Black metal giants Behemoth return with their much anticipated new record ‘I Loved You at Your Darkest’ the follow up to their ground breaking critically acclaimed 2014 album ‘The Satanist’. All eyes were on Behemoth to produce an album that stood alongside this masterpiece, have they delivered? Yes, yes they have. Firstly, if you’re going into this record thinking that Behemoth was aiming to write another ‘The Satanist’ you may be surprised. As Nergal said this is certainly the most Rock N Roll black metal record there is, it’s fun, vibrant and horrible all at once.
‘Solve’ is an instrumental opening track, which features a disturbing sounding children choir exclaiming blasphemous themes, one being ‘Jesus Christ / I Forgive You Not’. Melodic guitar picking partnered with shattering drum fills and chords gives you a slight taster of what’s to come. ‘Wolves Ov Siberia’ is next and is a very comfortable sounding Behemoth track, is gives you the first taste of the production of this album, and it sounds flawless. The mix is incredible, nothing is lost.
The leading single of the record ‘God = Dog’ is next, one that had many people talking simply because of the dislike of the title, fuck that, listen to the insanely good riffs! For me, this song was a great choice of leading singles; it has everything the entire record has, summed up beautifully in one track. The middle section slows the pace and with more guitar picking and the return of the children choir, dissonant chords fill the soundscape and the first of many guitar solos is heard, leading into a call and answer between Nergal and the children choir. Next is ‘Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica’ opens with a head bangingly good chord progression into more savaging drum fills which sound huge in the mix. Another blistering solo shows that Nergal and Co are having a hell of time recording this record. Vocally my favourite track on the album, they sound so savage, full of anger.
‘Bartzabel’ slows down the pace of record, opening with a chorus effect picking guitar, the drums soon accompany the picking with some tom work. This track reminds me slightly of ‘The Unforgiven’ by Metallica how the verses are heavy and full of balls where as the chorus is slower and more relaxed. A melodic solo leads out the song with some great harmonized runs, and is the perfect end. ‘If Crucification is Not Enough’ reminds me a lot of the ‘The Satanist’s’ title track, a faster paced track but with a more melodic guitar picking vibe. ‘Angelvs XIII’ is next and hits you in the face with almost torturous screams and drums fills that spread through your headphones from side to side. The vocals on this are so hauntingly brutal, almost sounding like pure agony. Towards the ending of the track a beautiful sounding acoustic guitar floods your ears with more shred solos and crazy drum fills surround it.
‘Sabbath Mater’ is more of the same, blistering vocals and savage guitar. This leads Into my favourite track of the album ‘Havohej Pantocrator’ clocking in at 6 minutes this is an extremely dynamic piece of music, starting with a slower paced guitar picking opens up into another outstanding verse which has an incredible sounding medieval esc acoustic guitar strumming away in the background. A chant like vocal line breaks the speed of the song, almost like a preacher talking to a crowd Nergal screams his way into another unexpected guitar solo. Followed by the last closing tracks ‘Rom 5:8’ & ‘We Are The Next 1000 Years’ really cap off the album well, adding more impressive melodies and music that stand high in their back catalogue. The instrumental outro that is ‘Coagula’ end what is an outstanding record. A must in any metal heads music collection.