Butterfly Temple

Folks at Beverina hailed Butterfly Temple as the best Slavonic Pagan band of 1999. I must say that there is a good deal of validity to that statement. This self-released debut album is indeed a very interesting and masterful release. First of all, no matter where you look, the level of accomplishment is very impressive. You can say right away that these guys are all professional musicians, most likely trained in music schools and academies. And the band certainly put a lot of work into this release. The production values and album's layout are excellent.

While the music is not very dark or brutal, it is a peculiar combination of folk-laden doom and heavy metal with a few mild dabs of black. Butterfly Temple took catchy, traditional-style riffing and satiated it with infectious leads, lush keyboards and a sizable folk influence. One exception to an otherwise excellent work is that they chose to cover Moonspell's "Alma Mater." Maybe it's just me, but here, I think, is where they wondered a bit too far into the cheesy side of things. This, however, is only a minor setback when the rest of the album is that good.

The vocals, both in Russian and English, are really diverse. The singer does everything from clean singing and spoken word to black metal screams and more standard gruff vocals. There are also two really good session female singers, and another guy who in a few places does a type of heavy metal clean singing very similar to those on Amorphis' "Tales From The Thousand Lakes." You could actually draw a parallel between these two albums. Not because they sound similarly - they don't - but on a more general level of how both bands combined rather disparate metal elements with their countries' rich folk influences and made it sound really good and original. But that's not all. They used a saxophone on two songs. Think about it folks, a saxophone. It brought a very softened touch that many people may dislike, but the fact that the band were bold enough to do it still stands. Like I said above, the black metal influence here is very mild. Only rarely they would break into a short blackened segment, and that's about it, but it's perfectly fine because the music is great already, dedicated to, you guessed it, none other than Veles himself.

For those who are too lazy to read everything written above, I'll sum it up in one sentence. If extremely well executed melodic, keyboard-laden, folk influenced pagan metal with varied vocals that still maintains a hard edge sounds like your thing, you will most likely end up cherishing this album very much.

Butterfly Temple official web-page: http://btemple.newmail.ru/

2000 boris