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The Batushka Conflict

Mr. Gregory

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Mar 28, 2018
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418
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New Jersey
#1
So, this has been a pretty big story in the underground metal scene for a while now. Let's talk about it.

Batushka is a solid Polish black metal band. Their debut album, Litourgiya, came out a few years ago and was very good. It had a mixture of frenetic, fast-paced black metal with clearly audible bass (which is a rarity in black metal) and slower, atmospheric portions that had Eastern Orthodox chanting, which made it pretty unique.

After that album was released and generated a lot of buzz, the band was getting pressured to tour and to release a second album. Krzysztof Drabikowski, who, per his account, is essentially the original mastermind behind the band (he's the original guitarist and composer), and Bartłomiej Krysiuk, who Krzysztof originally recruited to do vocals, had some sort of a falling out. They're currently embroiled in a legal fight for the right to use the Batushka name and are continuing to make music, separately, under that moniker. Krzysztof is saying that Bart is stealing the Batushka name and idea/concept from him.

Metal Blade Records signed Bart's band, and both he and Krzysztof have released new albums this year. Krzysztof's album, Panichida, came out in May, and Bart's album, Hospodi, dropped yesterday. As of right now, comments are disabled on the videos of Hospodi singles. I noticed that they had way more downlikes than uplikes, and I saw most people in the comments on the Hospodi full album stream video trashing it, saying Krzysztof's Batushka is the real one, that Bart is a thief, etc. I immediately thought of the Leaves' Eyes situation and said "here we go again."

Then I watched a video that Anthony Fantano, a well known music reviewer on YouTube, made on the subject. He pointed out a video that Krzysztof posted last December, which I didn't know existed.


After watching that, I then proceeded to listen to both Krzysztof's and Bart's albums. At the end of the day, the music doesn't lie, and it quickly became clear to me that Krzysztof was telling the truth about being the mastermind behind the band, as Fantano said in his video and as others have said in comments on the other videos. His album sounds almost exactly like Litourgiya. Bart's isn't terrible, but it clearly sounds like an entirely different band.

I don't normally take sides in music conflicts, because I'm really just here for the music, but I just couldn't stay neutral here. Bart shouldn't be able to just cash in using Krzysztof's idea, and that's essentially what I think he's trying to do. I think he just got impatient waiting for Krzysztof to finish up his work, and he was just like "screw it, I want this money now." Sadly, I think Metal Blade Records, a label I really like, probably went into it with the same mentality.

What do you guys think? All three albums are posted below. If you don't care to listen to the whole thing, it shouldn't take you more than five or ten minutes from each album to draw a conclusion.

Litourgiya (Batushka's debut album)


Panichida (Krzysztof's album)


Hospodi (Bart's album)

 
Last edited:

Magic

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#2
Honestly, I don't know this band, so I cant make any comments on the "situation". I have seen this happen with other bands, though, like Queensryche. For some reason, the vocalist is usually who consumers associate as a band's leader (and mastermind) when that is not always the fact. I am sure a court will finally settle the issue..........


I did listen to a few minutes of each video posted above. I feel that "Bart" has taken Krzysztof's musical ideas, but Bart has a huge record label behind him. There is enough variation in sound and music that it is really difficult to call Bart's album a rip off, though.

As far as the big problem goes, I think it lies with Metal Blade by the promotion of "Batushka" with Bart's album. Clearly it is not Batuska and I think this has fans very upset, and rightfully so. I am glad Krzysztof's fans are standing behind him and buying his release for support!!!!!!!

Edit: The Batushka music is very good. I did go on and listen to the Batushka debut. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, though, but the music is complex and worth the listen.
 

Mr. Gregory

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Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
418
Location
New Jersey
#3
Honestly, I don't know this band, so I cant make any comments on the "situation". I have seen this happen with other bands, though, like Queensryche. For some reason, the vocalist is usually who consumers associate as a band's leader (and mastermind) when that is not always the fact. I am sure a court will finally settle the issue..........


