Ah yes, Batushka. The never-ending saga of a deal gone sour. Two former partners that peck at each other like angry cocks. And that, from one of the most promising Black Metal outfits.
Now, some time ago, the crew over here decided to cover both parties. And I’m afraid that the 2019 record Hospodi did not necessarily get great grades in the process. Aggressive it was, true. But the band around Bartłomiej Krysiuk presented a tune so generic it was neither here nor there.
Now, barely one year after that specific bone of contention, we get Raskol. And it looks like the Dark Lord heard our not-so-subtle invocations. This short blurb of some 30 minutes bases itself much more solidly on that unique sound Batushka is famous for.
You surely remember the surprise everyone expressed once Litourgyia leaked out to the public. This superb idea to project Black Metal through churchly chanting needed some time to get used to. But – finally – it was exactly what the good doctor ordered. And truly, Raskol here hits the essence spot on. Something that was sorely missing from their 2019 record.
And this is no copy/paste job. Batushka finally projected their own considerable firepower onto that template the first record displayed so ardently. You see, we don’t look for the same sound all over again. But one always appreciates some continuity and that refreshing feeling of new beginnings. But just one that makes sense in the overall concept.
And this is what Raskol delivers.
A pretty juicy exploit that I did not think possible after Hospodi hit our turntable. A brand of Black Metal at almost ritualistic levels. Coarse, powerful, fiery, and fully embedded in the overall scheme. With that trademark chanting that – finally – adds some serious meat on those dreary bones of theirs.
Raskol contains no confusion this time, this is spot on. And with a subtle progression that will bring their brand of Black and Post Black Metal to a powerful end once IRMOS V steps off the stage.
Boy, well done. That’s what I call a turnaround. And now we yearn to see them live. Once that damned virus left us for good.
Oh, and where’s that full length that’s certainly cooking somewhere? The deck crew over here is waiting.
Meantime, here’s a sample for your listening pleasure: