In and Out of Youth and Lightness finds Louisville’s Young Widows stripping back their metal edge and incorporating some gloom and doom. Still menacing, even without all the screaming and bashing, the sparse, cavernous textures created by My Morning Jacket producer Kevin Ratterman combined with the songs’ jagged dissonance make them severely tense. “The Guitar,” from 2008’s Old Wounds, hinted at this slow and spacious direction, and much of the three-piece’s 2011 album plays at a similarly steady pace, half-filled with music that culminates from goth, blues, and no wave, and half-filled with darkness. Nick Cave's influence is noticeable throughout, both in singer/guitarist Evan Patterson’s sing-talk vocal style and in the playing by Nick Thieneman and Jeremy McMonigle. A crawling Bonham beat drives the album’s middle, on “Lean on the Ghost,” “The Muted Man,” and “Right in the End,” behind sparse blasts of distorted bass and wiry slices of guitar. In other places things become more rocky and primal, with the feedback engaged. But even when Young Widows' scorn escalates and the mood becomes more frenetic, In and Out of Youth and Lightness always feels detached. Maybe that’s what makes it so unnerving, and so good.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Lymangrover