Video Premiere: Scarcity – ‘II’

When you gaze into the void, sometimes the void gazes back in the form of a Brooklyn experimental black metal band. Scarcity—featuring multi-instrumentalist Brendon Randall-Myers and Pyrrhon vocalist Doug Moore—finished their debut album, Aveilut, in the height of the pandemic in 2020.

Surrounded by death, the two crafted an album that reflects those feelings.

“When I was writing this music, I was experiencing a void — the absence of formerly-present human activity — at both personal and city-wide scales,” Randall-Myers, who experienced early stages of the pandemic in both Beijing and New York City, says. “I tried to reflect the scope and incomprehensibility of that void by working with a tension between musical activity and stasis, between repetition and unpredictability. I wanted to push the music I was writing to a point where the materials sort of collapsed in on themselves and became something else. I wanted to find a place where harmony, melody, and rhythm dissolved into noise and drone; where exhaustion could become endurance and where rage and grief could become a meditation.”

Moore, who lives in New York City, echoes that sentiment.

“When I started working on Aveilut, the first COVID wave was killing people in large numbers in New York, and had brought urban life to a near standstill. It was difficult for me to process the carnage from a human perspective; the grief in the air around me was palpable in a way I had never experienced before. The lyrics I ultimately wrote are an incomplete attempt to reckon with that experience from a place of acceptance, and a reminder that those who died are still with us in many ways.”
A sample of that music can be heard on “II,” the song and video both streaming below via Decibel. The video, directed by filmmaker Derrick Belcham, adds to the feelings of grief and confusion with its barely-comprehensible imagery. Listen to the song below and pre-order via The Flenser—out July 15.