1. Slava Tchortu SiN! How has the year drawn to it’s closure over there in Novosibirsk?


Hellz! Last days of the 2017-th in Novosibirsk were quite strained, but funny. The wave of evacuations from all large shopping centres has swept around city. What was it? I can’t tell, telephone terrorists or still something – the Devil only knows. But it became reason to nervousness and embitternment of people – queues everywhere, huge traffic jams and dissatisfied deplorations.

2017 was good and fruitful year in the creative aspect. Work with material of the last part of „Nekrocosmo” trilogy has been finished. Split with the Portuguese black metal horde Antiquus Scriptum has been created and released as the spontaneous imprompt. Double tape collaboration “Radiation Of Happiness” with dead project Spasm Of Charity, CD album “Drum-Ghoul” and joint 7’’ with the ambient project Uvodna were out. And also, composing of material for new full-length album was finished.



2. Please introduce us to your project and the history of Astarium and your earlier material’s. What similarities and parallels do you see between black metal and dungeon/symphonic synth?


My project can’t brag of interesting history. Astarium was born in August 2005. Work with every new musical idea came down to the one same vicious circle – writing, record, release. And so during 12 years. I try to approach creativity as independent artist, constantly experimenting, looking for a new sound, adding new elements to music. Generally, my music quite often abounds with harmful impurities, though base is all the same – symphonic black metal.

Frankly speaking, I don’t recognize term „Dungeon synth”. The melody, creating the atmosphere conceived by the author, is ambient after all. And neo-classic, dark, folk, medieval or other are already matter of taste. I consider that combination of black metal and ambient is more than appropriate, as both genres are designed to excite imagination of the listener, to be link between brain of the author and listeners.



3. This is a question for someone that isn’t familiar with Astarium works and your previous releases. How would you explain Astarium sounds, generally speaking, how would you describe Astarium music?


It is possible to look from two positions at music of Astarium:

– as on classic old-school black metal with raw guitars, riches of the keys sections, atmospheric inserts, traditional scream and low deep-chested growling;

– as on neo-classic ambient with dark influences inspired by beauty, greatness and cruelty of northern nature.


4. SiN you have been playing for many years and always managed to keep your music innovative. You listen to a certain song and you immediately knows that is Astarium, yet you’re never repetitive. Seriously, how do you manage to do that?


It is difficult to tell. May be author’s handwriting? Something strange with my brains? Generally, I don’t

know. Ha-ha…

And concerning Astarium’s tracks awareness, I always use the same approach, the same musical equipment and the same software at record.



5. Tell us about your composition process. Do you find it advantageous to be the sole composer behind your music? Do you prefer working with software or hardware synthesizers?


Of course, it is simpler to compose music alone. Here only reign of my Ego! For record of keys I use the midi-keyboard connected to various programs with audio banks.



6. With the release of „Drum-Ghoul”, again I was, obviously, highly pleased with your deep and meaningful music. Do you feel that you’ve reached all you wanted concerning this release? Is there anything, at all, that you would have liked to improve and how would you rank among all of your releases?


I am quite satisfied with material of album „Drum-Ghoul”. Some moments have turned out even more interesting, than initially thought. So, for example, final of the first track and introduction to the third initially seemed a little tightened to me, however, after record I have understood that it has turned out just ideally. Of course, it is just my opinion.

Sometimes thoughts about improvements come to my head. For example, about improvement of guitar sound aside more brutal, because I squeeze out everything that is possible from my guitar with „singles”. However, I understand that it is necessary to buy other guitar, but I won’t be able to play good on it (I have got used to my guitar). Also, I think, that the high screaming (such as used by many dsbm bands) would be good in some tracks, but, alas, for my vocal cords this is impossible test.

Therefore, I safely reject these thoughts and I continue to follow own way.



7. „Drum-Ghoul” explores a range of atmospheres, from epic war marches to majestic solitary wanderings. What concepts and themes do you wish to convey with your music? Where do you find inspiration for your lyrics? Could you outline what topics you deal with and how much you take them seriously? Do you give them the same value as to music? Do you think you managed to combine lyrical and musical elements into a unified whole?


In general music finds this or that subject exclusively intuitively, whether it be overthrow through hell circles, chase with werewolf, despair from loneliness, travel through Demiurge’s Universe, the greatness of forest halls … is unimportant … The imagination and intuition attract the idea to music, exactly, as well as it attract subjects for lyrics, which value is indisputable. Poetic esthetics of rhymes comes to some tracks, prose – to others. Sometimes I take ready lyrics, when I understand that it will be better combined with music. So was, for example, with lyrics of Lovecraft in track „Nemesis”. I think that I manage to mix music and lyrics in united body, though of course, music is paramount in this tandem.



