Enough beating around the bush. It is time for the real reason we host you for this interview. What we really want to know is who is the single's cover model? Name? Address? Means to contact?
SiN: Hey, take it easy, bro! You make me jealous (laughs).
One day, I was drawing a collage for the cover of Furies and purely by chance, I came across a calendar from a large Russian corporation. I was surprised. It was decorated with twelve drawings of sexy girls in the pin-up style. I was even proud because such art is a huge rarity for my country. Without hesitation, I made a strong-willed decision and the face of one of these beauties graced my cover. It turned out to be very erotic, tempting and at the same time not so cute and even slightly brutal.

METALLIAN: The girl is certainly a 9 out of 10. She is only missing long hair. With that said, there has been a debate at Metallian Towers regarding the lyric sheet illustration and back cover that you can put to rest: Are those F cups or G cups?
SiN: Listen, I can't tell you anything specific about the size of her bust. She's a Furia and I am afraid of her. She has a bad temper. But never mind, over time I will discover her location and maybe reciprocity… and there it won't be far to the cups (laughs again).

METALLIAN: Incidentally, her image and demeanour belies the lyrics and the reference to 'furies' in the lyrics. Could you explain?
SiN: There are no contradictions at all. This beauty is the personification of Furies, she is beautiful, cruel, playful, unprincipled and self–sufficient. This is evidenced by the general concept of the cover. She's like a wildcat that looks cute, but if you touch her, you'll know the sharpness of her claws. She came into this world to enjoy her outrage and impunity. She will not touch you now as she is busy taking revenge on another enemy, but it is worth taking a step and her trap will clasp behind your back.

METALLIAN: Those were my questions for tonight. Here is an obvious final question before we retire to our respective chambers of rest. Everyone everywhere believes that Metallian is the best website in the underworld and beyond. Why do you concur?
SiN: Modesty is our everything! In fact, Metallian is really cool! After all, you support metal bands from all over the world, despite their style and your attitude to this style, as well as despite the political situation. And it's worth a lot!
Well, most importantly, there is a very rich Metallian content since here you can find information about almost everything. There are news and reviews, the Top-5 favourite albums of various metal musicians and even your own metal encyclopedia… to be honest, such a scale is a little scary. I am very grateful to Metallian for their support! Keep it up!

Unlike many bands with solely a generic Facebook page with the usual look, feel and linear timeline, SiN and Astarium have a dedicated website at

Astarium Interview
Ali “The Metallian” sat down with SiN of Astarium, whose 2023 album The Ghost Kings is reviewed here, for a new interview. Several words came to mind as he spoke and answered questions. These were ‘artist’, ‘prolific’ and ‘dedicated'. Read the interview and see if you get the same impression of the man. Fact is, whatever the verdict, the man is nothing but busy. Moreover, no one releases 3” vinyl or entrusts music to a floppy disk for financial gain. SiN elaborates in our conversation. - 06.04.2024

METALLIAN: SiN, you have been busy recently with several releases just in the last year. Looking inward, what are the factors that propel you consistently?
SiN: I am glad to welcome you, Ali! Inspiration is influenced by several factors. First of all, those that excite the imagination with its atmosphere and mood. There is literature, music by other bands and trips to interesting natural places. Secondly, it is an emotional uplift that occurs after solving some difficult stressful life situations that have become my companions for quite a long time. And finally, my life credo, ‘don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.’ After all, tomorrow may be too late.

METALLIAN: Last we chatted, Astarium had a new full-length and a split disc. Would you update everyone on your most recent releases?
SiN: Over the past year, Astarium has released several releases: Blind Bastard Beholder is a floppy single dedicated to the 18th anniversary of the project. And what is 18 years old? This is 6+6+6. But calling this release 666 would be stupid, so I decided to make a reference to the number of the beast through the abbreviation BBB. The material is a high-speed, tooth-crushing black metal with ambient intros and outro that complement the overall atmosphere. The single was released in France on Acid Vicious and in Russia on NitroAtmosfericum Records.
The Ghost Kings is the eleventh full–length album of the project. It is an obvious bid for the best album in the discography. It is my pride. The material consists of nine powerful and memorable black metal anthems, sending the listener back to the heyday of Emperor and Limbonic Arts. The density of the material here is off the scale. Everything is done to make listening to the album interesting. In general, it turned out to be a kind of back to the roots release. The CD was released on the Acid Vicious label. There are plans to release the album on cassette and a proposal has already been received from the label. Therefore, the release of this stuff is only a matter of time.
The Hobbit is the 12th full–length album of the project. It is made in the genres of neo-classical ambient and dungeon synth. But I don't think the readers of the metal zine will be interested in it. I can only say that the album was released exclusively in cassette format on the Italian label Heimat Der Katastrophe.
Forgotten Lands Of Burial And Pain is a split with the Colombian black metal band Perventor. The material consists of re-recorded and remastered versions of tracks from both projects. I received an offer to participate in the split from the future releaser, the label Masters Of Kaos. After listening to Perventor's creative work, I got into it and agreed to participate. The split was released on CD in Colombia and later in Russia on NitroAtmosfericum Records in the same format.
Ashen Spring is a demo album in the neo-classical ambient genre. A gloomy, sad and detached material about the loneliness and hopelessness of life in a megalopolis. It was out in Russia on CD as a co-release of labels NitroAtmosfericum Records and Dark East Productions.

