This post will be the first of two covering a pair albums born from an odd and unfavorable situation. The mysterious Batushka, a Polish Black Metal band inspired by Eastern Orthodoxy, is now split in a strange legal situation where the original artist has be shunned and seemingly screwed over legally as his hired band mates leveraged ownership of the band itself. Panihida is the record released by original artist Krzysztof Drabikowski, its a notch lower on production value as he does not have the resources a record label like Metal Blade does. They have also been dead silent on the situation, no response to Drabikowski's claims have been made.
I will kick it off by saying the tone and temperament of this follow up record holds true to Litourgiya. It lacks the impact the Gregorian clean vocals initially wooed fans with but that is to be expected. This time around another listed set of eight tracks go through the typical motions of extreme music, blasting drums rattle the cage and meaty rhythm guitars chime in duality with shrill tremolo picking that scales tarnished melodies. Soft choral synths and theologian singing softly line the crevasses but the best moments always seem born of their uprising to the forefront.
There isn't much in the barraging of evil metallic onslaught that feels special. Its well performed but tends to go through the motions sustaining the evil orthodoxy atmosphere. All the best moments are birthed through breaks from intensity. On occasion softy guitar leads bring melodic uplift but they are scarce. In the right mood it can be very enjoyable but it lacks that ability to suck you in regardless. The impact of the first record had that but this follow up is simply more of the same. I will write on the other record tomorrow and say now this is the better of the two but not by much.