Behemoth are arguably one of the most popular and most successful extreme metal bands on the planet right now. And rightly so. Every offering they have delivered over the past 20 years has been as solid as the last, culminating at the peak of things with their 2014 masterpiece, simply titled ‘The Satanist’. I will personally admit that I haven’t lost any of the enjoyment I got from that album since its release well over four years ago now.
The open conversation among metalheads since has been that Behemoth can surely not top the majesty that was ‘The Satanist’, and I will agree with that statement after hearing their new release ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’. However it is not because their latest offering is inferior, but rather because of the interesting twists and experimentations they have taken on with this release.
Epic, heavy, commanding and anthemic are what I would describe Behemoth to someone as if they had never heard them. This album definitely captures those themes, while at the same time exploring some very interesting pathways into a sound that is almost an evolution of the epic grandeur we were treated to on ‘The Satanist’. The only downfall of this in my perspective is that this record takes a few listens to truly appreciate for what it is.
While ‘The Satanist’ was immediately catchy and had all the moments you were hoping for, just when you wanted them, ‘I Loved You At Your Darkest’ is almost simpler in its delivery while sounding more deliberate in its approach. And for this reason, it initially seems weaker as well. Also I can’t bring myself to consider the song title “God = Dog” without wondering what Nergal was thinking our reaction would be? Listen to this one a few times before you truly make up your mind. You won’t regret the effort being put in though, as it is still a solid release from a band that can’t seem to do much wrong nowadays. Also, you get to hear Inferno drum for almost an hour and that is never a bad time.
Reviewed by Chris McEwin