Litourgiya – Batushka

Posted on October 31, 2016

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dsc_6242In December last year a new Black Metal band from Poland saw the light of the day, Batushka and their debut album Litourgiya became a huge success among Metal fans and everyone seemed to see something new and special in this group.
Litourgiya were everywhere so naturally I had to have a taste of it as well, and my first thought was that it was pretty okay.
Nothing bad in particular but I couldn’t see why basically EVERYONE loved this album, so I went back and forth wanting to find something to like about this band and album.
I mean, there had to be something special since all reviews praised it and the current rate on Metal Archives are 92 % based on 8 reviews. That is huge!

And since this album just kept popping up everywhere I recently decided to dive into it and yeah it is awesome..
I saw the live shot of “Ектения III: Премудрость” (Yekteniya III) on Youtube and I was actually blown away by their performance, both their musicianship and the stage performance.
This has to be the only Black Metal band (or Metal band in general) that has a choir on stage, yeah that’s right.. a fucking 3 piece choir on stage, fucking awesome and it sounds really great!

People seem to think Batushkas take on the Orthodox Liturgy and the Catholic Church are what makes them stick out from the rest of the generic Black Metal bands out there, and even though this topic isn’t THAT common there actually has been a lot of similar things during all the years.
I do however like that they did something a little different, but for me it is the chanting and vocal style that makes them stand out and creates their own character. And that is very important in this genre since most of the Black Metal bands out there lacks any form of character and it shows in their dull and gray sound, hence one of the reasons I think many people took a liking to these Polacks.

The sound of Litourgiya isn’t as dark, chaotic or speed frenzied as one would have thought when looking at their live shows or the album cover but it does have a very special atmosphere, proving that a Black Metal album doesn’t have to be an über-dark chaotic mess to still be great.
Don’t get me wrong, this album has its fast and chaotic moments, but it isn’t drowned in and thrives on speedy blast beats like Marduk for example and has at times some pretty complex/interesting song writing/structures.
This could be considered more of a mainstream sound but I think Batushka still does something unique and take inlfuences from several other genres, and that is something I think can appeal to many other fans even though it fell just a little short for me as I would prefer this album to be a little more darker than it is.dsc_4708-edit

The members identity is a secret but it is said they are members of other more famous bands, and most people seem to think they are the guys from Mgla and I can see why as they do seem close in shape, image and performance.. but I don’t care about that really.
Litourgiya is an awesome album that should be listened to from start to finish and the first pressing of it is already becoming a bit rare, so if you want it then track if down soon before it becomes a real collectable!
There is however a new printed CD in a jewel case so it’s all up to you of course, but I am a little of a collectors freak so I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this great first edition of the album.
It really is rare to get such majestic records in the Black Metal genre these days, so be sure to check it out if you are interested because this could very well be the best BM album in 2015, and maybe even for many years to come.

Hope to see more shit from Batushka in the future, this band really has a great potential to create some amazing albums.
A simple must buy for Black Metal fans.

8/10

Band Photo Used With Permission from Batushka

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