Scarcity - Aveilut
There’s a real sense of loss on Brooklyn experimental black metalists Scarcity’s debut album Aveilut, an inescapable presence of the realities of death.
Multi-instrumentalist Brendon Randall-Myers (conductor of the Glenn Branca Ensemble since Branca’s passing) wrote Aveilut while processing the sudden deaths of two people close to him, tracked it while caught in Beijing’s first lockdown of 2020, and finished it while surrounded by the overwhelming plague visuals of New York’s early COVID peak. Back in Brooklyn, vocalist Doug Moore (of Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores, Glorious Depravity, and Seputus) soon found himself in the midst of an equally bleak lockdown experience—living next to a funeral home when New York City was America’s COVID epicenter. From conception through development, tangible death surrounded Aveilut.
The result of such a profound closeness with death is this grief-stricken release, which takes its name from the Hebrew word for mourning. 72-note octaves, alternate tunings, psychoacoustic phenomena and macro-phrases embody the hugeness of loss, the inexplicable space of death’s void that Randall-Myers faced both on a personal and existential scale. Together with Moore’s gripping vocal delivery and stark lyrics, the album takes the form of a hyperobject, an entity with such vastness and reach that it’s difficult for the human mind to comprehend.
Consisting of one 45-minute composition, the music is black metal roughly in the vein of Jute Gyte, Krallice, Mare Cognitum, and Enhare—with hefty doses of post-Branca microtonal guitar abuse, and a cinematic scope that draws on Randall-Myers’ work with orchestras. Aveilut’s mathematical abstraction and lyrical focus on the greatness of the void breed raw emotion, attempting to represent a catastrophe, the vastness and inevitability of things outside one’s control, as well as a direct expression of grief, a kind of requiem. Though born of Randall-Myers and Moore’s intense intimacy with absence, Aveilut is an attempt to present a harrowing universal representation of death’s true form.