BUTTERFLY TEMPLE – The Times of Mara

Origin: Russia
Genre: Pagan Metal
Label: Irond Ltd Sleaszy Rider Records
Year: 2005

Butterfly Temple is one of my favorite bands. They are from Russia and they are one of the first bands, if not the first, that introduced pagan folk black/doom metal in this huge country with the rich music tradition. They were formed in 1995 and many years later countless bands from Russia followed their steps, with Arkona being the most known of them.

So far all Butterfly Temple releases were by Russian labels (mainly Irond) and they didn’t get very good distribution outside the Baltic lands. “Время Мары – The Times of Mara” was initially released in 2005 by Irond Ltd and now in 2008 is re-released by the Greek label Sleaszy Rider, hoping to get them the distribution they deserve. It is the fifth album of the band and after it they have also released “Following the Sun” in 2006. It is also their first work without the charismatic Alexey “Lesyar” Agafonov (now in Nevid, Kramola, was also in Arkona) in the vocals. He helped though in the composition of 2 songs…

Butterfly Temple was always a very melodic band influenced by Moonspell’s “Wolfheart”, where keyboards have a very important role in the melodies, but their strong card was always the vocals. There is a great mix of black/death screams (so far by Lesyar), many female vocals and Russian choirs, as well as the amazing clean vocals of Abrey, that are somehow a trademark for the band. So now, without Lesyar in the black vocals (Miron took his place), Abrey has the first role and clean vocals are more dominant than ever. Maybe the band lost somehow in it’s strength and brutality, but gained a lot in melody… Another interesting change is the absence of folk elements, that were present in many of their previous works. Anyway the compositions and orchestrations are very good, with a melancholic epic pagan feeling all over them. They have a very personal sound (something really rare in this genre) with excellent vocals and a great variety in the songs. From melodic doom, to epic black metal and almost funeral ballads, all of highest quality. Lyrics are in Russian and the cd comes with bonus multimedia material (video, photos, etc.) There also a hidden track, a live cover of a couple of Moonspell’s songs from “Wolfheart”.

Even though their previous album “Tropoyu Krovi po Vole Roda” is my personal favorite of the band, I can’t give them less than 9. If you like pagan metal and you don’t know them, you lose, they definitely worth a try. You can visit their official page for more info.


Rating:  (9/10)


Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos


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