Young and in the Way Amen/I Am Not What I Am

Young and in the Way Amen/I Am Not What I Am
Young and in the Way's new double-vinyl release are sort of a reissue, but also debut, since neither of the releases it contains has received a proper release previously. The band put out I Am Not What I Am independently last year, while 2010's Amen has never been available previously on vinyl. Not to gush, but these two twelve-inch releases are another notch in A389's belt as they vie for the title of "best hardcore label in the world." Really? The world? Absolutely. No other label puts out such consistently earth-shattering hardcore, thrash and speed metal acts of such a high calibre. Both Amen and I Am Not What I Am are simply fantastic works of speedy, blackened thrash metal. Young and in the Way find their strengths in a sound that has the sloppy, up-tempo, carefree style of dedicated hardcore while also orchestrating the menacing, Phrygian sounds that define dark thrash. Maybe it's the black, surrealist album art or maybe it's the horrifying, manic, voices-in-your-head, stacked vocals the band employ, but there's something genuinely evil, and brilliant, about these guys. Both albums are fast and disorienting, with a good amount of creepy, textured experimentation on the production side. Interestingly, Amen ends with "The Becoming," a glorious 13-minute post-metal epic that demonstrates the group at their most ambitious and possibly hinting at an altogether different direction down the road. (A389)