8. This is a question you surely have answered before, but perhaps your opinions could have changed… Astarium exists since A.B.2005. After so many years, with six full-length albums released, ton’s of splits, EP’s and demos what motives you to keep on going?


Just I like to make music. Astarium – my spiritual and emotional autobiography. My life will lose any meaning without music.



9. You are signed now to Symbol of Domination Prod. sub-label of Satanath Records,in my humble opinion, one of the best labels in Underground not only when it comes to being professional with the musicians (that’s what I’ve heard from them), but also with the costumers. Have you been satisfied with their work so far? How do you compare them to your previous label? Will you release another materials with them or it was just a one-time deal?


Yes, I’m very happy by cooperation with Symbol of Domination. Very good label! I have been pleasantly surprised to the powerful promo-companies that have been developed in support of releases „Nekrocosmo: Nocturnal Kali Yuga” and „Drum-Ghoul”. Hope that our cooperation will continue.



10. Nowadays music promotion is so much easier than just a few years ago. We have Bandcamp, ReverbNation, Facebook, Youtube, but still the amount of illegal downloads is always increasing. What is your view concerning this matter? Do you think that people that illegally download music could be considered a fan of the band?


It is one thing – to download stuff for familiarize and subsequent possible acquisition, and it is another thing – to download for private or public use. Both, in the first, and in the second option, the main impact is exerted by mentality of country where person lives. I think, that 99,9% population in Russia has got used to take multimedia content for free. Alas, it is mentality and it can be burned out only by red-hot iron.



11. Absolutely important component of bands of your kind is certainly the resulting sound which should keep away from the purity and „quality”. Your music is like a demonic storm of chaotic dimension, animal brutality meets with insane atmosphere, but also with slow putrefactive sequences and overall symphonic occult aura. How changed your approach and composition compared to the first demo „Monolith of Abysses” from 2006?


Approach hasn’t undergone special changes. All stuffs record on my home studio (SH Studio). As I spoke already, both instruments and software remain are invariable on record during 12 years. However, the sound becomes gradually better, I learn to be placed more correctly accents at material in the mix, to estimate sounding with use of various equipment, to be engaged in mastering. Of course, it is interesting for me to make unusual experiments sometimes, like adding of guitar-chain effects on the microphone, flirting with the compressor and noisegate, record of guitar by tape dictophone, etc.



12. How so far „Drum-Ghoul” is received by critics? It is clear to me the album is still quite fresh, but some reviews have maybe appeared already. Were you also criticized for something? What is your attitude to the critics?


Constantly someone criticizes me for something. It is normal, I can’t be pleasant to all. In general, essence of my creativity, that I do music for myself, and if it pleasant to someone else – it is great!



13. If we talk about Astarium visibility on the Russian or worldwide map of Heavy Metal how well would you say Metal-orientated people know Astarium on the Novosibirsk local area and how about elsewhere in the Russia / world?


It is difficult question. I’m absolutely unknown at home in Novosibirsk region. Sometimes I receive messages from fans from other corners of Russia, USA, Europe and Latin America. It is very pleasant, that somewhere away there are people for whom my music is interesting.



14. What are your feelings and thoughts when you get to know that your music has helped and still helps people to forget about their problems, to go through a tough phase or that simply makes them „happy”, even though the music itself can be quite a bit dark?


Ha-ha! I will put on airs and will become proud)))



15. Russia has been the land of many well known and respected bands that have been around for decade or even decades. How do you feel about the Russian scene nowadays, the “younger” bands, do you believe that they can represent what Russia has delivered so far? Could you recommend some to me?


Yeah, I like many Russian bands. Frankly speaking, now I have problems with free time and I listen new music very few. Therefore I can’t tell anything about young bands on the Russian stage. Only Bastärd (speed / black metal) and Tzantza (thrash / black metal) were remembered for me.



16. SiN we reach the end of this interview. Once again I’d like to thank you very much for your time and your answers. Do you have any last words for our listeners? I wish Astarium a lot of dark inspiration from the abominable spheres … Hailz!


Thank you for interesting questions! Good luck to you and to Absit Omen Webzine! Keep your black flame with honor, and it will light your way!