Batushka - Hospodi (2019)


Stepping aside from all the controversy behind the band, we are just glad that we finally get a follow up to the amazing 2015 “Litourgiya” release. The Metal Blade signed and Bartłomiej Krysiuk-led Batushka delivers a very powerful release that is filled with interesting ideas and a massive atmospheric component. Featuring ten tracks, this release explores a more Black Metal side of things with pummeling tracks that are brilliantly balanced by eerie choir arrangements and superb drumming.

After setting a somber opening chants in “Wozglas”, the band explodes into the catchiness of “Dziewiatyj czas”. This song perfectly blends vicious Black Metal onslaughts with dreamy chants and a very melodic guitar driven vibe, similar to bands like Thyrfing and Vreid. The album’s second single, “Wieczernia” delivers another hellish onslaught of harsh vocals paired with funky guitars, which are quite punishing in nature. In “Powieczerje” we get an interesting mix of classic rock thrown into the band’s atmospheric style, creating a very unique and engaging song that is hard to not listen to over and over.

Crafting a very unsettling atmosphere, “Polunosznica” nicely builds up into a heavy daze of clean vocals, hellish shrieks and furious blast beats, all perfectly blended into a highly atmospheric and brilliant song. The band’s melodic brilliance shines again in the superb “Pierwyj czas”, a track which features crushing guitar work and nice tempo changes. The best tracks in the release have to be the devastating trio of “Pierwyj czas”, “Tretij czas”, and “Szestoj Czas”, which create a very powerful and humbling atmosphere. The band’s ability to carve ethereal chants and catchy melodic passages into their ravaging brutality is uncanny and their biggest strength in this release.

Closing with the outstanding “Liturgiya”, Batushka has treated us to a superb release that constantly sends chills down your spine thanks to their Orthodox chants. While this release is clearly different than “Litourgiya”, it does create similar atmospheres at times, while feeling more direct and raw in nature. “Hospodi” delivers the next chapter in Batushka’s book and it works wonderfully live, as we have seen them perform at Wave Gotik Treffen 2019 (gallery here). If you like good Black Metal and are impartial to all the controversies, this is one hell of a release that you should give more than a chance to.

Bands: Batushka Album: Hospodi

Label: Metal Blade Records

Release: July 12th, 2019

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Poland

Rating: 95/100

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