Origin: Russia
Genre: Extreme Progressive Metal Folk Pagan Metal
Label: Metalism Records
Year: 2010

The pioneers of Russian pagan metal are back with a new album, 4 years after their previous full-length “Following the Sun” in 2006. Butterfly Temple were formed in 1995 and they have been one of the most memorable bands of their genre, since actually all Russian pagan groups are deeply influenced by them. After their first four albums that were all very different and innovative, their last two albums were a bit more “conservative” and typical, still of a high level though.

The expectations from a new album from this band are always very high. Especially this time, since their founder and front-man Lesyar, who left the band after the fourth album, returns as a guest member in the vocals. “Земля” has an amazing sound, very powerful, solid and clear, by far the most professional production of the band ever. Butterfly Temple are back to re-claim their throne and this album can make it for them. Abrey’s clean vocals are excellent and unbelievably expressive as always. It’s his best performance so far; he is really breathtaking. The combination with Lesyar’s unique brutal pagan screams touches perfection and his absence from the band was obvious in the previous works. They are the best Slavic pagan metal singers around and it’s great to listen them together again! There are also some female folk singers, adding more to the variety of this work. All lyrics are in Russian, dealing with nature inspired pagan themes and about our lost connection with long-suffering mother Earth.

The music itself is brilliant. Butterfly Temple had always been experimenting and changing from album to album. Some works had a folk approach, others a more epic, or doom, others a more dark and others an acoustic approach, but all of them with the “trademark” sound and scales of the band. This album is different, having their most “progressive metal” approach so far and their more “extreme” parts are limited to Lesyar’s participation. Of course their music is still melodic epic pagan metal with some folk and black touches, but there is an obvious “technical turn” in their sound. The compositions are really innovative, with many changes inside them and a very rich orchestration. There are parts where Abrey’s vocals run the show for the band, parts where an “old time” pagan black metal mood is dominant, other parts where guitars and synths focus on the typical Butterly Temple melodic sound and there are also some big instrumental parts in their songs, where their new progressive mood is more dominant. The 7 long songs in this album last 52 minutes totally, while the limited version has a bonus acoustic track plus a video.

Butterfly Temple left their old label and signed a deal with Metalism Records to release this album and distribute it also outside Russia. “Земля” is released both in normal jewel case edition and a limited digibook version with 20-page booklet. This album is recommended to every metal fan since it covers a great range of genres with really quality music. For me it’s one of the highlights of this year. You can check them on your own in their official page. I would like to listen to a more pagan folk black metal album from them again in the future, but I have to admit that everything in this album is of highest quality!


Rating:  (9,5/10)


Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos


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