I did listen to a few minutes of each video posted above. I feel that "Bart" has taken Krzysztof's musical ideas, but Bart has a huge record label behind him. There is enough variation in sound and music that it is really difficult to call Bart's album a rip off, though.

As far as the big problem goes, I think it lies with Metal Blade by the promotion of "Batushka" with Bart's album. Clearly it is not Batuska and I think this has fans very upset, and rightfully so. I am glad Krzysztof's fans are standing behind him and buying his release for support!!!!!!!

Edit: The Batushka music is very good. I did go on and listen to the Batushka debut. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, though, but the music is complex and worth the listen.
Yeah, Hospodi isn't a rip off, per-se. Bart basically just took the Batushka name/idea and made his own music. Like, you can clearly tell that Batushka was Krzysztof's brainchild just from listening to Panichida.

Here's Anthony Fantano's breakdown. I could probably have saved all the time I spent writing about this and just posted his video with an "I agree" meme/gif underneath. Ha ha. He said everything I said and more, much more eloquently and in far greater detail. He posted links to Bart's and Martin Bielemiuk's (former Batushka drummer) Facebook responses to Krzysztof's video in the description.


As Fantano alluded to, their responses didn't really do much to invalidate anything that Krzysztof said IMO. From Martin's post, it sounds to me like Krzysztof wanted to keep Batushka as a more underground project, didn't care about doing live shows, etc., and Bart wanted bigger things for the band. Sure, I get it, but come on, bro. You can't just snatch the man's gimmick like that. :gig:

As an aside, I like Anthony Fantano. I don't often agree with his reviews, because he generally looks at music from a much more technical standpoint than I do, but I always appreciate his perspective.
 

Magic

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#4
As an aside, I like Anthony Fantano. I don't often agree with his reviews, because he generally looks at music from a much more technical standpoint than I do, but I always appreciate his perspective.

I like Anthony, too. I don't have time to watch him much anymore..........however, I use to watch him on his channel "The Needle Drop"....evidently he has 2 channels.

I like his segments called "let's argue"......lol

my family wanted me to start a review channel. Put a spike collar on, spike my hair,......and make a fool of myself....
 

Mr. Gregory

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Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
418
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New Jersey
#5
I like Anthony, too. I don't have time to watch him much anymore..........however, I use to watch him on his channel "The Needle Drop"....evidently he has 2 channels.

I like his segments called "let's argue"......lol
Yeah, he has at least two channels...possibly more. I only knew of his Needle Drop channel until I stumbled across that video. I've never seen those segments you speak of, but they sound interesting. Ha ha.

Another YouTube reviewer I really like is Coverkillernation. He comes across as a chill, down-to-earth metalhead. I always enjoy hearing his take on things too.

my family wanted me to start a review channel. Put a spike collar on, spike my hair,......and make a fool of myself....


Do it!
 

Magic

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#6
LOL....

I think I will just stick to writing reviews. No one wants to see a crazy, old, gray haired lady doing metalhead reviews. :roflmao

When I am writing, I get to the point without a lot of fluff. If I am talking, I can get long winded and ramble. Plus I sometimes spew crazy crap when I am talking......and I have a very distinct southern accent. I don't think anyone would find me credible when I sound like I come from deep in the hollers where they quit school in the 4th grade.:p
 

Mr. Gregory

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
418
Location
New Jersey
#8
LOL....

I think I will just stick to writing reviews. No one wants to see a crazy, old, gray haired lady doing metalhead reviews. :roflmao

When I am writing, I get to the point without a lot of fluff. If I am talking, I can get long winded and ramble. Plus I sometimes spew crazy crap when I am talking......and I have a very distinct southern accent. I don't think anyone would find me credible when I sound like I come from deep in the hollers where they quit school in the 4th grade.:p
This is all I have to say to anyone who would question your credibility as a metal reviewer or as a metalhead simply because of your accent, appearance, age, or any other silly, superficial reason: