Video Premiere: Harassor – “Winter’s Triumph”
Warning: If you are a photosensitive epileptic, this video has a strobe light effect.
Harassor hail from Los Angeles. They met in an LA way. Vocalist Pete Majors, drummer Sandor GF, and guitarist James Brown III were coworkers at Amoeba Music, one of the few sustaining nerd havens on the West Coast not bankrolled by trust funds. And, like their incubator, the noise the trio emits avoids the stereotypical vapidity of their home city. Harassor mix black metal, punk, and thrash, though not in the way where one needs to apologize to the other. Majors has the right rasp, Sandor's toes have the right roll, Brown's riffs have the right feel. All in all, Harassor are well-balanced, applying their on-the-job training to their blackened trade. The result is something scuzzy without the smirk. It's also uncomfortably evil and enticingly evil in equal measure. Most favorably, it's catchy and a goddamned bloody mess. Racks and bins of the virtues and vices of the creative cycle have taught them well.
Into Unknown Depths is Harassor's newest full-length out on Dais Records, home to an eclectic roster ranging from Tor Lundvall to Twin Stumps. The album dives deeper into Harassor's genre unification effort, displaying a streamlined sense of how to build big moments. Some tracks charge towards a bludgeoning, an extension of the ridiculously underrated Moonknight which is the solo brainchild of James Brown III. Other cuts play up Harassor's safety-pinned punk personality, spiking chords and progressions that could've appeared on New Alliance, Dischord, or Plan 9. That reads as twitchy, but it's not. All of these songs are the same shade: charred. That's what happens when you set everything on fire.
"Winter's Triumph," one of Into Unknown Depths' punkier numbers, is how to make an effective video on a budget. The 24 split screen pulls your eyes away from the gutters so the band can sandwich your peripheral vision with perfectly-timed Captain Howdy extreme closeups. And the flashlight lighting never reveals too much, keeping suspension-of-disbelief-slaying location identifiers outside the frame. For the price of a few Maglites, Harassor achieve the atmosphere most black metallers fail to find in the forest. Plus, that's probably Pete Majors' actual blood. (He might be possessed by a devil cow, too.) The most expensive thing on set is the Superbowl ring on his finger. Newcomers, take note: you can skip the expensive CGI if you've got smarts and a good editor.
"Winter's Triumph" is the fourth track on Harassor's Into Unknown Depths. It's out now on Dais Records.