Three days ago, on May 26th, 2019 Batushka released its second album titled Панихида. What? I though new record is due on July 12th? Yes, but that's different Batushka. Well, different but kind of same...
And just like that the world has Batushka puzzle to solve. I really don't have a horse in this race yet (I'll get back to it at the end) so, below I'm just going to list the facts and hope that by the end of this whole ordeal the true and rightful side gets back the original name and all publishing rights. But in my humble opinion (outside of the fact we share same first name) if Krys really wrote all the music, lyrics and was the man behind the concept then there's not much to argue about. Unfortunately we all know that truth doesn't always win and money influence decisions on way more important matters than band names. Not to mention in most cases like this, the truth always lays somewhere in between so, I'm not holding my breath here.
OK, those are the facts so far. As most of you following metal realms know, by the end of 2018 based on Krzysztof "христофоръ" Drabikowski post, the band decided to split with Bartłomiej "Bart" Krysiuk "due to inappropriate behavior on his part".
An important announcement has to be made today. I have decided to part ways with batushka’s singer варфоломей (bartłomiej krysiuk) due to inappropriate behavior on his part. There were attempts to take my creation batushka away from me, with the result that he will not continue to be a member of that music project and the upcoming album ‘панихида’ will not feature his voice. As songs may emerge that are not written by me but labelled as ‘batushka‘, i hereby announce that my instagram profile instagram.com/batushkaofficial, youtube channel youtube.com/c/батюшка and mail email@example.com are now the only means of contacting me. Please share this information on social media channels.
Thank you all for support and understanding
Krzysztof “христофоръ” Drabikowski
Few days later Krysiuk announced the he'd fired Drabikowski and that "Batushka is moving ahead with plans to release new music and begin a new touring cycle in 2019!"
We would like to address the statement published on the (then) Batushka Instagram last Sunday:
Kris, our former guitarist, was told earlier this month that he would not participate in Batushka activities as we move into 2019. Kris was disappointed but understanding. We tried on multiple occasions to regain access to the Instagram page which was solely controlled by Kris. We had hoped that Kris would follow through with his promises to hand back control of Batushka’s Instagram but clearly that was not the case. This prompted a claim to have any pages operated by Kris, shut down based on intellectual property and trademark ownership.
Rest assured, everything will be reinstated soon!
Batushka is moving ahead with plans to release new music and begin a new touring cycle in 2019!
And soon after that Drabikowski made a YouTube video with the following statement:
My name is Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski. Most of You know me by the moniker Христофоръ, the leader and creator of the musical project Batushka. I am recording this video because I have lost control over Batushka’s website, Facebook page, webstore and as of Tuesday, even the Instagram account. This is the only way I can tell You what is happening and how my former vocalist is trying to take the band away from me. I created Batushka in the spring of 2015. I am the author of the music, lyrics, the name, the painting that you know from the album cover and the overall monk image idea. I have made the musical arrangements, wrote the melodies and recorded most of the instruments on the Litourgiya album in my private home studio. Before the finishing touches I invited Bartłomiej Krysiuk to do the vocals according to my guidelines, and Marcin Bielemiuk to re-record my drums parts on acoustic percussion. Batushka was meant to be an anonymous musical project, and from the beginning the idea was to keep the line-up unknown to the public so that the listeners could focus their attention on the musical experience itself.
The album, released by Krysiuk’s underground label, became a hit. The demand for live shows from all over the world was enormous. So, I decided to, with the help of my friends, bring Batushka's music on to the live stage. During the past two years I have written and recorded the material for the second Batushka album, and Krysiuk pressed me to release it as soon as possible. As I wasn't satisfied with the results yet, I postponed the release of the follower of Litourgiya which followed with Krysiuk declaring he is leaving the band. On the Friday of the 21st of December I learned that Krysiuk hired musicians to produce an album that he planned to release as the new Batushka record, behind my back! He also registered Batushka as his personal trademark. Before I managed to do anything, he cut off my access to all Batushka's media platforms, and tries to enforce some kind of censorship on all media interested in the band situation. In response I have taken legal action and have been advised by my lawyer to not say anything further. All the new pictures you see on the website and Facebook page are of Krysiuk and random people like his son pretending to be Batushka. Every upcoming festival claiming to have Batushka in their line-up has made a deal with Krysiuk and not me. I would like to kindly ask You to copy and share this message wherever You can. Let the truth be heard.
As of now the only true Batushka will be that without Krysiuk behind the mic.
Thank You for watching and thank You for Your support.
So, now we have 2 Batushka(s), 3 if we include original one with all members involved and months if not years of legal battles, lawyers and Internet shitstorms. What's amazing is that in the middle of all this mess both parties recorded new albums and both have potential to be staggering releases. Well, one already is. Krys' Batushka has its album out titled Панихида and it really sounds like a continuation of Litourgiya. I was afraid that with such unique concept it would be almost impossible not to sound like a copy of the debut but I was wrong. The new record surpasses its predecessor on all levels. It's more atmospheric and at this same time more dynamic and shows wider range of emotions drifting from rage to despair. Subtle melodies intertwine with raging guitars and pummeling drums creating countless head-banging moments over perfect vocals, let it be choirs or sick high pitched shrieks.
On the other hand Krysiuk's Batushka is scheduled for July 12th release via Metal Blade Records and video for the first single 'Polunosznica' steers deeper into black metal territories. After first 3 minutes of almost intro like atmosphere building melody, Krysiuk's Batushka goes into overdrive with blasts only over screams and choirs. While characteristically orthodox chants are still there they sound as performed by mixed choir rather than male only group of monks. All this could point into the new areas that Batushka could explore in the future to avoid chasing its tail and not just making Litourgiya II.
I know for some it's impossible question to answer without separating the ongoing legal battles but for a second let's have fun and assume those are just two different bands under same name (we have plenty of those in every genre). So, which Batushka album/sound direction do you prefer? For me the answer is quite simple and can be summarized with just one sentence. Krys' Batushka and Панихида is an album of the year contender! Sorry Metal Blade but it looks like you'd signed the wrong Batushka and if for some legal fucking reason I won't be able to buy Панихида on vinyl I will have a horse, stable and an army of jockeys in this race.
And since we're all about having fun here, imagine if those two knuckleheads actually worked together!