Spasm of Charity / Astarium – „Radiation of Happiness”
Collaboration – Limited edition / 50 Copies, Pro CD-R, Digifile
Marbre Negre

As a person who was witnessing (and into) the first synth-releases of the early- and mid-nineties coming to the Black Metal underground (in part because of the great label Cold Meat Industry, in part because of the long-nosed troll Mortiis who used play bass for Emperor), I’m getting highly nostalgic feelings from this music.
Monumental and obscure work performed by the two Russian artists, on the one hand Spasm Of Charity is a Dark Ambient / Drone and on the other Astarium moves within the Symphonic Black Metal / Neo-Classis Ambient. The result is 5 joint songs created by the two bands, except the track 5 that is written by Oleg Temiryavez (Ultimaratio), between the years 2009-2012 the basic material and later in 2016 the final songs were recorded.The collaboration was previously released by Temple of Chaos Production in 2 parts.The release I got from SiN(Hailz Brother!),comes from a Spanish label Marbre Negre.
This split release by two Russian bands features some of the most genuinely nineties-sounding Atmospheric Blackened music I’ve heard ages, very nineties-sounding “Dark Ambient” music. Before the age of programmed software synths, there were actual keyboards with different sounds to choose from, and in many cases those were the ones synth-artists used to create whole albums, or at least intros and outros and whatnot to Black and Death Metal albums. The music of ASTARIUM and SPASM OF CHARITY has exactly this feeling to it, with the sounds and natural flow of playing sounding straight from the nineties. In this case these songs sound like a multifaceted 30-minute-long intro to a Black Metal album.For example:Nebula textures mixed with fragments of Carmina Burana and cavernous voices rescued from black metal in openning track „And Grace Will Be Shed!”. Fucking great!!!
I’m very glad I got to hear this release, painting melancholic and longing atmospheres of the misty woodlands to my mind’s eye, since it really features the most nostalgic nineties sounding synth- and keyboard-music (not to forget the Metal-parts) I’ve heard in a very long time. A total must for everyone finding more atmosphere in the sounds of this “golden age of Black Metal” than in the modern (more boring?) sounds! They just don’t do stuff like this anymore.
This is one of a very few truly great split CDs. Both sides of the split are worthy of attention, individually and together, and the split provides 40 minutes of quality ambient metal. Those who enjoy ritualistic black metal or dark ambient should seek out this release.