We have a fascinating story from the funderground, as a further indication that metal has decayed and metalheads, consumers and record companies are flies that reside inside its carcass. Four months ago, black metal band Batushka, a group of artists that flirts with Eastern Orthodox aesthetics, has split-up, yet under the guise of anonymity which they have been using for effect, the main songwriter and founder found himself outside of the band and the rest of the members grabbed the chance to present themselves as the true Batushka. However, the singer appears to have stolen all the right’s to the band’s music behind the rightful composer’s back and even prepared a new album under the same name. Now both Batushkas have released new songs. Let’s find out which is the real Batushka or the fake one! This is the video the self-proclaimed founder posted four months ago:
My name is Krzysztof “Derph” Drabikowski. Most of You know me by the moniker Христофоръ, the leader and creator of the musical project Batushka. I am recording this video because I have lost control over Batushka’s website, Facebook page, webstore and as of Tuesday, even the Instagram account. This is the only way I can tell You what is happening and how my former vocalist is trying to take the band away from me. I created Batushka in the spring of 2015. I am the author of the music, lyrics, the name, the painting that you know from the album cover and the overall monk image idea. I have made the musical arrangements, wrote the melodies and recorded most of the instruments on the Litourgiya album in my private home studio. Before the finishing touches I invited Bartłomiej Krysiuk to do the vocals according to my guidelines, and Marcin Bielemiuk to re-record my drums parts on acoustic percussion. Batushka was meant to be an anonymous musical project, and from the beginning the idea was to keep the line-up unknown to the public so that the listeners could focus their attention on the musical experience itself. The album, released by Krysiuk’s underground label, became a hit. The demand for live shows from all over the world was enormous. So, I decided to, with the help of my friends, bring Batushka’s music on to the live stage. During the past two years I have written and recorded the material for the second Batushka album, and Krysiuk pressed me to release it as soon as possible. As I wasn’t satisfied with the results yet, I postponed the release of the follower of Litourgiya which followed with Krysiuk declaring he is leaving the band. On the Friday of the 21st of December I learned that Krysiuk hired musicians to produce an album that he planned to release as the new Batushka record, behind my back! He also registered Batushka as his personal trademark. Before I managed to do anything, he cut off my access to all Batushka’s media platforms, and tries to enforce some kind of censorship on all media interested in the band situation. In response I have taken legal action and have been advised by my lawyer to not say anything further. All the new pictures you see on the website and Facebook page are of Krysiuk and random people like his son pretending to be Batushka. Every upcoming festival claiming to have Batushka in their line-up has made a deal with Krysiuk and not me. I would like to kindly ask You to copy and share this message wherever You can. Let the truth be heard. As of now the only true Batushka will be that without Krysiuk behind the mic. – From the above video on Batushka’s official channel.
How do we know that this is true? Well, we can’t be but if you are familiar with the group’s music, you can check the following video, posted one week ago (comments are on):
The next video was uploaded by the previous band members led by Krysiuk, the singer, three days ago. Sadly, the poor idiot had to close all comments on their new video-clip which can be found there:
The difference is obvious. The first follows the regular church-patterns in the style of the previous record and signifies a professional degree of musicianship. The second sounds literally like a vomit of every random post-black metal elements you can find within the last twenty years written by fifteen-year olds. Honestly, did they really think they would get away with that?
Commenters are really wondering how Metal Blade Records have signed a deal with fake Batushka while there is a court order that prohibits Krysiuk from using the name. Perhaps it is because he registered the trademark, although the author has no knowledge of legalisms, it could also be that Krysiuk registered the name in the USA while in EU it would take longer for author rights to be executed. Anyhow, this is going to affect Metal Blade’s prestige and lacking other information, rightfully so. It is highly unlikely that they didn’t know who each member was.
The author would be very interested to see what would happen if Krzysztof hadn’t made the announcement. Would the average metalheads, a herd that during recent times has failed to listen to music critically, nevermind enjoy and promote anything of quality, realize that something was wrong?
I highly respect Krzysztof’s opinion that identity should be hidden when black metal is concerned. I also think that album covers should be abolished (Fenriz’s rightful view, the importance of which I hadn’t realized until I tried to make music reviews), since, in the end, they detract from the first listening experience by (quite often) being better than the music itself.
Batushka used to provide interesting live concerts, since their ritualistic nature and the mystery surrounding the band – as well as their unknown religious views – created a successful atmosphere. Now this is gone. It remains to be seen whether this man will manage to find justice against the impostors.
Regardless, such petty things are rampant – remember Dimmu Borgir’s case with Mustis – and define the state of metal that is not, well, hidden as fuck in the depths of Terra like Condor and Desecrecy. Such lies, cheats and scams, are just little hints that this movement has been ‘dead to the world’ for more than two decades.