Saturday, October 29, 2011

Young And In The Way: V. Eternal Depression(2011)

Young And In The Way- V. Eternal Depression

Blackend Crust Punk is a relatively new phenomenon in Punk music right now, and one that is frankly spawning some of the best Punk on Earth. Hitting it's apex in popularity last year with Kvelertak's self-titled debut, the logical and natural mix of Crusty Swedish and American Punk with very early Second Wave Norwegian Black Metal is all the rage. I say logical and natural because one only needs to listen to Mayhem's legendary Deathcrush EP, or the recent work of Darkthrone to see how much Crust Punk and early Black Metal have in common. This correlation shines through even on recent, pure Black Metal releases(Ravencult's Morbid Blood is about as true to the early Norwegian sound as it gets, and I felt like skunking my way through most of the record and throwing Molotov love letters at cop cars.) Young And In The Way, a very young group from North Carolina, are firmly entrenched in this movement. Yet their most recent release, V. Eternal Depression, sounds like no BlackCrust I have ever heard.

With an obvious ode to Depressive Black Metal, V. Eternal Depression is a pitch black little LP. There are no rainbows, high school sweethearts or big eyed Golden Retrievers bringing light into your life. Instead, there are gnarled trees, dead birds being picked to pieces by armies of black ants and overcast skies foreshadowing an even bleaker tomorrow. The tortured shrieks of Kable Lyall do not evoke a desire to mosh and fuck shit up, but to hang out in the bathroom with a bottle of sleeping pills and some Sylvia Plath collections. The opening track, "Descending the White Mountain," never moves faster than a crawl, and ends with a somber piano piece. Right before exploding into the next track "Times Are Cold" with all the fury of a drug addled and depressed rage.

Young And In The Way clearly have a higher, more somber purpose for their music. Not that there is anything wrong with the Kvelertak or Martydod method of mosh pits and 30 packs of domestic brews: an admirable mission if ever there was one, I assure you. But Young And In The Way are seeking to push an already fairly new and only recently popular genre in new directions. I never thought the words would cross my lips, let alone be typed on my keyboard, but Young And In The Way have managed something incredible: an atmospheric, multi-dimensional and layered Punk Rock album.

This is a tremendous feat no doubt, and V. Eternal Depression has become one of my favorite albums of this year. Everything about it is finely crafted and perfectly tuned: each track flows into the other, creating a constant flow of sadness and carnage few albums can compete with. How unfortunate it ends so quickly: the whole album is over in 23 minutes, with an incredible 11 minutes taken up by the last song. True, this is the bands second major full-length this year(the other titled I Am Not What I Am, which I have not heard yet.), but the whole thing ends too quickly. The last track, "The Gathering," is mostly ambient noise and drumming, and although it is sufficiently atmospheric and fits the album, I can't shake the feeling that the band could have delivered a few more tracks here.

Length aside, V. Eternal Depression is a must own album. What these young, obviously unhappy North Carolina natives have accomplished here needs to be heard by any fan of music period. No album this year has taken me to such dark places, places sealed in the confines of the mind, as this fantastic LP. You will be touched: the question is, how will you react to it?

Rating: 9.5/10


  1. 'I felt like skunking my way through most of the record and throwing Molotov love letters at cop cars.'

    Usual for you, no?

  2. I Am Not What I Am is amazing and so are their ep's, Amen is especially good.

  3. guys in this band are in another project called AYR and have released two quality EPs this year and then put the project on hold.