Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest

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Let’s start once with the classic “if they told me…”. When I first heard “Satanica”, if someone told me that this band will become one of the biggest in the metal scene, I would think that he is a bit crazy. But fate had other plans for the Polish masters. Without softening their sound at all, they adopted extremity in every aspect (music, lyrics, image) and managed to make a huge name that puts them higher and higher in the billing of all major festivals.

The eleventh full-length release comes and I would say that keeps them static instead of pushing them even forward. And what do I mean by that? For those who follow them, they saw the evolution from album to album, as Behemoth never relaxed and were constantly trying to enrichen their sound so that they wouldn’t be the typical black/death metal band. Their magnum opus was “The Satanist”, a jaw-dropping masterpiece. Six of its nine songs were shot as official videos (each of them a work of art) and everyone was waiting eagerly for their next step.

So, “I Loved You At Your Darkest” came and in my personal opinion is not a worthy successor of “The Satanist”. Not that it’s not a good album, but definitely a step backwards. There are of course songs that stand out. “Wolves Of Siberia” has Nergal screaming like a maniac and Inferno giving blast beat lessons. The same goes to “God=Dog” with the child chorus and the nice guitar solo. “Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica” is also an interesting one with the acoustic guitar in the middle, while “Bartzabel” may seem quite simple but has a great melody and refrain.

Other than that, there are also weak moments like “If Crucifixion Was Not Enough…”, “Sabbath Mater” and “Havohej Pantocrator” to name a few. To me, they sound at least mediocre and sometimes boring. While the album starts really good, from the middle and until the end I can’t say that it kept me interested. And you can’t say that they released it quickly, it took them four years from “The Satanist”.

Behemoth continue their unholy crusade, but I believe that this will be a controversial release among their fans as it doesn’t reach the standards that they put in their latest works. I repeat, it’s not a bad album. It’s just good. Nothing more.