Following on from 2014’s modern day classic The Satanist Behemoth return with their 11th album I Loved You At Your Darkest, but does the album match up with their previous material?
In truth the use of elements such as a children’s choir on opening track Solve which leads perfectly into Wolves ov Siberia work perfectly. The mixing and tracklisting flows exceptionally and leads fans into the creative force that is Behemoth. Fans know what to expect and thankfully the Polish Blackened Death outlet delivers it perfectly. The adult male choir on Bartzabel also gives an incredible texture and mix to the band’s new album.
Orchestral elements are also very important to the bands sound with Sabbath Mater having choral and flowing aspects to it. Behemoth are very clearly trying to make their sound as grand as possible, which makes thoughts for their live tour early next year delivering an intense atmosphere. The band are expanding their scope and have done it successfully on this release.
The various styles of instrumentation on this release also deliver something truly special with Nergal’s clean guitar playing and even the use of solos on singles such as God = Dog giving somewhat of an anthemic feel, especially with how heavy the rest of the album is. His solos on this record also give off a sense of intensity especially on tracks like Sabbath Mater. His pure technical proficiency is amazing and if he wanted to play in a less extreme manner it rivals legends such as Gus G and Slash in the pure complexity of what he’s playing.
The drums on a track such as Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica from Inferno also give off a speedy and anthemic take to the bands unique blackened death sound, another great example would be on Bartzabel where it’s powerful display gives an almost doomy and powerful intro in the track itself. Typically Behemoth these are elements that will give old-school fans of the band something to shout about. The acoustic guitar on this track also gives off a sense of creativity in the vein of a band like Agalloch or Opeth which works amazingly for the scope the band wish to cover. It’s clean, heavy but completely extreme which works within Behemoth’s favour. This is something later repeated on the album for the intro to Havohej Pantocrator.
The bass on this album also goes along great from Orion, especially on tracks such as If Crucifixion Was Not Enough it gives the track a sense of pace and beat which most Black Metal inspired acts would fail to display. Behemoth know how to structure their craft and to many fans this is just one such example of how the band are truly the creative force and the giants of extreme metal.
The lyrics for this album also border on the truly Satanic with vocalist Nergal giving a satanic prayer on track Havohej Pantocrator. This is interesting as it gives the band a unique sense of identity, and follows on from the themes of 2014’s The Satanist.
In truth this album is too recently out to see how it compares to the band’s past work however it is a good followup, and for that to be the case after what was the most important extreme metal in recent memory is a huge task. Behemoth are certainly not losing any creativity or sacrificing anything they’ve picked up in the past few albums, if you are a fan of modern material by this band you will certainly love this new album.
Playlist: God = Dog, Havohej Pantocrator