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Batushka – Hospodi

Batushka
Hospodi
by John Paul Romero at 15 August 2019, 10:15 PM

When the news broke out that both halves of the original BATUSHKA will release their own BATUSHKA albums, one question arose: if two Batushkas would release two BATUSHKA albums, which BATUSHKA would release which BATUSHKA album? Sounds like a confusion, right? Google is just as confused about which BATUSHKA is which as you are, so I will not make this one difficult for you. In this review, what we’ll tackle is Bartholomew’s BATUSHKA and their album called “Hospodi”.

If you have heard the very first BATUSHKA album “Littourgiya”, you might just anticipate what’s within this album. The Catholic Church vibe in the songs is the staple of that album, and that remains the case for “Hospodi”. The main difference is how the vocals was placed in the mix. In “Littourgiya”, the vocals were a bit pushed behind in the mix to give more emphasis to the music’s haunting atmosphere duly provided by the guitars and the bass. In this album, the vocals stand just rightfully on top of the production, but without completely stealing the attention. The sick riffs are still the top priority here, and of course the double-kicking restless drums. “Dziewiatyj Czas” starts the game right after the ritual “Wozglas”. The riffs are on point, the energy is sky high, and the blasphemy is on.

There are also some bits of BEHEMOTH references in the song “Powieczerje”, with its dark melody and raw nature. The heaviest moments in the album are in the songs “Tretij Czas” and “Szestoj Czas”. The songs have the slowest tempo in the album, and it also has really sinister, heavy and epic buildups in the intro (specially the former). The mentioned songs are placed consecutively, and I can assure you that those ten minutes consumed by the two songs are pure heaviness and intensity. It has everything – the crunchy riffs, the heavy-beating drums, the unapologetic vocals, the church choirs, and the beefy bass. But among the ten songs in the album, the one right at the closing end stands out as the great opus – “Liturgiya”. As the title hints, the song sound really like a homage to the well-received debut album – back when there was only one BATUSHKA. It kind of summarizes what that album was all about. The signature riffs are there, and the overall vibe is very well reenacted. It is almost 80% instrumental, but it’s undeniably that one song that will give you goosebumps all over your body.

Among the equally epic tracks, one song really caught my attention particularly for its intro. And that song is “Wieczernia”, the third song off the album. What does the intro sound like, you ask? Well, this might be awkward but, it sounded like GHOST. Yup, I’m talking about Tobias Forge’s baby. But worry not though, because it was only primarily about the drumming pattern. And after the brief intro, it’s all-out bloodshed.

So, we just settled half of the question I mentioned above. This album, “Hospodi” is a high-caliber release, both in terms of songwriting and production. The execution is really swift and tight, giving you no room to chill at all. One thing I’m very confused though is how I’ll rate its originality, because you know, there are now a total of three BATUSHKAs, if we’ll count the original one as a separate entity – and all sound pretty similar. Overall, it’s an excellent release.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 5
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Wozglas
2. Dziewiatyj Czas
3. Wieczernia
4. Powieczerje
5. Polunosznica
6. Ulternia
7. Pierwyj Czas
8. Tretij Czas
9. Szestoj Czas
10. Liturgiya
Lineup:
Варфоломей – Vocals
Paweł Jaroszewicz – Drums
Record Label: Metal Blade Records
     


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