ALBUM REVIEW: Scarcity – The Promise Of Rain

Second album from Scarcity, the Brooklyn based avantgarde Black Metal collective, who have managed to create a sound like no other on a record that well and truly bends the mind. This is black metal, but not as we know it. True, the blackened-screams of vocalist Doug Moore (Pyrrhon / Seputus) are delivered with a typical dark venom, but they are perhaps the most conventional aspect of the sound Scarcity purvey.

The prominence of the guitar style hits you right away on opener “In The Basin Of Alkaline Grief,” as the repetitive high-pitch leads almost have the sound of an alarm while underneath, an infectious bass-heavy groove coils around a mix of blast-beats and loose Jazz-inspired drumming. The rhythm section sticks tight together allowing the guitars to flow and do their own thing. And at times it is all very weird … but in a good way!

“Undertow” is almost like a companion piece to the opener with a similar guitar style, but its is slower and doomy with some clean gothic backing vocals. 

The aim of the recording process on The Promise Of Rain (The Flenser) was to play together live and nail the songs in just a couple of takes, and this absolutely comes through on the epic workout of “Scorched Vision,” where swirling twin guitars sound as if they are almost out of tune with each other – creating something rather quite leftfield. The live feel of five musicians jamming together in a darkened room is totally captured as the bass of Tristan Kasten-Krause (Sigur Ros) delicately rolls in the background, while odd times signatures seemingly switch at will. The arrangement is all over the place making the execution even more impressive, as Scarcity at times serves thoroughly chaotic, brain-melting black metal Jazz – with an often hypnotic repetition. 

A breath of fresh air comes with the slow-burning instrumental “Subduction,” and just when you’re wondering where the hell things are going to go next, they deliver a slightly more conventional riff on “Venom & Cadmium,” a track spiked with some really cool guitar work. “The Promise Of Rain” closes out with a tumultuous climax before melting into a soft soundscape, bringing you back down to earth with a bump. 

This is masterfully crazy stuff! 

Buy the album here:

8 / 10