BEHEMOTH - I loved You At Your Darkest

Inspired and haunted

The eleventh Behemoth release does not follow the path set by The Satanist. 

 

Despite several similarities it is different...

 

I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST is a new beginning. New chapter, built around even stronger foundation.  

More complete, more inspired... 
 

It's a reversed light coming straight from above.
It's a fantastic and full of atmosphere musical novel based both on what it was and how it should be...

Its something closer to the traditional concept album. 
Based on religion, based on history... based on the biggest love, the biggest sin and the biggest will...

 

This time we look towards the light only to discover how much darkness lies in the heart of it.
 

Writing an article about Behemoth you have to set yourself to a fairly extensive text. 
You have to focus on a deep analysis, on the sharp display of facts. 

You must prepare yourself for a kind of confession... especially when you know your article will be seen by their most devoted and faithful fans... the opponents.
 

Yeah, I know, the review should be accurate and focused. Meanwhile, in the case of Behemoth such a review can be treated as a double-edged weapon. As a weapon aimed against the author's intentions and against the band...
 

When admitting in public that you are waiting for their album, that you had the real primary joy while entering the store, you expose yourself to an attack. When writing well about this band, you must anticipate the consequences. Anticipate an opponent that you do not know, which you can not see. 

You must think not only for yourself but for the others. Guide the text so, as not to leave any gaps and to be well understood by all those who usually read all the texts about Behemoth from the back...
 

When I was describing the recent media storm caused by the photograph preceding the God = Dog single, I thought it would be the only such text. Well, I was wrong.
 

This time, I also have to deal with all the possible accusations, just only to get to the core, to the inside.

To make all the justice to the long awaited, eleventh album of Behemoth.

In fact, I did not know how to take this review.

After the first interrogation you are simply shocked. After the second, you try to put together and name all this you just heard. Subsequent hearings later you start to associate individual fragments.

You say to yourself: oh, there it is! I liked this! You hear more the more you absorb.
When you already have your favorites, it turns out that "they" are full of additional content, that deep inside there is another parallel musical world.

 

At some point you come to the conclusion that this CD can not be properly analyzed.

That you just have to experience it and it's best to leave just a blank card...

I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST - An unusual name that puts in an unusual reflection. 
The name that opens the eyes and promises a lot...

 

Its release was preceded by several extraordinary things...
 

There was prayers, temples,  huge media splendor and almost warlike, tactical expedition into the world. Finally, something that nobody nor expected nor did before...

Dark but extremely beautiful artistic exhibition of paintings, photographs and sculptures by Sylwia Makris and Tomasz Górnicki stylistically referring to the graphic design of the album.
Almost all known art disciplines met in one genre, one artist and one music not only to resize the borders but to make Behemoth even more bulletproof and resistant to the tempest of the times.

Of course, there will be those who will say that Behemoth Anno Domini 2018 has become naked, 
that it's one big media plastic mysticism. The sum of secondaryities and borrowings.
Cheap provocation and wicked drawing from someone else's art.

They will say that the whole cover art of the ILYAYD album is borrowed, artistically copied. 

 

This is however only the one and in addition the more superficial side of possible interpretation. 
No one should not deny the courage of the band. No one should not deny the freshness and all the effort that was put to make this record complete and finally... No one can not deny their premium taste. 
In the end Behemoth reached for the highest art. They did it with good intentions and willingly. 
By deciding on such artistic (based on real existing art) booklet, for "its" deep artistic metaphor and for an uncompromising reversal of meanings, they take the risk to stimulate the intellect.

They provoke the process of thinking. They also become the gate to meet the original paintings, which today are not as popular as modern entertainment.

 

So, the question is... 

 

Did Behemoth harm somehow any of this historical paintings? No. 

Did Behemoth help in their promotion? Oh yes!  

 

The band turned the eyes of the global media to these paintings again. Not only by talking about them,
but also by showing their value to hundreds of thousands of young people, who... if not ILYAYD probably would never pay attention to the history of painting and art.

 

As you can see everything has two sides. There are a lot of shades between the extremes.
We just have to be able to notice them. This is why people reach for Behemoth today, for these shades. 
It is not about the most extreme symbols. They are aimed only to verification... With the rest,

it's exactly the same mechanism that is used for ages and everywhere, where sociology grows. 
From the first childhoods games, through the politics... All systems invented by human, all doctrines are characterized by a more or less calibrated mechanism of verification.

We are surrender to it everywhere and all the time, so why in the case of Nergal, is he denied the right to both the method and the verification process of the listeners of his band?

The graphic design of I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST has been synthesized.  

The whole booklet is an artistic makeup and this is not a crime, especially nowadays. 
Above all, no man has the right to destroy culture and metal is something more than music,

something more than genre. This is a community, a legacy of many gifted and talented people. 
Heritage which in the name of the man can not be destroyed...

 

Everyone had a picture of this album in his head. 
Everyone visualized it. Everyone imagined what it would be. Everyone wanted it to be his...

More black, more blasphemous, more surprising and provocative.
Whatever it was supposed to be, few expected that the eleventh studio Behemoth album can touch God  and... ILYAYD in some ways affects him directly. In a strange way it corresponds with him, talk about him...

 

This album invites you deep into the darkness. Into his darkness.
It is cloudy, it is bitter, it is ripe in the dark, the most known shade of dark... T
he personal, private darkness of every person listening to this album. However, if you think that after listening to the released singles 

you know what to expect from this album, you're wrong...

After such an outstanding booklet you expect pathos. You expect a kind of  film shape music, variable surprising arrangements, dynamics and twists.
 

You expect a CD that will open your imagination, an album which will take you by force, an album which will put you against the wall and push you into the selfish, pre-planned world of the composer.
 

I was expecting a bitter symphony. I was expecting the most beautiful and most darkest pieces sewn into one powerful music that could come out from the pen of Górecki, Kilar, Goldsmith, Williams... Peter Gabriel or Lisa Gerard. I was expecting an epic, film like beginning, in the form of The Gladiator or The Passion of Christ. Meanwhile, the first thing that we hear are...
 

Children! 

 

Yes the eleventh Behemoth album is started by the children...

 

The first track of the album is an instrumental piece which takes just over two minutes. 
This running time is more than enough to feel the aura of the upcoming opus...

 

The first part of this little piece is based on a growing tension generated by children's voices (this reversed opening fx sounds so wicked).
 

Gradually, quietly the magic starts to happening...
 

Silence fadeing, the background comes out. We hear organs, a very atmospheric part played by Michał Łapaj, the keyboardist of Riverside. The mood grows and becomes dark... surrounds the children's choir. Than, the full band strikes...
 

SOLVE Is climatic and dark, it's cinematic but different. Less pathos, more suspense. 
Anxiety and literate emptiness. A bit of a fairy tale, a bit of sci-fi...

Very interesting opening after which we quickly come to the conclusion that there will be no sentiments. There will be not any symphonic epitaphs or insertions. It will be exactly as Nergal wanted...

 

Moments later we get the first regular song of the album... 

Known from the band's last tour WOLVES OF SIBERIA. 
 

This song brings the ancient incarnation of Behemoth. As if the band decided to erase everything and then start up once again. As if they were playing together for the first time... 
 

It begins classically, maybe even old.  We are moving in time, straight into the heart, into the first love and the musical self of Nergal. Very energetic, dark and primitive track. With a sublime final part of the song. Not so sophisticated, but raw, cold and despite everything... unusual for today's face of Behemoth.

Of course, there is a modern production, but apart from the sound quality it is the creme de la creme of black metal genre. How sinister this song is, you will feel only when you listen deeply into its background and into disturbing, heavily processed words of the polish prayer "Ojcze Nasz" (Our Father) and the dreary orchestras enveloped in everything.

Wolves of Siberia is like looking straight into the blazing sun. When you do it... You risk.
It is also a bit deceptive track, because it does not give a full picture of the whole material. However, it defeats one of its tissues, one of its guiding themes, which is... the ancient instinct... The truth and taking away from false deceptive dogmas...

