Whether they continue in this direction or not, this album, I believe, will stand as one of the ambitious and epic Behemoth albums of all time. I Loved You at Your Darkest has a lot of classic black and death metal core elements they combined together beautifully with obvious influences from a variety of different music. I really appreciated Behemoth being adventurous and creating a great album that was unlike their others’ before. They pushed themselves and explored and combined other interests to make it their own. That’s why this album works. The album attacks the Catholic Church, not unlike ways that Ghost does, but they do it in Behemoth style. The theatrics they’ve incorporated in the band I think is inspirational and timeless.
“Solve” was a beautiful introduction to the album with wonderful and occultish theatrics and melodies with a nursery rhyme. I love the different elements they incorporated in "God = Dog". Lots of different musical elements and theatrical elements on their own and combined; it works together so well. I like the busy drums over the slower tempo and clean guitar melody with children singing along. "Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica" is one of my top favorites on this album. I believe it truly starts setting the tone for the album with its large sounding production like we’re in a large Satanic mass. It leads perfectly into “Bartzabel”, which is definitely a lot more of a rock song and one of my other favorite songs on this album. I love the solemn melody between the lyrics, and the overall flow of the song. The guitar solo is enchanting to anyone who loves heavy, gritty melodies as well. The guitar solo in “If Crucifixion Was Not Enough...” was especially brilliant as well.
With verses reminiscent of Motörhead, “Sabbath Mater”, there was great drum flow and intricate guitar melodies looping most of the track. I also thought the rhythmic, scaled guitar solo was great. “Havohej Pantocrator” has a long intro that’s extremely symphonic before the lyrics start. It’s a long song that I feel makes a powerful impact. I appreciated how “Rom 5:8” really seemed to reveal the Empire era Queensrÿche influence. It has a haunting sound that feels unique. I really like the spacey portion in “We Are the Next 1000 Years”. There were a lot of different twists to this song I liked about it. There was a continuous beat with the guitar melody and soft cymbals accompanied. There were also more trumpets and lots of variations of rigorous drum fills. “Coagvla” was a triumphant end to a fantastic blackened death metal album, finishing us out with a finality of the last confident hammering on the drums.
I also thoroughly revered the many choir vocals on this album, the religious aspect, and incorporation of trumpets made a lot of moments feel prophetic. This album really shows their musicianship, and paves a new way for metal bands, and the genre of blackened death metal in general. It dares the genre to be more bold and dynamic, and to explore the boundaries of all metal. Especially in “Bartzabel”, you’re able to appreciate the track as part of a wonderful album with the stereos. The chorus breaks up the chorus into alternating stereos and makes you appreciate the production and care that went into making this album as aesthetically pleasing as possible. This is one experience I feel people miss out on when they don’t listen to an entire album or buy physical copies sometimes even.
Behemoth's I Loved You at Your Darkest is available now from Metal Blade Records. See them this summer on tour with Slayer.