Sidus Atrum: Spiral Of Life-2022.

Sidus Atrum:Black Dark Metal from Ukraine.


Cold SilenceFull-length2019
Bloody EyesSingle2019 
Into the DepthSingle2019 
Ghost Song – Lullaby of the LostSingle2020 
Spiral of LifeFull-length2022 


Yulia LykhotvorEverything

One thought on “Sidus Atrum: Spiral Of Life-2022.

  1. Sidus Atrum – The Spiral of Life Review

    It’s not a particularly profound observation that art contextualizes life. It’s also true that life contextualizes art. In the case of Ukrainian band, Sidus Atrum, it’s impossible to disconnect the band’s sophomore album, Spiral of Life, from what is currently taking place in that country. Although it was conceived and recorded well before the current conflict with Russia began, the current situation echoes hauntingly through the work, lending it an aura of tragedy and profundity. I sat down to write this on the day a children’s hospital in Ukraine was bombed. That’s far too close to the bone when you work in one (as I do). As a result, from the first note, Spiral of Life hit me hard, for reasons beyond just the music. If objectivity is impossible when assessing art, it’s even less so when your heart is aching.

    Sidus Atrum is a one-woman, death-doom-post-metal band from Kyiv. While one-man, black metal projects are as common as Holdeneye 4.0s in these parts, we don’t get a lot of one-woman bands, which immediately makes this project more interesting. Over the course of Spiral of Life, Yuliia Lykhotvor uses death-doom as a template on which she adds, in no particular order: black metal, post-metal, drone metal, and prog metal. This might sound over-stuffed for a 39-minute album, but Sidus Atrum not only shifts effortlessly between the different styles, but it also uses them to create a distinct yin and yang which sounds fresh and unique. Think Myrkur, but with the cleans-to-growl ratio reversed. Or Darhker with, like, blast beats and death metal. This eclectic mix is then used to muse on the infinite circle—I mean, spiral—of life.
    The major strength of Spiral of Life is the startling atmosphere it creates. It achieves this not through subtle changes in mood and dynamics, but rather through rapid-fire shifting. This creates a real sense of friction that generates mood and dynamism, without being too jarring. “Fading Light” is an excellent example of this: an uplifting, Iotunn-like riff crashes into delicate post-rock before a gritty death-doom breakdown. Complementing all of this are Lykhotvor’s shrieks and growls, which have the unusual and interesting timbre that comes from women singing in this style. When she breaks into cleans, it’s even more devastating, and she is able to create a real sense of beauty and pain. This is highlighted on the outro of “Breath of Agony,” which goes from furious black metal blast beats to mournful orchestration so smoothly and devastatingly, that real emotional power is achieved. Spiral of Life is full of this, and it is deeply impactful.

    You know those mash-up albums where there’s an awesome mix of a song you like, but just as you’re getting into it, it shifts to something else? Spiral of Life is occasionally like that. While it incorporates a myriad of different styles, it sometimes feels like its lack of true commitment to any of them gives it a sheen of superficiality. Sidus Atrum is clearly well-versed in all the sub-genres it incorporates, but there simply isn’t enough time in 39 minutes to do them all justice. The album would have benefited from either a few more songs, or from delving deeper into the material in the existing ones, rather than rapidly shifting as it does.

    War—real war—has a habit of focusing people on what’s important. So here’s what you need to know: Spiral of Life is an interesting, emotional, and moving album from a very talented artist. That she is from a city that is currently being destroyed lends an additional layer of tragedy and profundity to what is already a devastating collection. Yes, there are nit-picks, and yes, there is room to grow and improve. But in light of what she’s going through, you just need to head over to Bandcamp on the link below and support Lykhotvor and Sidus Atrum. Because her voice matters. Because we need to hear more of it. Because we can’t let darkness snuff out the light.


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