Behemoth - "I Loved You At Your Darkest" (CD)
"I Loved You At Your Darkest" track listing:
2. Wolves ov Siberia
3. God = Dog
4. Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica
6. If Crucifixion Was Not Enough…
7. Angelvs XIII
8. Sabbath Mater
9. Havohej Pantocrator
10. Rom 5:8
11. We Are the Next 1000 Years
Reviewed by Greekbastard on September 20, 2018
Once upon a time in Poland, there was an unrefined black metal band that released a demo tape called “Endless Damnation.” This initial effort was actually a live rehearsal tape, and through the magic and enthusiasm of the tape trading underground, this recording put Behemoth on rapidly expanding heavy metal map. Fast forward 27 years and 11 full-length albums later, Behemoth is on the verge of something very special. If there was any doubt that Behemoth has yet to reach the next level of greatness in the company of such heavy metal giants like Metallica, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, etc., “I Loved You at Your Darkest” should make it so.
It’s probably safe to assume that Behemoth will gain thousands of new fans, headline dozens of the most popular metal festivals, and if they haven’t done so already, quit their day jobs for good due to the predicted success of “I Loved You at Your Darkest.” I would actually bet on it.
In a previous paragraph I might have mentioned a band that you might be familiar with called Metallica. This band had a rocket ship rise to stardom that took many of their most longtime and loyal fans by surprise. I was one of those loyal fans and pretty much gave up on them halfway through my initial spin of the “Black” album. Why am I name dropping Metallica during a Behemoth album review? In my opinion, “The Satanist” is Behemoth’s “Black” album. Personally, I didn’t go bananas over “The Satanist,” but in addition, I didn’t give up on Behemoth like I did Metallica at the time. However, I know a few fans that thought Behemoth had lost their edge, sold out, and labeled them as posers. Guess what? Just like Metallica at the time, they gained thousands of new fans, toured relentlessly around the world and embarrassed Slayer night after night during Slayer’s own farewell tour.
So getting back to “I Loved You at Your Darkest, ” it unequivocally demonstrates that Behemoth continues to mature as a band. This album is a complete and well-rounded composition, not twelve songs randomly thrown together to fulfill a recording contract obligation. Each song serves a purpose and segues into the next with ease and reason. If it sounds like the I’m describing the layout and structure of “The Satanist,” well, it pretty much is. If the formula works, why fix it?
After taking a couple of weeks to digest “I Loved You at Your Darkest,” I would say some of the standout tracks include but aren’t limited to: “God=Dog,” Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica,” and “Wolves ov Siberia,” which happens to be the first video that was made for the album. These are definitely some of the more aggressive, old school Behemoth sounding tracks and should appease those fans that didn’t burn “The Satanist.” I hate to break it to those fans that still hold out hope there well be an “Evangelion” Part II, that’s probably not going to happen. Metallica never made a “Master of Puppets” Part II and they’ve done just fine.
Highs: Behemoth’s creativity and maturity as demonstrated on “I Loved You at Your Darkest” has profoundly launched them into rare company in Heavy Metal lore.
Lows: I can’t think of any other than the vinyl version is REALLY expensive. Even for the most hardcore vinyl aficionados, $50 is a little steep. For those on a budget, the CD version is the more affordable option if you want the physical product.
Bottom line: This is by far Behemoth’s most involved and time-consuming release to date and it shows. Don’t expect to digest “I Loved You at Your Darkest” on the first couple of listens, it’ll take several, but it’ll be worth it.
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