Behemoth – I Loved You at Your Darkest

Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest
Released 5th October 2018
Black Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Released via Mystic Production/ Nuclear Blast


It’s been four years since the Polish blackened death metal horde unleashed their masterpiece ‘The Satanist’ onto the world. Now they have returned with a new, long-awaited full length release entitled ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’. I absolutely adored their previous opus so I have high hopes for this…

As far as themes go, this album offers the usual array of topics present in Behemoth’s music, including: Satanism, the occult, critical views on Christianity, particularly Catholicism. One new addition is the reference to alchemy on the opening and closing tracks aptly named ‘Solve’ and ‘Coagvla’.

The children’s chanting at the start of the first track ‘Solve’ gets a little irritating after a few seconds. I was relieved to hear the guitars reminding me that this is in fact an intro to a Behemoth album and not to some children’s choir. ‘Wolves Ov Siberia’ is a savage beast of a song with packed with aggressive, coarse guitar riffs, Nergal’s bleak shouts and Inferno’s relentless drumming. It sounds as harsh and bleak as a Siberian winter. ‘God = Dog’ is more complex and melodic than its predecessor and it features some progressive tones in the guitars. It has the hallmarks of a classic Behemoth track, including the eerie atmosphere, aggressive yet melodic guitars and powerful vocals. The one thing that I could have done without is the children’s choir which essentially continues from where it left off in the intro.

Oddly enough one of the slower tracks, the gloomy sounding ‘Bartzabel’, has quickly become one of my favorite songs on here. I can’t get enough of that eerie mid-tempo groove guitar in the chorus and Nergal’s haunting vocals. The rest of the album varies in pace depending on the song ranging from the fast and abrasive black metal on ‘Sabbath Mater’ to the slower, more melodic ‘Havohej Pantocrator’.

In summary, ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’ is very different from its predecessor ‘The Satanist’. Parts of it reminded me of Behemoth’s black metal era while others show the band’s willingness to experiment with some new styles. It is not the easiest of albums to listen to, and it requires a lot of patience from the listener. But rest assured, patience will be rewarded.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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