METALLIAN: An industrious period, SiN. Referring to your Hobbit release, could you let our readers know more about this product. Would you describe yourself as a serious Tolkien fan?
SiN: The Hobbit is not just another dungeon synth/neo-classical ambient album. It is a true musical tribute to the legendary novel by John R. R. Tolkien. Each track is a chapter of this work and is inspired by the events taking place in it. All the material was written when I was ill and quarantined during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The releaser was the Italian label Heimat Der Katastrophe and they are well-known enthusiasts. They drew a parallel between my work and the old text game for the ZX Spectrum, which was released in 1983 by Melbourne House. The album was designed by the same person who designed this text adventure. And as a bonus, the cassette comes with a bold multi-page booklet with the history and description of the game. That is, everything is absolutely official! By the way, the cassette edition was completely sold out in less than three days! It is very cool. I don't know when, but the guys from Heimat Der Katastrophe are planning to do a re-press. So, if anyone else wants to buy The Hobbit on tape - wait. The album will be back in their online store soon.
Of course, I love Tolkien's creative work, although I cannot call myself a serious fan of this writer. Nevertheless, I am familiar with the vast majority of his works and I am impressed with this man both as an author and as a person.

METALLIAN: To clarify, was the old text also named The Hobbit?
SiN: Yes, that's right. As a child, I had a ZX Spectrum. It's a pity that the Hobbit game didn't fall into my hands then. Although, I think that even if I had got it, I would not have been able to adequately play and appreciate it since it is too difficult for a child, and besides, it is made entirely in English, which I certainly did not know at that time.

METALLIAN: While referencing Tolkien let me ask a general question to gain your perspective. Like many I have read the books and watched the movies. Clearly, the world-making and storytelling is unmatched. Still, for me personally, there is always a nagging feeling with Tolkien given how he was a devout Christian and his stories encompass the dualism inherent in religion (although the series Rings Of Power somewhat repairs this...). What I am asking is about how the ideology and personality of an artist affects its attraction to the consumer - regardless of the content itself - when the beliefs of the two diverge.
SiN: It's a difficult question, but I'll try to answer it. In fact, during the formation and maturation of a personality, its moral image is created by its surroundings, the concepts and laws of which this emerging personality absorbs into itself like a sponge. It is only after crossing a certain inner line that a person begins to understand what is really important in life. However, the seeds planted in the brain and soul in childhood have already grown and there is no escape from them now. The same can be said about Tolkien: Christian upbringing remained in the worldviews of this brilliant writer forever. But! Life did its job, giving him a rather difficult fate, due to which he gained tremendous experience and worldly wisdom, that he actively shared with readers through his literary work.
I think that the attractiveness for the consumer depends primarily on the rich inner world of the author and the ability to present it to the final recipient. Well, dualism can be seen everywhere, because any event can always be interpreted from several points of view. Such is the lot of a human to live in contradictions and this is normal!

METALLIAN: This must be asked. How many floppy disks have you sold (Note: this interview was indeed conducted in 2024)?
SiN: What an insidious question (laughs)! I agree that the floppy disk is an outdated format. However, no one cancelled the external drives connected via USB to the PC. In general, the value of these releases lies in aesthetics and collectible rarity, not in the musical content.
Since September 2023, I have sold 13 floppy disks – a little more than two thirds of the edition of 18 copies. The demand is not great, but many fans from Russia wanted to get this souvenir in their collections. And it's really cool and enjoyable for me.

METALLIAN: Let’s step back from the band specifically for a moment. Given the war and embargo, how do you assess the communication and business situation in Russia at the moment? Specifically, what is the impact on importing musical items, selling items overseas or receiving payments at the moment? It cannot be easy and there must be restrictions you have to deal with.
SiN: Well, I think you understand that talking is one thing, and money is quite another. The war did not affect my communications in any way with those people with whom I communicated outside of Russia. I also continue to do so. People should be treated the way you want them to treat you. I really appreciate and respect everyone who has given me and my projects any kind of support. It's worth a lot.
Regarding the financial part of your question, everything is sad here. PayPal does not work, nor do other types of money transfers with the world. That is, if earlier I could easily order a CD or vinyl, for example, in Canada, pay and receive it now I can't do that. Because, firstly, I do not have the opportunity to transfer money to the seller, and secondly, I do not have confidence that the goods will not sink into oblivion somewhere at customs. That is, in fact, the music market has split into a market within Russia and a global market. I also cannot receive financial support from fans outside my country. It's a pity, of course, but it's not for the sake of money that I'm doing creative work.