 

So the album starts very ancient and with great lirics.
Attacks the listener and evokes the magic of the classic, analogue, atmospheric black metal albums.

GOD=DOG brings the more familiar face of Behemoth, but with some very distinct novelties. 
The amazing choral multiplied voice of Nergal and recurring choirs of children.
 

This is the song from which everything began. The first song written for the album.
The song that carries the burden of the whole booklet of I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST.

 

It begins mysteriously. A climatic guitar arpeggio and a great bass part of Orion. 
Everything slows. the tension once again are growing.

The band strikes again with its classic furious riffing.
 

The leading riff of this song is simply as haunted as inspired. Wild, full of madness, poisoned,

twisted, blasphemous and divine...

There is a certain fight in it. Some kind of regret, injustice, some pain.

It reminds of the destiny of each of us, about our mortality. It reminds but helps to find solace.
This is one of those signature Nergal riffs, but still fresh and catchy.  

 

GOD=DOG  has a great dynamics, it is perfectly arranged. This is the first time we are able to hear the hallmarks of this album. Extremely climate changes and beautiful work of lead guitars, which leads directly to the powerful and brilliant final... A short kind of prayer chanted with the choir of children!

This song has something more...

The most controversial title not only on the album, but probably in the band's entire catalog.

Gortesque? Bad? Too far? For some yes. For others it's just a collection of shifted letters. One and the same word depicted from the back. 

 

I see way more in it. I see the reflection of literature, the echoes of the literary output of Aleister Crowley.

This title can also have several other meanings. It may also refers to astronomy and astrology,

to the esoteric and magical order of Astrum Argentum.

God = Dog can also mean choosing between being and behaving like a mindless animal or a fully conscious human being. God = Dog can also be the synonymous with balance, idyll.

Of course, every path, every interpretation is more or less correct. It all depends on the context, the view and the intentions of the evaluator. It depends also from the state of  knowledge...

ECCLESIA DIABOLICA CATHOLICA - We enter the next  chapter of the album.

 

This song also evokes associations with the past. It wakes the spirit of The final song of SATANICA and nomen omen also the fourth track of the previous release...

 

We have the same core here, the same kind of expression, similar time signature and chord progression. The song is well balanced and properly placed in the track list.

It effectively supports the dynamics of the album.

A groovy, rock influenced tight piece of music. The classic, fourth song of Behemoth. 

 

You should pay attention to the outro section of this song. Very atmospheric and pagan. The second memory and the second journey into the ancient times of black metal.

This is a song where a lot happens not only in the instrumental layer, but also in the vocals teritory.

Again, there is a lot of clean singing, a lot of harmonies, beautiful reverbs, and other ambient passages...

 

ECCLESIA DIABOLICA CATHOLICA has also one of the most epic orchestrations and it's really a pity that at the final stage of the mix it was set at such low level. 

BARTZABEL brings the huge change in the aura. Another stylistic turn and... 
At the same time, one of the most dark, mature parts of the album. Climatic, disturbing and enigmatic.

Pure vesper... 

Announced as the third single BARTZABEL was the song that I've been waiting for the very begnning of the recording proces of the album. 

It is here that ILYAYD blushes. It becomes more twisted, epic and inspired. 
 

The main guitar theme is slow, atmospheric and raw . This guitar is followed by sustained bass notes and somber drums pattern. The song slowly develops, grows with the additional guitar layers appears.

The whole begin to breathe, to hypnotizing... 
 

Then its structure become complemented by passionate vocals that pass into a catchy chorus sung by Nergal with a clean voice. The piece is becoming more and more gloomy and full of smoke...

The end brings a beautiful multi-layered guitar solo from Seth, after which a repetitive chord finishes the song. 
 

After listening to this track you will certainly ask yourself, what was that? 
 

A first blacked death metal ballad? 

 

A way to freeing from the weight of the genre?

 

No doubt it it not an ordinary song. It's art, spherical and spiritual. Tinted with a touch of dark/cold wave and occult, magical gothic... Unusual song for both metal and Behemoth.

