Batushka returns with a new five-track, over thirty-minute long EP entitled "РАСКОЛ" / "RASKOL". The title itself, which means a split, a schism, refers to the story contained in the new release but is also an allegory of the current situation of the band.
RASKOL is a five-part story contained in the songs - Irmoses, combined into one coherent whole. The lyrical part of the story was created based on own interpretations of the texts contained in the "Sticherarion" book which disappeared from common liturgical use after the reform of liturgical books carried out by Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century. As of today, this book is used by Old Believers of all confessions and was one of the reasons for the Great Schism of the 17th century and the division in the Orthodox Church.
Musically, the band returns to its roots, skillfully expanding the atmosphere of the 2015 debut, giving it a new, developed form of a dark monastic sound. You can also hear another step in the musical development of the band and inspirations from the Eastern Orthodox culture, not only relating to Byzantine Greece or the Russian monody.
Maciej Szupica, an artist from Podlasie, took care of the graphic concept of the release as well as the cover art. The recordings took place in May this year in which the entire eight-person ensemble participated.