METALLIAN: The explanation is unsurprising, SiN, but does paint a picture. The Ghost King is Astarium’s 2023 full-length. To these ears, and you referenced this, it sounds as if you went for something different compared to your more recent material. The music suggests a work that returns to the earlier days simultaneously.
SiN: Astarium is a free–floating ship, sailing wherever its permanent captain and his unpredictable mood wants. So, it happened this time. I thought that enough experimentation was enough and decided to turn my gaze back to the time of the first album, On The Edge Of Chasm. The soul asked for a return to the roots... Since those distant times, there have been a number of ancient riffs covered with dust and mould, so, in fact, The Ghost Kings grew up on that basis. The most important thing is that while writing, I managed to capture the spirit of that old school very clearly, to return to that age when the sound of Emperor and Bal-Sagoth seemed like something magical and amazing. In short, working on this album rejuvenated me by 20 years.
By the way, the song Cursed Gates is the very first track I wrote for Astarium. Back in 2005, it was called Morannon (Gates To Mordor) and was a bonus on the debut demo of the project, Monolith Of Abysses.

METALLIAN: So, the Tolkien references reach all the way back to the beginning. Could you compare and contrast Cursed Gates with Morannon (Gates To Mordor)?
SiN: Honestly? These tracks differ in nothing, but sound. New drum machine sampler, a denser and juicier guitar sound, new keyboards, live bass, a better mix and mastering. I've been waiting to re-record this track for a very long time and when the opportunity came up I thought it's the perfect choice for an album's outro.

METALLIAN: Certainly, composition-wise it is obvious that a lot is going on musically despite your being the sole protagonist in the picture. Seems this question is a different way of approaching the topic of my first question earlier.
SiN: I think that my desire for experimentation and a long creative path eventually turned into an experience that helps to saturate the music at the level of an acquired instinct. I understand what kind of track structure I want, what notes and riffs should be played, what tempo, what drums and iron should sound, what vocals should be, what words from the text should be performed at one time or another. All this is suddenly formed in the head, and then the main thing is not to miss this moment and somehow fix it in memory, on paper or digitally.
Making music is a kind of puppet theatre in which every sound has its own role and I am the only actor controlling this hell and sodomy. I think that The Ghost Kings is currently the apogee of Astarium's creativity, which has absorbed all my skills, experience and my whole soul. A reason to be proud!

METALLIAN: Is a Russian folk melody hidden in the title track? It comes across certainly like a folk melody put to treble guitar.
SiN: No. Anyway, I didn't have such an idea (smiles).

METALLIAN: SiN, the artwork for The Ghost Kings is credited to you personally. What could you tell me about the cover and the photography? Also, is there a relation to the album’s title?
SiN: My region is the habitat of such a winged predator as an eagle, which stands at the very top of the local bird food chain. One day, walking through the forest - it seems it was not far from the Kolyvan nature reserve - I came across the half-decomposed corpse of an eagle devoured by worms. Naturally, I took several photos because such a picture is very rare. The king is defeated! Glory to the king! When you were alive, you were a symbol of freedom. The winds and the skies obeyed you. With a sharp look you looked around the forests and fields, making the creatures of the earth tremble and rush away, trembling before your will! Now you are defeated, even though the earth has become your haven, but you have gained real freedom! Proud, dead and free! Glory to the king! That's how I met the ghost of the king. How could I not link these photos to the album? I had no choice to do otherwise (smiles).

METALLIAN: Could you update us on what is next for you and the band. You mentioned that a Wendigo EP is en route earlier to me.
SiN: Next, several splits are waiting for Astarium in the dungeon synth/dark ambient genres. I won't reveal all the cards yet, but one of the bands that will share the material with me is very famous. It is a great honour for me to cooperate like this. And also a new full-length black metal album is available in the far-reaching plans. I'll tell you in secret that the legendary “Filosofem'' influenced this material.
My side-project Wendigo in the grunge, punk and garage rock genre is finishing recording a new mini-album. This will be an almanac of creepy stories based on the works of my favourite writers, namely August Derleth, Robert Irwin Howard, Maurice Magre and Arthur Machen.

METALLIAN: Thank-you for the conversation, SiN. one final question for you would be, why do you still agree that Metallian is the best of the best?
SiN: [Laughingly] You couldn't help, but ask that, could you? Because you are really cool! You support metal bands from all over the world, regardless of any personal and political factors – and that's right. I shake your hand, Ali, and thank you for such an interesting conversation.

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If you enjoyed this, read Wolves In The Throne Room