There’s a sense of loss apparent throughout Brooklyn experimental black metalists Scarcity’s debut album Aveilut— it’s steeped in the 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 the grief-stricken Aveilut, 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.
Today, “ii” from Aveilut surfaces alongside a video by filmmaker Derrick Belcham featuring sound-reactive footage of dancer Jacalyn Tatro frenetically juxtaposed with the massive, harsh landscapes of southern Iceland.