Behemoth
I Loved You at Your Darkest


4.5
superb


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I Loved You at Your Most By-the-Numbers

As it happens, metal (and especially its blackened incarnation) has always been music of the blasphemes, heathens and Satanists. Upon its inception, it was essentially a collision of logical continuation of already existing genres of metal, but into much harsher and dissonant directions, as well as reaction to the state of the world at large. It was a swarm of – among others – church hating, overly energetic youngsters that have found the rupturing and diabolical sounds of black and death metal a perfect counterweight to the overly unostentatious, sterile and unvaried world of religion and its many moral restrictions. It was a wave of anger, frustration and adrenaline-led creativity; anything but a spawn for the faint at heart and nothing for the main streams of musical production.

At this point, Behemoth may have become both an antidote (or rather a polar opposite niche copy) of the Christian rock and metal, and everything black metal was not at the beginning. The bashing of Christianity and twisting its mythology around has become their prime identity, while hunger for rawness as the main driving force has been pushed aside. It is now tailored and professionally crafted. And while the fact that blasphemy has always been part of the genre’s core values, it may be perceived as forgivable (unlike some Adonai and such, ugh), it all feels like an appeal to as many people as possible, no longer a push of will, but an unostentatious, sterile and unvaried professionalism.

But here’s the crack, though: because Nergal and the gang are professional musicians and musical mathematicians capable of calculating a perfect metal tune, this still sounds fantastic. You know they don’t actually care about the concept and neither do they use it as a gimmick, but rather do it just because that’s what they’ve always been doing. They’re masters of their craft. You give them script and they’ll build you a picture for all ages. Who cares that no semblance of soul went into dreaming up the concept, lyrics or themes" It is instrumentally impeccable and instantly memorable.

And that’s really it. This album is a thematically unadventurous, but musically pulsating chef-d'œuvre. It fuses a myriad of various black and death metal tropes and it flows in them so freely that you start to wonder, whether or not Nergal actually went through on his attempts of not sounding like anybody else in and around the genre. Well, it certainly comes off as a mixture of all that either Behemoth themselves already did or someone else pioneered on a full-record scale, but now scattered around individual songs.

However, even though the songs each appear to borrow from slightly different “Make Your Own Hellish Metal” help book, Behemoth pump up their pacing skills and patch the flow of the record to flawlessness. It goes from traditional atmospheric black metal (“Wolves Ov Siberia”), to inter-genre multi-layered half-atmospheric black metal and half-bastard son of death thrash (“God = Dog”), to blackened death metal (“Ecclesia Diabloica Catholica”), to slightly low-toned ode (“Bartzabel”), back to regular black metal with occasional slow-downs that if looped could turn into something doomy (“If Crucifixion Was Not Enough”), and so on. And the real changes between the songs in terms of technique and execution are quite minimal, but still strike and stick (it also might be my personal overanalysing of that which isn’t there).

And in the end, one could argue this album to be a musical version of (excuse the comparison) things like MCU. It has no ingenuity to it, just professional craftsmanship. But do you really care, when the end product satisfies to such an extent" Does it matter that it jumps on the overused-theme-train, when it uses the clichés to its advantage" Does it matter that their innovation, whether there actually is one, is merely one within the already established boundaries carved before them, when they navigate those paths with such adroitness and confidence"
I say it does not.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
October 4th 2018


18599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

might be a little too all-over-the-place with this review, but whatevereedoo

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jamming this now. m/

Digging: Azelisassath - In Total Contempt of All Life

zaruyache
October 4th 2018


19989 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

B E H E M O T H

E

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E

M

O

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H T O M E H E B



Digging: Black Funeral - Empire of Blood

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is fantastic as expected. I thought the singles ruled too while others seemed to not like them so idk.

Papa Universe
October 4th 2018


18599 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was also sceptical of the singles, as only God=Dog sounded remotely special, but they make much more sense in the whole album's context.

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, amazing stuff. m/

GhostB1rd
October 4th 2018


1992 Comments


Just heard Bartzabel today and was kinda meh about it.

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Idk his is right on par with the last album for me.

GUNGFUHAMMERFIST
October 4th 2018


471 Comments


Fuck. can't wait to jam

JustJoe.
October 4th 2018


5580 Comments


I POS'ed You At Your Darkest

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[2]

Larkinhill
October 4th 2018


901 Comments


Good review. POS.

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2018


830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

haven't heard this yet but behemoth's image is honestly such a turn-off for me

Digging: ITEM - Sad Light

JustJoe.
October 4th 2018


5580 Comments


what they image is?

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What does their “image” have anything to do with how good the music is? Lol

JustJoe.
October 4th 2018


5580 Comments


I skip on bands/artists all the time if I ain't feeling how they present their brand.

With that being said I don't know what Behemoth is about.

jesterhead92
October 4th 2018


5600 Comments


Behemoth hate Jesus

Hawks
October 4th 2018


64370 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I couldn’t give a fuck less what any of these bands represent tbh if it riffs then I’ll jam it hard.

clavier
Contributing Reviewer
October 4th 2018


830 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i didn't say it had anything to do with the quality of the music, just that i'm tired of the way they market themselves

i did enjoy the Satanist, so i might check this out sometime

JustJoe.
October 4th 2018


5580 Comments


Jesus is cool.



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