Polish black metal band Batushka came crashing into the metal world with their classic 2015 album Литоургиiа. Unfortunately, drama eclipsed the band in 2018 when half of the original Batushka duo vocalist Bartłomiej "Барфоломей" Krysiuk signed to Metal Blade and carried on the band’s name with its 2018 album Господи. Other half, multi-instrumentalist Krzysztof "Христофор" Drabikowski, has since made attempts to release music under the Batushka name, specifically in 2019 with the Панихида, but was met with legal action over the use of the name. As the battle wears on behind closed doors, Krysiuk shows no signs of slowing down.

Batushka has since released the Раскол EP in 2020 and a live album titled Черная Литургия recorded as a part of the Colombian Festival Rock al Parque livestream event. Today we're premiering the next chapter of the Batushka saga in the form of the band's brand-new EP Царю Небесный. Царю Небесный finds Batushka at its most aggressive to date, seemingly tearing the veil off their usual reverent religious selves and charging headlong down the aisle and straight out into the freezing cold.

Coupled with guest appearances from several musicians from regional folk groups and orchestra and an equally-cold looking cover art piece designed by long-time collaborator Maciej Szupica, Царю Небесный simply has more weight to it than previous releases. While I’m sure there will always be Литоургиiа-era purists crying for a return to the band’s original duo, Царю Небесный is an undeniable new landmark for the band that should quiet most of those voices. Listen to an exclusive pre-release stream of Царю Небесный below.

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Царю Небесный is out March 19. Pre-orders are available through Witching Hour Productions and through Bandcamp.

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