PICK OF THE WEEK: Scarcity gaze into grief, loss, pay homage to void on gripping debut ‘Aveilut’

Part of having anxiety and the trouble with guiding it sometimes is the lack of control we have over certain situations. That can make you feel helpless and/or trapped, triggering whatever mechanism in your brain pounds the panic button and makes you choose flight over fight. There’s only so much we can do, only so much authority over the things that happen to us and others that it can be a lot to handle.

That’s not entirely what “Aveilut,” the debut record from Scarcity is about, but it certainly led my brain in that direction over some of the subject matter with which I can identify. This project is helmed by multi-instrumentalist Brendon Randall-Myers, who began to write this record after processing the loss of two people close to him and while caught in lockdown in Beijing in 2020. Randall-Myers, leader of Glenn Branca Ensemble ever since Branca’s passing, worked with vocalist Doug Moore (Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores, etc.) to add a volcanic, unhinged element that increases the misery and devotion to the void. Moore’s own lockdown occurred while living next to a funeral home in New York, one of the epicenters of the plague. So, you can imagine what these two forces, who stared desolation, loss, and tragedy in the eye, created when they got together. Black metal, doom, noise, ambiance, you name it, and it all feels like a trip to the center of devastation.

The record opens with “i” where drone spreads to all reaches of the earth, the guitars spiral, and the drumming pounds a path into your brain. Noise builds as layers are added generously while psychosis increases and limits your comfort. Moore’s shrieks erupt with fury, leads echo and surround, and final cries into the sky lead into “ii.” The track instantly has an industrial feel, driving and penetrating deep into your mind. The pace pushes as the shrieks corrupt while the playing hovers and hypnotizes, the guitars sizzling and streaming amid all of this. Wild terror enacts and gains control, blood sprays, total disorientation makes its presence felt, and deranged howls sink their teeth into muscle before melting away into the waters.

“iii” dawns in guitar fog as the sounds swirl and shrieks decimate, ripping through flesh. The force becomes a lot with which to tangle as the playing catapults and eventually torches your spirit, storming rages, and the momentum pushes toward “iv” that starts with a funereal pace. Growls lurch as the force builds, the noise pierces the fog, and the sounds scorch and push into the cosmos. Sounds glimmer, the power wrenches, and then we’re on to closer “v” that’s the longest track at 13:16. Guitars jostle as the playing unloads and just melts, creating seismic shock and an aura that causes your mind to wander. Synth blends in as the shrieks grab you by the throat and return you to reality, the sounds smear and streak, and that all washes into a gaze of dreams that are more grisly than calming. Shrieks echo, the sound cloud mashes, and everything spills into atmospheric glaze that dissolves into time.

So many people have been touched by loss and have had their lives altered forever, their realities shattered. Randall-Myers’ experiences are all over Scarcity’s debut “Aveilut,” and what he and Moore pour into this catastrophic, emotional journey can act as a means to letting the horrible events we’ve experienced make a little bit more sense. This is a bloodletting and a means to let the negative, sorrowful energies out, and the scathing adventure ends with you taking on more scars but ultimately move closer to healing in the end.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/scarcity.noise

To buy the album, go here: https://nowflensing.com/collections/scarcity

For more on the label, go here: https://nowflensing.com/