Like A Kind Of Matador: "Halfway To Dangerous" music review


Halfway To Dangerous is the first and final release from this now defunct UK trio who meld crushing slow motion doomdronesludge to haunting prog and drifting abstract ambience. (See live video above. You can hear clips from the album here.)

A swirling, slow moving prog-doom juggernaut. Massive downtuned riffage churns around fluttery flutes, while wheezing accordions whirl beneath angelic female vox and warm whirring organs, all wound into subtly complex expanses of slow motion heaviness and epic cinematic dronemetal…almost like a magnificent, hypothetical Boris/Bardo Pond collaboration.

Three looooooong songs, the shortest just shy of ten minutes, the longest clocking in at twenty, each a slow burning slow build, layers of drones and hushed shimmer, often taking upwards of half the song before the various elements coalesce into actual riffs, the drums kicking in and the band lurching into a massive ultradoom start / stop groove, explosions of blown out buzz giving way to long stretches of hushed whisper, only to be swallowed up again by another roiling onslaught, a heaving wall of downtuned guitars, a pounding barrage of thunderous percussion.

All the while, a simple, repeating motif, hovers above, or lurks just below the caustic grinding heaviness, floating like some sonic specter, the vocals dreamy and drifty, a subtle seventies pagan folk vibe infusing the otherwise crushing doom. The flute unfurling dreamy melancholic melodies over vast expanses of crumbling distortion, laced with glistening harmonics, and warm blurred soft focus shimmer. The drums slipping from abstract minimal crush to monstrous lumbering groove. Hypnotic, repetitive, mesmerizing, trancelike.

At once familiar, and essential listening for fans of SUNNO))), Harvey Milk, Earth, Monarch and all thing slow, low and heavy. But at the same time, strangely alien, with a subtle muted beauty lurking at the heart of LAKOM's gloriously epic crumbling black mass of sound, within each song a breathless subtlety, a deep haunting otherworldliness, transforming dense low end explorations into something much more expansive and divine. Even at its very heaviest, it still manages to sound woozy and dreamlike, haunting and pretty, and utterly breathtaking.

Like A Kind Of Matador: "Halfway To Dangerous" (CD)