 

I must point out, that I have tracked this song quite a long time ago.
I remember a short preview from the recording session of the rhythm guitar parts, that Nergal put on his instagram. Already from that moment, from those doom chords I knew that it would be a piece in which I would not be able to be completely objective.

It's just so much my musical story, my aesthetics and my climate...

But, despite such an acute appetite (or maybe because of it),  I am a bit disappointed in this song final shape. Of course, it's very good and it's very much needed on this album however, during the first listening I heard more than I finally got. 
 

This song really affected my imagination and I immediately heard things that could made happen.

I was illuminated by a slightly different arrangement, an additional guitar part at the beginning of the second verse, more orchestrations in the background and... longing for some unexpected, progressive coda. Anyway, it's a great, solid, only a little too safe and a bit too conservative track. 
 

When you listen to it for the first time, you're sure you'll get more. You think that its shape will be reversed, that it starts with the expected end and will end with something that would otherwise become the beginning (At least when you switch to the way of thinking of an orthodox metal music fan).
 

I expected some additional finish, some kind of post scriptum... meanwhile, I got the impression that Nergal was not sure how far he wanted to go with this song. 
 

In spite of everything, one has to be say clearly. BARTZABEL has an amazing potential.

There is something unusual about this track. Some strength, some energy... Something unsaid, untold...
The vocals reveal that it is an important piece for Nergal. Important for the album, in the context of which defends itself better than in a single situation... I felt it very much and I would like to work on it, remix it, add all the things that I hear everytime when I listen to it...

The next song starts with a dreary mood generated by unusual cold/dark wave guitar chords...

 

IF CRUCIFIXION WAS NOT ENOUGH

After THE SATANIST Behemoth has reached the point where it is the hardest to stay on previously worked out position, because...
 

When you protect this exact same position you will be attacked for no change, and when you risk too much, your art probably will not be understood and accepted. 

So, if you repeat yourself, you will die. If you not repeat... you risk loosing the glow and impact.

 

If you do not measure properly, you will fall down and the only thing that will be said is an ordinary goodbye.

Nergal knows it and therefore strives for musical hygiene. He changes the skin and explores something new, something unknown.  He try's to looking farther from his musical temple...
 

IF CRUCIFIXION WAS NOT ENOUGH approves the change initiated by its predecessor.
 

From this song the album seems to be starting again. It breaks the previously established convention.

It becomes impulsive, intense full of dynamics and much more progressive.

 

From the first seconds we get a full band performance. Great tempo set on the classic punk rock drum beat. It is such a strange and yet very catchy marriage of cold wave, punk rock and scandinavian black metal with one of the best ending sections that I have been able to hear in the entire Behemoth catalog.

Just listen to the last riff of this song, this varied dynamics and this powerful slowdown, where the guitar goes into the space created by the upcoming lush reverb. An amazing moment of the album and this is just the beginning...
 

ANGELVS XIII begins with an violent black metal storm. Huge black rain pierced by a moving scream. Extremely intense, extremely atmospheric song bringing to mind the classic achievements of Emperor.

One of my favorite moments of the album.

 

This song is the sum of everything that Behemoth passed through. There are blasts, there are roots black metal chords... Multidimensional, emotional, excellent mood changes and... this amazing, very moving guitar solo of Nergal. One of the best on the album. Here you can hear very well how Behemoth become mature. Great background, great mood, great melody which once again will return in the last full song of ILYAYD...

This track is an absolute peak. Brand new face of black metal and after all, a new and even more blasphemous Behemoth. All these beautiful slowings, reliefs, this wicked aura. You just have to hear it.

Vocalally, its one of the best performances of Nergal. This is an example of how much you can do when you know how to move around the studio and how to properly use the gear. 

 

I felt something similar when I saw the Satiricon - MOTHER NORTH video for the first time.

I guess that's how I can describe how this song works, when you become familiar with it.

ANGELVS XIII is the latest, richly illustrated almanac of Black Metal.

If the previous track is a black metal almanac, than the following SABATH MATER is the most sought after book of Maleficia...

