Behemoth’s 11th album doesn’t blast open with a gust of thunderous drums or shredding guitars. Instead, something far more terrifying: a children’s choir. Innocent voices, possessed, chant: “Elohim! I shall not forgive!/Adonai! I shall not forgive!/Living God! I shall not forgive!/Jesus Christ! I forgive thee not!” The unholy mantra sets a nightmarish scene for the Polish blackened death metal band’s most accessible—but no less diabolical—album yet. Flipping a middle finger at their nemesis, Christianity, Behemoth relish flaying and twisting hymns, Bible references, and prayers into infernal noise. The trembling “Havohej Pantocrator” revises the Lord’s Prayer: “Our father, who art in hell/Unhallowed be Thy name/Thy legions come/Thy enemies begone/On Earth as it is in the Netherworld.”
Like 2014’s masterpiece The Satanist, I Loved You at Your Darkest pushes far beyond the extreme sound that they've perfected for more than 20 years: Rock rhythms, acoustic guitars, and atmospheric melodies slice through pounding riffs and brutal howls in ways that, surprisingly, make this journey even more intense and exhilarating than ever.