Young and in the Way let morbid darkness, fury explode on new killer ‘When Life Comes to Death’

YAITWIt is our right as humans to feel nasty and angry, and as long as we find constructive ways to get out that vitriol, there’s nothing wrong with that. It always seems like there’s that one person out there who wants you to smile through agony and look on the bright side, but to hell with that.

Music that equals that mentality and makes you understand the rage and disgust inside of you can be cathartic and make you feel a part of the chaos you’re hearing, and I find that every time I hear Young and in the Way. It feels like a cult in a way, something to which you can subscribe and find that thing that unites you with others who feel the same things inside. Over the course of their four full-length efforts, including the cataclysmic new “When Life Comes to Death,” their first record for Deathwish Inc., where they could not be more at home. Their combination of furious black metal, crust, and hardcore melds perfectly, and their assault never has been more on point than it is on this new album.

YAITW coverThe band chooses to look at itself as a brotherhood, a single entity united in pain and anger, so we’re not going to list the various members here to keep in line with their philosophy. The Charlotte, N.C., group also has members of other bands such as Votnut, Ayr, and Worsen, but this union as YAITW is ready to set fire to the world and take unprepared prisoners who don’t have any idea what’s about to hit them. Yeah, the band uses familiar sounds and mashes them together, but it’s the way they do it and their incredible execution that sets them apart from most other heavy bands, and you can feel in your veins the madness and chaos afoot on this great record.

“Betrayed By Light” opens the record on a raw note, with creaky vocals that sound like they originated in a cave in Norway, a razor-sharp black metal approach, and some great guitar work. Lines such as, “The time has come!” are howled that sound as much like a warning as a declaration. Chilling pianos drip at the end and lead into “Fuck This Life,” that keeps the mentality the same, as well as the sonic assault, and the band completely steamrolls over you on this track. “Be My Blood” has more of a hardcore feel to it, both in sound and spirit, and the song is punishing and callous. “Self-Inflicted” has thunder and feedback pouring down, but just when the band reaches a fever pitch, the tides turns and it goes eerie and cold. “Loved and Unwanted” sets everything ablaze again, with dangerous howls of, “Pull the trigger! Shoot me dead!” and the pace of the song matches the insanity of the words. “We Are Nothing” keeps the sentiment in place, as it’s sludgy and dizzying, with nothing but black thoughts flowing freely.

“Final Dose” is short and to the point, wasting no time decimating you with their power and ill intent, and then it’s into “Weep In My Dust,” that blows open with devastating drumming, black metal-draped guitar work, the band trying to kill you slowly, and a molten end that burns hard. “Take My Hand” has slow-driving muck, a thrashy groove that is tasty and full of torment, but then everything halts and goes clean and spooky. It doesn’t feel comforting at all. It feels like they’re setting the stage for horror, and sure enough, the explosions tear you to bits. “A Shadow of Murder” sounds like, from its name, that it should be another dose of napalm, but it’s not. There are eerie noises, acoustic guitars strumming, and lowly delivered growls that match the environment. The song is sorrowful and dark as a day-long downpour, and the blast you expect is coming never arrives. It’s an awesome, effective change of pace. Closer “Embrace Extinction” is the 9:46 closer that begins dreary and spacey, like something you might hear during an out-of-body experience. The song eventually begins to open up, with the band starting to club you anew, chaos re-emerging, and noise simmering and eventually bubbling over. There is a morbid shout of, “I die in vain!” that sounds like a bloody exclamation point at the end of the record, and it allows you one final chance to bask in the morose atmosphere.

YAITW bring back an element of danger to metal, and that’s something that’s been sorely missed. From the artwork for “When Life Comes to Death” to their menacing approach to their utter darkness, this band is a killer, one you need to hear right now if you haven’t already. This band is going to roll heads and spill blood, and if the darkness you feel inside matches theirs, you’re likely going to find a kindred spirit that knows how to draw forth those demons and put them to good use.

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