"It doesn't get more blasphemous than this." That's Behemoth mastermind Nergal talking about the title of the band's eleventh and latest album, I Loved You At Your Darkest. While it certainly seems an unlikely title for a black metal band - especially one that called their last album The Satanist - its origin might surprise you even more than the words themselves. "It's a verse from the Bible," Nergal reveals. "It's actually a quote from Jesus Christ himself. For Behemoth to use it as the basis of our record, it's sacrilege to the extreme."
A crushing salvo of black metal majesty replete with hellish riffs, thundering drum cannonades and soaring liturgical choirs reminiscent of classic horror cinema, the album is also bejeweled with nimble-fingered rock guitar solos on songs like "God=Dog," "Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica" and "Sabbath Mater." "I really wanted to redefine ourselves with this record," Nergal explains. "I Loved You At Your Darkest is a more dynamic record. It's extreme and radical on one hand, but it's also more rock-oriented than any other Behemoth record." Lyrically, I Loved You At Your Darkest revels in the kind of religious provocation that Behemoth do best. "It's very religion-driven, maybe more than anything we've done before," Nergal offers. "But it's not just cheap goading. I believe this is some deeper metal language. It's art."
Unlike The Satanist, which was primarily recorded in one studio, I Loved You At Your Darkest saw its production spread across Poland and the United States. It was produced by the band members themselves, with drum co-production by Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, In Flames), mixing by Matt Hyde (Slayer, Children Of Bodom) and mastering by Tom Baker(Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson). Which is to say nothing of the 17-piece Polish orchestra arranged by Jan Stoklosa and engineered by Tomasz Budkiewicz. Or as Nergal sums it up: "Pretty much every instrument was recorded in a different studio, and a lot of amazing people were involved."