Published Oct 03, 2018With a title that sounds ripped from Gerard Way's first lyric booklet (it's actually a quote from Jesus Christ), Behemoth are already taking a risk with this one. Talk of a "more rock-oriented" direction, as well as Nergal's recent folk-blues dabblings, have only heightened suspicions. Have the blackened death metal kings finally sold their souls to enter the mainstream?
Fortunately, they have not. If "Angelvs XIII" and "Wolves ov Siberia" count as rock-oriented, radio listeners are in for one hell of a surprise. It's a step down from the wall-of-sound inferno that was The Satanist, but it's a distance of centimetres, not kilometres. Get past the unfortunate name of the single "God=Dog" and you'll find a solid black metal anthem. What's most shocking is that the song's music video manages to show graphic torture and mutilation, while still earning the designation of "clean version."
"Bartzabel," with its creepy chant and broad cinematic scope, is a standout, but the rest is pretty standard Behemoth fare. When things do soften in "Sabbath Mater" and "If Crucifixion Was Not Enough…," it's more Cradle of Filth then Kvelertak. The vocal effects are put to great use, though things haven't reached Dimmu Borgir levels (yet).
Some fans will hate this record. They'll demand mass burnings of it in the street. Fortunately, Behemoth will probably pick up a wave of new fans to replace them. Most of the complaints can be filed under "judging a book by its cover" anyway. It's not The Satanist, but I Loved You At Your Darkest has just enough black sunshine to take Behemoth to the next level. Whether or not their fans follow them there is a different story. (Metal Blade)