ASTARIUM - RUSSIA
Dethroned Of impostor – 2010 – Vision By Fire/Apocalyptic Art
Wyrm Of Melancholy – 2012 – Metallic Media
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
MembersS= SIN [NIKOLAI SIKERITSKY]
HistoryThe 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. Eternal Occultation was a 2021 EP.
ASTARIUM – HYPERBOREA – GRIMMDISTRIBUTION
ASTARIUM/FIRE MESSIAH - Split - MORE HATE
ASTARIUM - FURIES - MASTERS OF KAOS
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 http://www.astarium.ru/.
If you enjoyed this, read Wolves In The Throne Room