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Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Batushka - Litourgiya

While remaining completely anonymous Batushka released debut album with the interesting title “Litourgiya”. It is an interesting title because the word Liturgy is most commonly used as a word to describe stories about god or Christianity.

Their label Witching Hour Productions released the album on December 4th last year claiming that the members of the band are well renowned artists in the metal scene and thus the debate started on who the members are. I’ve seen a lot of comments on Youtube saying it might be Mgła & friends but there are also a lot of people that are trying to disprove this statement. There are only two things we really know. The first is that Batushka are from Poland. My guess is that probably some member of Behemoth has something to do with it and maybe some members from the Polish black metal band Arkona.

The other thing is that they’re extremely good. If I knew about this band or their debut album a little more early it might have ended up in my 2015 best of list. Batushka combine soaring black metal riffs with orthodox chants and a lot of atmosphere.

I know a lot of black metal bands that have used chants in their songs before but not to create whole songs or if you will a whole new experience. The chants interchange with high shrieks and perfectly performed vocal abilities of the vocalist in question, which is unknown.

The instruments play perfectly in harmony with the vocal lines and chants. The guitars soar in an underlying layer and the drums are in the place they need to be. Exactly, as a part of the rhythm. This album is a black beat and tremolo driven album with just the right amount of subtle adjustments and additions such as bells from a clock ringing.

This album shook up my January and left me in awe. Batushka was something i never heard of before and now they will be playing my eardrums for at least a couple of years.

I am really interested and I hope that the members unmask themselves when the time is right.

Rating 9/10

This album comes really close to Mgła’s Exercises In Futility. Although it is a whole different way to create black metal.

It’s a fresh one. An atmospheric one. An album to enjoy as a whole.

Written by Joost van der Leij

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