Friendship ended with БАТЮШКА. Now БАТЮШКА is my best friend.



Readers may remember me naming the debut album by Polish Black/Doom Metal kinda-supergroup БАТЮШКА (Batushka for the normies) as the best album of 2016 that came out in mid-December 2015. The album originally came out on Polish label Witching Hour Productions, and while the band members’ identity was kept a secret until recently, back then it was rumored that WH head honcho Bartłomiej “Bart” Krysiuk had something to do with Batushka. Eventually the album was re-released by Metal Blade, and three years later the band are a household name in the not-so-deep part of the underground metal scene. The core members of the band were revealed to be Bart on vocals, guitarist “Kris” Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski and drummer Jacek “Jatzo” Łazarow.

The band recently wrapped up the final leg of touring for this album cycle and were expected to start working on a follow-up, but last Sunday Derph posted the following on Batushka’s official Instagram account @batushkaofficial, which as of now is shut down (more on that in a bit):

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, youtube channelбатюшка and mail 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

Okay, makes sense. I’d heard that Bart was known for being late, messing up orders and generally screwing customers over with the Witching Hour label, so it doesn’t take me a lot of mental effort to picture him scheming behind the scenes to cut the main songwriter out of a band to keep the brand to himself…

…and cut to today on the official Batushka Facebook page:

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!

Seeing as though the original Instagram account is no longer accessible, it looks like Bart is currently ahead in this particular branding war. I guess now it’s a question of waiting to see what camp puts out an album first, under what name, and if it sounds at all like the first album. All we need is a BATUSHKA A.D. in the mix and we’ll have ourselves a tried and tested Metal Soap Opera!! For now, I’m just gonna go ahead and trademark BATUSHKA OF FIRE and LUCA TURILLI’S BATUSHKA. Just in case.

At any rate, I think it’s extremely poignant that a band faking to be and/or paying tribute to being Orthodox Christians are now in the midst of a schism. If this is on purpose, it’s A-grade marketing; if it isn’t it’s just extremely funny.

Look for the new season of БАТЮШКА coming out sometime in 2019. By the looks of this teaser it seems like the plot will be much more intricate and convoluted than last time around.

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