Р​о​з​і​р​в​а​н​е Н​е​б​о (Torn Sky)

I have to admit, when I started out my 2024 I didn’t have “Ukrainian Blackened Death-Doom Metal Hybrid Album” on my bingo card. Then again, I don’t think any amount of preparation could have possibly equipped me with the necessary tools to approach this collection of tracks. As someone who listens to a lot of metal, and has been listening to it for more than half of his life, I rarely am taken aback. That being said, SIDUS ATRUM’s Розірване Небо is something completely new and unique. Oh, and it absolutely rules.


Formed in Kyiv in 2019, SIDUS ATRUM has been presenting a unique blend of blackened death metal and doom metal for three albums. For their first two albums, multi-instrumentalist Yulia Lykhotvor oversaw and performed literally everything. On this album she is joined by ex-Sad Alice Said guitarist Serhii Lykhotvor to create a well-rounded and holistically odd sound. With only two band members, this band creates a sound on-par with many of their contemporaries and dare I say even overtakes them.


“What the hell is this and where has it been my whole life?” This is a direct quote from myself as I frantically picked my jaw off of the floor. This album has such an idiosyncratic sound that one listen isn’t enough. As I approach my tenth play through, I will try my best to describe the sonic soundscapes emanating from my headphones. But, it’s probably best for you to pick up a copy and decipher it for yourself.

First and foremost, this is for the seasoned metal listener. No grandmas or little brothers will understand this. Beginning with the intro track Розірване Небо (Torn Sky), your ears are greeted with what I can only describe as a pretty demise. The shrieks don’t sound synthetic at all. In fact, they sound as if death is right around the corner. Pretty clean vocals are heard in the background on a few tracks, namely Коли Земля Кричала (When The Earth Was Screaming), which feels cinematic in its presentation, if the film you happened to be watching was Mother Earth being disemboweled in the most hauntingly beautiful way.

The album suddenly takes a complete left turn on Сталеві Янголи (Angels Of Steel), which offers nearly two minutes of what can best be described as ambient 80s action movie music before going into a more brutal rendition of what we heard on the first two tracks. This honestly is the standout track on the album for me as it just feels so disjointed in a perfect way. Like all the puzzle pieces shouldn’t fit together, but they do in spite of the picture they make at the end.

Гірше За Ката (Worse Than The Torturer) and Чи Поглине Нас Темрява? (Will Darkness Swallow Us?) follow with another strange punch of brutality and much-craved beauty. The album’s closer Пульс Життя (Pulse Of Life) is a cocktail of folksy melody and atmospheric black metal that keeps you moving back-and-forth in and emotional and confusing roller coaster of feelings.


To be honest with you, dear reader, I am still trying to figure out my feelings on this album. It’s so different and refreshing to hear a sonic art piece such as this. As a favor to yourself and to the entire concept of art in metal, please give this a listen. You might feel conflicted on giving it a superficial star rating, and that’s okay. Knowing that you have had the pleasure of hearing pure expression put to music will justify your time.

Matthew McCune