Again, something that no one expected. Again, the marriage of species. A combination of punk and ancient pagan magic. There is the primeval breath of something that has not ceased to be present.

Something mythic, something cursed, something divine...

 

We get the most amazing mix of very old Behemoth climate (which for the last time manifested so clearly on the band's first and third album) with something that Nergal has never touched before...
 

The biblical, hurting mother has been replaced by that, which performs witchcraft.  

Another icon and another change of meanings. We're still close to the world from over two thousand years ago, but ...We see it from a different perspective, stripped of white and without any anesteshia.
Sacrum still mixes with the profane and there is still nothing that is unambiguous or simple... 
 

Musically, again punk rock vibe but this time more ancient. Again clean voice choirs and... again it works. Again we got an amazing orchestrations and... this astonishing doom marching piece with horns and fast blasting in the final, which brings... 

 

Lone guitar chords (which at the very beginning arouse a distant connotation with the last bars of the final orchestration in O Father O Satan O Sun) embraced by wind, the literary symbol of change and regret...
 

Here opens the biggest pearl of this album...
 

HAVOHEJ PANTOCRATOR the name of God, an inverted icon created from scratch.
 

The most beautiful and at the same time the most blasphemous and radical song of the album.

Filled with regret, cinematic darkness. Very biblical, very bitter and extremely emotional moment of              I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST.

Pantocrator. The Lord of everything. in iconography the representation of Christ as the ruler and judge of the universe. Here the reversed symbolism requires a slightly different interpretation...

Here the album opens. The altar begins to cry with blood...

 

It is the moment when the heaven torn's and burns, 
Here is the measure of the capabilities of this band, wchich although almost impossible, is still growing. 
We get a work of extraordinary beauty, in which piece by piece we touch all shades of sadness...anything that is unfortunate, everything that is human...

 

We have beautiful orchestrations here, once again we hear children. 

We have an epic, very theatrical mood and we have an epic culmination incarnate by pure evil...

A tiny fragment of the Polish prayer "Dobry Jezu" (Good Jesus), at the end of the song (listen to this sharp decline in the voice on the word "Jesus"). Something unusual, something straight from under the earth.
 

The breath of darkness just behind the back of the biblical cross?
The last breath of the savior? Inverted order and reversed history?
 I do not know how else can I describe all of this, what is happening in this song... (this pitch shifter is just delicious!)

With this song its not about the boarders... Its about building a new house...
 

Nergal masterfully walked around the convention. He changed direction. He looked up.
He went beyond the usual patterns, beyond that what was previously a mainstay the foundation of metal,  just to create a new, surprising hybrid that connects all that is holy with what is cursed.

 

Sacrum and profanum straight and without quotes.
 

This is the most extreme and at the same time not extreme composition on the album.

Its most dangerous piece, because it infects the bloodstream of those who were previously strangers to metal. With the rest, how to determine something that is bold enough to not get caught up in the imagination or any premonitions and predictions? This is such a song.

 

Everything in it is magical, but...

 

Again, there is one thing about this piece, which from journalistic duty I have to mention...

The progression of chords, their structure... This clean guitar sequence appearing in the end of the song strongly reminds me the work of Rammstein. The song from their second album SEHNSUCHT, titled KLAVIER. Perhaps Nergal listened to Rammstein while writting the material for ILYAYD,

if so, it will be not the first artistic borrowing in Behemoth's history.

The mood is very convergent, but it may be just a total case. In the end, all chords have already been played by someone and the end result Impresses me every time.

 

ROM 5:8 raises legitimate associations with the biblical letter to the Romans. 

It brings the reflection on the theme of a new life that, despite the highest sacrifice, has not been succesfull freed from sin...
 

Extremely Low and heavy riff takes us straight to the beginnings of the human sacrum and profanum.
A dangerous, very epic track full of syncopations, long drum fills and accents.

 

Another high peak of the album and probably also one of the greatest pieces in the entire Behemoth discography.  Again, we get a surprising and incredibly strong ending.

Slow retreating after which the final frontal attack appear in WE ARE NEXT 1000 YEARS.

