Album Review: Behemoth - ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’
Blow the trumpets! The Satanist’s child is born, and it is a concentrate of atmospheric power.
Four years after their last studio album, Behemoth push the limits of impiety further again with a new twelve-track record.
Named after the very words of Jesus, ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ is a resounding, thunderous album. All criteria meet to make this album a solid part of the band’s discography: although the tracks weight toward a slight reinvention, the original depth of Behemoth guides the songs to a secured status, shrugging off the fear of a change that could be too prominent. Behemoth’s talented hand remains, therefore, untouched – rumbling low tones, intense atmosphere, all is here as a reassurance that they still master their loud art and own that anger-powered presence.
This album manages to redefine the band’s music without going too far. Announced as a more dynamic record than its predecessors, ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ has a supplementary rock dimension to the usual black metal Behemoth bathes in. In songs such as ‘God = Dog’, first single released from the album, or ‘Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica’, clear guitar solos stand out between Nergal’s gravelly screams and Inferno’s rapid explosive drums. The album is a concentrate of atmospheric power – the percussions sound like ethereal pouring rains while trembling guitar notes transport our minds to deeper grounds. The liturgical aspect is reinforced with sagacity by the children’s choirs and the reverberating sounds of cymbals.
With its numerous instrumental passages, it is impossible to lose hold of the ambience generated by the assembling of the perfectly practised instruments, which perfectly illustrates ‘We Are The Next 1000 Years’ with half of it being only instrumental. The songs soothe us as much they regenerate our explosive energy.
The succession of the tracks goes with fluidness, which reinforces the unity of the album. Tones and notes make sense altogether: no song is left apart as each one interlocks with the other, sometimes as if there were no cut in between. While all sounding like they belong in the same universe, the songs are never too similar to one another to lack distinction and keep their own individuality, a not-so-evident manoeuvre unquestionably successfully accomplished by Behemoth.
With this album, Behemoth manage to create a balanced duality: the coexistence between delicate and more forceful tonalities is simply exquisite.
Words by Aggie Lemm