Friday 8 May 2015

Astarium - Heritage Of Warlords Tape


1. Holocaust Black Metal (Evil cover)
2. Black Metal Kommando (Satanic Warmaster cover)
3. Black Metal War (Graveland cover)
4. Hidden Track - The Crying Orc (Burzum cover)

I made a promise to myself that I'd sit down and write about some of the releases sitting in my physical review pile, as it's been neglected recently and thankfully, the awful weather outside has presented me with the perfect opportunity to do just that. I'm starting my evening with this four-song tape from Russian one-man black metal band Astarium, whom I've featured here a few times over the years. This tape was released in 2013 via Zombie Records (Rus) and then later on CD by Black Metal Cult Records (USA), before being reissued in 2014 on tape again via Chupacabra Productions (Rus). The tape is made of four covers, originally released by bands that have influenced sole member SiN. They include songs by Evil, Satanic Warmaster, Graveland and Burzum. I've also been able to dust off my tape player for this special vigil!

This tape starts abruptly with no intro. Opening with a cover of Evil’s Holocaust Black Metal, this is as raw as it gets. Astarium has always had a staunchly DIY approach and this is no different. After the somewhat short Evil cover, SiN turns his attention to Satanic Warmaster and a cover of Black Metal Kommando. There’s plenty of melody present in this cover, which makes it sound strangely upbeat. SiN ins’t afraid to wear his influence on his sleeve. The cover of Graveland’s Black Metal War seems to turn from industrial to medieval in an instant, with SiN gargling black metal vocals sitting in the mix. There’s enough space on Heritage Of Warlords for a hidden track and for that honour, SiN has chosen to pay homage to Burzum. The Crying Orc is full of ambience and mournful organ. It’s instrumental nature finishes of this tape well, especially after the three icy blasts that preceded it. Heritage Of Warlords is a both a brief indulgence and a subtle tribute at the same time. It’s not often nowadays, that bands produce cover records but in this case, it makes perfect sense. Heritage Of Warlords is one for the die-hard black metal fans who like their music filled blasphemic passion.

While Heritage Of Warlords isn't fully streaming online, you can here a sample and download a free MP3 copy of the Evil Holocaust Black Metal cover from Astarium's website -

Tape copies from Zombie Records and Chupacabra Productions have sold out but you can still buy CD copies from Black Metal Cult Records here -

Astarium Facebook -
Zombie Records Facebook -
Black Metal Cult Records Website -
Chupacabra Productions Website -

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