The last full song of the album is a furious but catchy composition, that suddenly turns into a last walk grief.

A funeral procession, an epitaph over which there is an air of regret and injustice.
 

The melody of this epitaph scrolls through this album. Appears and disappears like innocence, like sin. 

It's enough to mention this amazing solo part in ANGELVS XIII, when you listen to everything that happens under it, you will understand exactly what I am talking about. 

This beautiful melody is like a recurring remorse. It silences our emotions, drains us. Leaves us focused...

This should be the end. This should be the last thing we hear on this album.
This melody should fill the bracket. It should be the last title, the last word of this album... COVGLA.

Nergal once said, that all albums of Behemoth he tries to create so that the first song on the new album refers to the one that finishes the previous one.

COAGVLA is the most ambiguous, unspecified and in the aforementioned context, also an amazing ending. Here the orchestras comes to life the most. A great atmosphere that brings to mind both DEMI GOD and THE APOSTASY. On the other hand... all these Black Metal references.​.. 

Did Nergal decide to leave us some kind of clue? A sign of a complete return to the original species on which he grew up? If I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST will not be the last album of Behemoth, perhaps we will witness an extraordinary closing of the band cycle, the symbolic closure of the circle. If Behemoth ended where everything began the history would become not only full, but even more unusual.​..
 

I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST is multidimensional. It combines not only music and text, 

it touches history and beliefs. It creates a new world, sets new theses.

To get to know it, is not enough to listen. It is not enough to focus on the music itself.

This time you need to discover all the cards, then properly reed each of its meanings and only than,

only in this scenario each hint will be revealed and emphasized.

You have to look at each of the tracks from many angles. Every part of this album is packed with symbolism. Each song is a station that reveals more secrets and all of them are joined by two unholy hands bearing the inscriptions SOLVE and COVGLA.

Nergal has created a complete and fascinating world. World full of emotions, events and meanings... 

secretive and dangerous. Not everything is clear from the beginning. We do not understand everything right away. Not everything can be seen at first glance. First you have to start living in it, root yourself.

Only then gradually you begin to understand with what and with whom you are dealing.

 

In this context, it is a completely different album than any previous one, including THE SATANIST.  

Behemoth for several years has been oscillating and approaching the formula of the classical concept album and ILYAYD is its best and closest attempt.

 

After the first audition you get the impression that the pieces are arranged in something like mini cycles, something like segments, closed wholes that connect with each other due to some elements.

 

The first three compositions are joined by the children's choir and the interpenetrating symbolism of innocence (human and animal, birth and death)...

Echoes of the pseudo prayer, shouted in the introduction of the album, return in the final of GOD = DOG, which is followed by a spurt... The next three and three more songs, which despite the varied dynamics and construction also permeate and have more or less visible references.

However, I will not mention them here. I will not take away you the pleasure on finding it.

Just listen carefully. Pay attention to the details. They will guide you...

 

From the production side...

All elements known from the previous albums have also been improved and developed.
Arrangements, mix, the whole production, the sound. 
Everything is even more open and fresh.

In the background there are lot of interesting ambient things. There is plenty of air and melody.

The last stylistic belts holding the band on the previous album have been loosened.

Guitars are much more complex and spacious. they are incredibly dense and at the same time full of air and space. They are less gainy (more rock sounding), more precise and very well arranged.

Noteworthy are the parts of the lead guitar, which on this album is way more prominent (and this time serves as the second narrator, a guide showing the key moments of the album. A narrator separating moods and creates order...) They fill every free part of the frequency. The guitars on ILYAYD are really free. They are not rigidly planned and way more multidimensional and there are clearly more of them

Nergal and Seth do a really great job. Such rich and interestingly arranged guitars were not yet on any Behemoth album.

All this is accompanied by bass, which on this album has a slightly different role and slightly different task.

Orion stays closer to the bottom end. Bass is not given here directly. It is a bit more blurred. It is not always selective, but it is also wider then usual. Of course, Orion goes up the neck and all his characteristic patters (like in the introduction to GOD = DOG) are still present, but the sound of his bass, its location in the panorama of the mix and in the frequency spectrum are much more varied and fluid.

