Batushka - Panihida (2019)
By now everyone knows the story of the implosion of Батюшка [Batushka] and the ridiculous situation of two iterations of the band releasing albums close together. To be honest, to me, that's just so much bullshit that belongs in the pages of some worthless metal rag - what's really important is the music. Litourgiya was a refreshingly original release in the black metal world with it's combination of BM and liturgical chants, but now we have two interpretations of how this idea evolves. This, Krzysztof Drabikowski's version, takes the route of a greater emphasis on the metal aspect and incorporating the chants in a more subtle way. The result is a mighty fine melodic black metal album in a more orthodox sense, the chanting adding an additional dimension to the sound. Although I love the original album, this is a very good follow-up and should appeal to anyone who did enjoy Litourgiya (and loves melodic BM in general).