It’s beautifully serene at times. Terrifyingly brutal at others. Add an ominous air overall and you have the recipe for the most exhilarating Behemoth record yet! I Loved You at Your Darkest is also Behemoth’s most diverse collection of songs and easily the most accessible slab of Black Metal for wary fans of the genre or folks looking to find that perfect entry into the world of Behemoth.
But I digress.
“Solve” is that ominous air as a children’s chorus begins Behemoth’s eleventh album building into the massive “Wolves ov Siberia” and “God = Dog”, both of which served as singles to warn of the impending sonic carnage. That said, “Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica” is first out of the gate to not have been premiered in some form yet and it is absolutely and fittingly just as diabolical. Subscribing to the Nachtmystium school of drawn out Black Metal with hints of desert rawk passages (Or probably the other way around considering Behemoth has been on the scene longer) and these shreddy, almost thrash, guitar solos making Behemoth’s eleventh their most accessible and, gasp, most straight up metal album to date.
“Bartzabel” is all tribal thumping, menacing guitar strums and an inherent sense of dread on the horizon with Nergal switching between his signature growl and a clean vocal fit for a cathedral when he cries: “Come unto me, Bartzabel!”. And when that storm hits, like it does on the intricately woven “Angelvs XIII”, then buyer beware because you’re in for an aural assault the likes of which you’ve never heard.
One of the greatest things about Behemoth’s music is that tease, the build up. Some are long and drawn out, others quick and to the point. “Sabbath Mater” falls into the latter category and is another example of their songwriting skill while “Havohej Pantocrator” is the former, building for a minute and a half before hitting its’ stride, almost channeling the ICS Vortex album at times with Inferno providing the blast beats and Seth and Nergal’s guitars screaming to the underworld.
“We Are The Next 1000 Years” is probably the most straight forward Black Metal track on here and almost feels out of place but then “Coagvia” comes in with this instrumental ditty that’s just as brutal as anything on here featuring Nergal’s uncanny maw. And then you’re done! That’s it! Time to go home!
I Loved You at Your Darkest will released through Metal Blade Records on October 5th. Pre-orders are up now and can be perused and purchased by clicking here. For the latest on Behemoth, including dates and ticketing info for their upcoming North American tour which hits Boston’s House Of Blues on November 1st, click here.