After an album as anthemic as “The Satanist”, Behemoth is back with their 11th full-length album “I Loved You At Your Darkest”. Not an easy task, but the four-year gap in between the releases has certainly helped the band to gain some refreshing ideas.
During my interview with Nergal it was already clear to me that “I Loved You At Your Darkest” is quite something else. That becomes clear to me in the eerie opening track of the album “Solve”. A children’s choir chants some lines before heavy instruments kick off and the choir fades away again into the background. Only Behemoth can change something so innocent in something that completely blows your mind. Smoothly the album continues into “Wolves ov Siberia”. This is immediately where we recognize a very classic Behemoth sound, one that continues in “God = Dog”. That riff certainly is classic Behemoth. The combination of the Gregorian chanters and the children’s choir that has been reinstated, make this sound very big. The whole song is building up towards a climax and I have to say that “God = Dog” probably is my favorite moment on the whole album. “Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica” follows a similar structure, with the same classic riffs. “Bartzabel” offers a little break, as it is a very different song that in its own way stands out. It almost feels a bit goth, a slow burn, that almost feels like a ritualistic song. “Bartzabel” took a while for me to get into, but listening to it more and analyzing it, made me grow fond of the song. “If Crucifixion Was Not Enough” picks up the pace again, same goes for “Angelvs XIII”. “Sabbath Mater” for me is another highlight of the album. The riff in there is so dark and profound that it chills me to the bone. I’m looking forward to hearing this song live. “Havohej Pantocrator” offers the second break in this album. Again, this track is also a highlight for me. It’s surprisingly melodic but has that authentic Behemoth sound that we all love so much. “Havohej Pantocrator” starts off really slowly with acoustic guitars and then builds up with a groovy bassline and compelling rhythmic drums. It doesn’t explode the way you’d expect it to, but that twist by itself is so powerful. “Rom 5:8” and “We Are The Next 1000 Years” serve as the conclusion to the album before an instrumental “Coagvla” ends the whole thing consistently.
“I Loved You At Your Darkest” is a grim album with a very raw production. It’s not as polished as it could be, but it’s a necessity. The album would definitely not have the same overall outstanding quality without this feel to it. The addition of refined elements such as choirs and orchestral elements to this is kind of a paradox, but they work so well together. The band goes back to their roots but also is not scared to explore new avenues which often lead to a very successful album and a great successor for “The Satanist”.
2. Wolves ov Siberia
3. God = Dog
4. Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica
6. If Crucifixion Was Not Enough…
7. Angelvs XIII
8. Sabbath mater
9. Havohej Pantocrator
10. Rom 5:8
11. We Are the Next 1000 Years