Origin: Russia
Genre: Pagan Metal
Label: Mazzar Records
Year: 2012

Butterfly Temple are still alive and they have released their new work “Дыхание“, their 8th full-length album. Do you know the mythical serpent Lernaean Hydra? According to the ancient Greek myth, Lernaean Hydra was an immortal multi-headed beast that for each head cut off, it grew two more. Well, pretty much the same happens in Butterfly Temple’s case. This legendary band, one of the founders of Slavic pagan folk metal sound since 1995 and one of the main influences of most bands of this genre, has undergone several and important line-up changes, but it’s too hard to die! After Lesyar’s departure (their founder, vocalist and frontman until 2004) the band found a new frontman in the face of Abrey and his unique clean vocals. Unluckily he also left the band in 2011, leaving them without a singer again. Of course both losses were much more important than just losing a singer, since they were two of the most charismatic personalities in this genre, at least in my opinion.                         

So, I was more than curious to see how the band will sound after this second loss, especially since it’s previous album “Земля” had a more progressive experimental approach. This album has confused me a lot. Except for Abrey’s departure, the album has no clean vocals at all and almost all folk instruments are gone too, which were two of the most important elements in Butterfly Temple’s sound. Still “Дыхание (Breath)” sounds 100% Butterfly Temple, reminding me actually the atmosphere of their earlier works! Honestly I find this album closer to their original sound, compared to “Земля“, where both Abrey and Lesyar participated! It seems that the 4 remaining members of the original line-up tried to redefine their sound, focusing on band’s characteristic scales and melodies, something like an effort to give a fresh “breath” to their older sound. Of course they have composed new songs, but some melodies and tunes sound somehow familiar. Alexander “Ratiyar” Bulanov was the perfect choice for the vocals, since his passionate pagan black / death metal screams give the band the needed aggression of their new sound. Unluckily Abrey’s missing clean vocals are still irreplaceable… Luckily though, their guest vocalist Ksenya Rustamova does an amazing work, being one of the best female singers the band ever had, adding a beautiful folk touch in their music. Guitars are once again so powerful and melodic, in perfect harmony with the unique melodies of their synths and their bass is loud and clear as always (countless bands influenced by them, none could ever “copy” their unique quality). They have once again an unbelievably good production and one of the most solid, clear and powerful sounds ever. The album was recorded at KIV Records Studio by Igor Korolyov (Izmoroz), who also mixed and mastered it. It contains one instrumental intro and 10 songs with a total duration a little over 50 minutes. Of course their lyrics are only in Russian, included in the album booklet.

If you know Butterfly Temple, you should give this album a try. It might be less variable and experimental than most of their works, but it still is a very good album with a kick-ass production and the characteristic Butterfly Temple sound and atmosphere. If you don’t know them and you like melodic pagan black / death metal you should also check them. “Дыхание” is released by Mazzar Records in a wonderful deluxe digibook with 24-page booklet, illustrated and designed by Ivan Petrovich. Visit their official pages to listen to their music and don’t hesitate to buy this luxurious CD.


Rating:  (9/10)

Butterfly Temple @ VK


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