This makes the bass parts are more feel noticeable than audible however, its still an integral part of each song. We feel its presence and we feel it movement. 

 

On this album Orion explored further plans. His task is building and co-creating the ambient. 

Inferno... What can I say about his playing? This guy has not had bad moments for years.

He enters the studio to conquer and every time succed his mission. He is totally prepared and he knows what he wants to get. All this violent fills, passages, syncopates, changes of time...

Its really amazing how he understands and reads music. How he sets the foundations and draws the dynamics of he songs. From the very first hit in the studio to the final producend sound of the album, 

this man, this drums is just out of this world.

 

Together with Orion he is the perfect complement to Nergal's musical visions. 

Without Inferno the circle would not be full. Magic would not happen.

 

​In his life he played everything and he is still fresh. His technique, from the first song increases the value of the album. In spite of the storm of sounds, he always plays with an amazing feel (unusual for metal music).  His playing is a science for everyone, from passive listener to active musician.

Drums were recorded in a very interesting and atmospheric place. 

On the edge of Poland, in the midst of beautiful nature, in extraordinary MONOCHROM STUDIO, which contrasts with the picturesque wilderness. 

​The main studio room has an extraordinary acoustics. And it can be heard on the album.

We have here a real - well-recorded space. A wonderful ambient, amplifying snare and toms and adding an extra dimension to the whole kit. Everything sounds huge, warm and diffrent than on the previous album. A little more saturated and at the same time not so vintage...

Vocals. Those always come out differently and I have the impression that despite all adversities of fate, vagaries of the throat and a variable form... These time they came out better then ever.

 

Many were afraid of Nergal's vocal cords, but after THE SATANIST I was calm.

 

Nergal has taken a long vocal way. He tried all metal and around metal techniques in both layering and producing of vocals. Although from the perspective of time and especially in the context of DEMIGOD and THE APOSTASY he may have a different opinion, I think that each time he finally achieved the best possible and the most interesting final effect. 
 

The effect appropriate to the context of the album. The effect that help built his amazing vocal portfolio... 

On DEMIGOD he created a voice corresponding to this sick, stitched cover figure.

He created a certain closed whole. A voice corresponding to the name of the album, which somehow explains its name, adds its additional meaning. A voice showing its reason, dehumanized, demonic and brutal. Heavily multiplied. Sounding as far away from a human...

On THE APOSTASY, the same vocalist is far more human, raw and stuffy... ancient and more naked,

weaker and on the other hand disturbing, spicy, hypnotic and primary. 

This time, the vocal parts also are special and will convince all those who are not convinced yet... all those, who have fallen in love with the Behemoth music and not in Nergal's voice.

By the way, here we have not only Nergal but also Adam Darski.

Marriage of all vocal styles and vocal practices. 

 

On ILYAYD something amazing has been worked out. The vocals are not only full of passion, wide and multilayer but they are also smooth, full of faith, imposed as if in a state of nirvana...

Even more than before they are an affirmation of life. They go beyond the parenthesis and become a narrative. They also take more space. There are lots of clear parts, there are choirs and most importantly...

This time Nergal puts much longer and more complete phrases. The vocals are not cut so much and even if technically different they are very organic, what also distinguishes it from other extreme albums standing next to Behemoth. 

Nergal harder and harder stretches his star in the firmament of metal music. He stretches it to all the possible limits. From poisonous illegible walls of sound, wild winding riffs and blasts to melody, harmony and mood. He tame that, what a decade ago seemed unfamiliar to him. He became not only a performer or musican. He became a mature, conscious composer and guitarist. He can probably do more than he thinks he can today.

 

This album is the brightest evidence that today he can juggle moods. He can play exactly what he needs and when it is necessary, even if the convention of the song is opposed, he will break the pattern and choose the freedom and experience of something that was not in the plan.

 

If something is missing on this album, it's probably more ancient aura. Little more of Sacrum,

exceeding the sterility of the sound. A bit more cinematographic flow...

