PLBM Podcast – Episode 1

The pilot episode of the Peace Love Black Metal Podcast is now online on Soundcloud.

Track listing, and where to support the bands:

Nevalra – Terror Throne

Vukari – Cursus Honorum

Batushka – Yekteniya III

Blazing Eternity – Over Sorte Heder

Naðra – Forn

Antlers – To The Throats

Thunderwar – Black Storm Will Unfold

Chaoscraft – Craft Of Deceit

Moonsorrow – Suden Tunti

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Blood Sabbath

Sol Sistere – Death Knell

Show Me A Dinosaur – Wojna


Video/Batushka/Live In Paris

Only two days ago one of the most hyped bands on the black metal scene, took the stage at  Le Gibus in Paris, France. One concertgoer recorded the whole thing on his phone, I guess, and uploaded it to youtube.

Watching that performance I’m still pretty sure that it’s “just” Hermh in new feathers – as I claimed in my review a couple of months ago.

Edit: the stature and pressence of the vocalist does look a lot like Bart..

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Apparently Batushka have been receiving threats, relating to the Russian leg of the current European tour.

Orthodox extremists have been making threats to cause trouble if the band goes forth, and perform as planned.

Here is the official statement, posted on Facebook by Witching Hour Productions and Batushka, regarding the Moscow shows:

“Dear Friends & supporters in Russia, It is with sincere regret that we would like to inform you that we have to cancel both our shows in Moscow. We had all the approvals and “green light” from the Russian Police, immigration control and responsible officials. Unfortunately we received threats from extremists affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church stating that they will beat up and even kill people attending to both shows. Since it’s beyond our control and we are not able to assure that the concerts will be 100% safe for both the audience and us we are forced to cancel both of them immediately. Hope you understand. We would like to thank our Russian promoter for his tremendous work & support he gave us. Once again, we truly apologize and hope that some day we will be able to perform on Russian soil. Stay safe! – БАТЮШКА”

While Islamic extremists, and their insane acts, are making headlines across the world – this incident politely reminds us, that idiots comes in all sizes, colours and with every religious view possible.

From the beginning men used God to justify the unjustifiable.

Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses

Fight the unjustifiable, fight every  religious coward that defends his actions in the name of any god..

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A couple of months ago I came across this band totally unknown to me.. Batushka it said on the bandcamp profile. A quick google-session revealed that it supposedly consisted of members from other well know bands; their identities well hidden behind their orthodox (?) robes.

About a month later, I got my hands on the cd-version of the album. The cover of the debut album “Litourgiya” gives us only few hints of the members real identities – but perhaps it’s enough, for us to solve the puzzle. Кристофор (bass, guitar and vocals), Мартин (Drums) and Варфоломей (vocals) are the names credited on this excellent album.

If you run the three cyrillic spelled names through Google translate, you end up with Christopher, Martin and Bartholemew. There is great consensus on some of the metal-boards I follow, that the latter is in fact Bartłomiej Krysiuk – the owner of Witching Hour Productions, and vocalist of the Polish symphonic black metal band Hermh. The album is also released through Witching Hour Productions.

Should one choose to speculate on the identities of the other members, then it’s propably worth noticing, that the guitarist in the latest known lineup of Hermh, is named Krzysztof Drabikowski; adding fuel to the rumour that Batushka is probably Hermh in new feathers.

The religous imagery makes sense the second you push play;  orthodox chants dominates this record from the beginning to the end – creating a dark and intense, yet, highly spiritual atmosphere.

The first track that  personally caught my attention was Yekteniya III. The track starts of with the subtle sound of bells and chants, but quickly gets overtaken by aggressive guitars and powerful blastbeats. A minute and half through the song, THE riff of the album kicks in; groovy as f***..

My obsession with the track led me to neglecting the rest of the album – and in the beginning, I almost forgot to play the album to the end; replaying the same track over and over again. What a mistake, because this album really starts growing the minute you begin to see it as a whole. Everything melts together: the doomy and gloomy passages, the never ending flow of massive riffs, the more traditional black metal vocals and shrieks. On top of all that, the chants and choirs..

I’m not going into a debate whether these are samples, or not. I’ve seen people argueing that the orthodox chants doesn’t sound organic enough, and might be performed in different languages. In my case it’s a matter of “don’t know – don’t care.” I think it suits the cold atmosphere just fine, and works as an integrated part that binds the whole thing together – samples or not..

This is a great metal record, and it might just be one of those boundary breaking releases, that ends up attracting more people to the black metal scene.

The Big question now is, where should they go from here? Right now they’ve released a quite succesful album; is it possible to create a follow up to this record, without repeating it self – the distinct sound and image in mind? The band addressed this issue themselves on facebook a couple of weeks ago, in a link to an interview done by Noise Magazine.

So, how great is your Polish?

“Płyta Litourgiya poszła po internetach, wytworzył się wokół was szum, z nieodłącznym sieciowym hejtem, ale też zebraliście laury jako jeden z najlepszych, jeśli nie najlepszy debiut na polskiej metalowej scenie roku 2015… No i co teraz? Jaki jest pomysł na następną płytę?
-Takiej samej płyty na pewno nie ma sensu nagrywać. Nie wyznaczamy sobie jakichkolwiek konkretnych celów czy planów. A pomysł na następną? Nie ma żadnego pomysłu na następną. Zresztą na Litourgiyę przed rozpoczęciem rejestracji śladów też nie było pomysłu. Na razie nic nie wiadomo.”

As I perceive it, after running the above through google translate, there is no immediate plan or intentions to do a “Litourgiya II.” Instead we should might expect something different on the next release.
Until then you should do them justice – and go buy one of the most refreshing (black) metal albums of 2015.
Update!!! Still want to know the the true identities of the three guys behind Batushka? I think I have solved the puzzle.. The blog is in Danish, but feel free to ask in English if you don’t understand a word, or the Facebook translation fucks up.. Direct link below..