 

When I met the first interviews about the recording process and the shape of (then) the upcoming album, 

I counted on a slightly different sound (even more fuzzy. more pastel, more ambient, more hypnotic and more sick). I counted on slightly different arrangements. I have hope for bigger confrontations of the worlds. I wanted it to be the most artistic work not only of Behemoth but of the whole genre, and... 

this mission is almost succeeded... Just imagine, how perfect and even more epic could this record be if the backgrounds played a more important role? 

 

Anyway, Behemoth remained coherent and vital. it becomes universal and more resistant to fire.

You'll get squeezed where the previous albums failed. You get a more digestible spark that will ignite the flame. On the one hand, they managed to escape from habits and on the other hand, expose and develop the strongest elements of the core style of the band.

 

Stylistically, of course it is Behemoth however, Behemoth allowing himself to a serious rock n roll flow.

 

Before I end this review I want to repeat it clearly. I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST does not follow the path set by The Satanist and it does not either look or sound like it. 

In my opinion, this new album is as far away from its predecessor as possible. 

At least, as far as possible at the current stage of Behemoth's career.

​So, visually, conceptually, arrangementally, emotionally and compositionally it is different.

Musically it's a whole new path. The only thing that may resemble the content of THE SATANIST is the leading guitar riff of GOD = DOG and the fourth track ECCLESIA DIABOLICA CATHOLICA, which has similar construction to ORA PRO NOBIS LUCIFER. On this all similarities end. 

 

​Inferno plays differently, Orion has a completely different place and different tasks. 
Nergal's riffs are completely differently constructed. The Mood, the energy and dramaturgy are different.

Arranges also, Lirycs too. The melodies are different and the scales are different.

In summary

This album is angry. There are plenty of crazy, twisted riffs here which will be wound by a very active lead guitar. There are punk and new wave influences. There are more rock oriented sound and structures. Brutal and beautiful... Blasts and reliefs. 
 

It's probably the most perfect and smooth marriage of black and death metal.
This is probably the most effective mix of everything that did not have the right to match,

and this is probably the most progressive album of the whole extreme metal genre.
It rushes quickly and leaves behind only the smashed thoughts. It leaves burnt soil.

This is also very extreme and non-extreme album. An album that once again and with even more cunning escapes its genre. From the artwork through the lirics and finally to the atmosphere, it moves metal music to previously unknown landscapes.

 

​Behemoth once again managed to create a very strong and consistent album. 
Very well balanced and complete album. Literary tasteful. graphically beautiful, bowing to tradition and at the same time raising extreme music for a new and even higher level.

 

I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST is inspired by darkness and obscured by the brightest light.

​It's full of contrasts, full of biblical symbolism. and at the same time full of the blackest evil...

All this dressed in real true art. A well-groomed black elegant suit. A very expensive suit sewn to measure with a golden thread. 

 

I LOVED YOU AT YOUR DARKEST is another step in Behemoth career.

The next step in artistic maturity, in artistic fullness. The most mature, full, conscious and symbolic album

in Behemoth's career. The most biblical and the most blasphemous.

​Adam Nergal Darski dresses black music in white apostolic robes. This record is his shroud. 

​An album that once again shifts the borders and breaks taboos. 
Breaks with black and white metal dogma. With what, nomen omen is sacred to this genere.

 

This is the metal of the twenty-first century.  Powerful and open minded.
Thanks to Behemoth, whole extreme music enters the new era, stronger than ever before.

​Behemoth plays more than others, believes more than others and does not believe more than others.

​Behemoth is a lesson of humility. A show of willpower, oath of hard work and a lesson on what a real team can do for respect and friendship.

 

ILYAYD is aimed at getting into many places, into every mood. It's a marvelous and fresh album. 

What's more about it is that the band's musicians really like what they play,

so Behemoth has achieved the most difficult art, that is the highest possible faith in his own material...

 

Become a devoted fan of your own creativity, this is the last link in the chain.

A link that determines not only the quality of live performance. It's the key to longevity...

 

Behemoth AD 2018 has this key. On October 5, 2018 this band is still alive, organic and dangerous...

8.5/10

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