Dark and broody is certainly a style to fit the times we’re in, and “Alt-desktop” doom artist K4LT (formed from the German word “Kalt”) has delivered a discombobulated, weird, and mesmerizing piece with his new EP, Endgame. The Berlin artist fuses a lot of heavy, spooky styles into one eccentric mish mash—doom metal, psych-rock, post-punk, and synths all swirl energetically in the cauldron.
“Endgame is the antithesis to a debut album,” said K4LT. “It’s an exhausting commentary about regularly finding yourself in an ominous state, trying to make sense of that, and then getting back on your feet. There’s no alternative but to move forward as there are great moments in life and the music also depicts that. It just seems that gravity on this planet seems to always increase. However, I’m still an optimist and there are many good things happening every day, and isn’t that something to wake up for?”
‘Boarding Pass’ introduces us to K4LT’s weird and wonderful world of diligent synths and evil yet comforting atmospheres. The moodiness permeates the vibe at the start, but this gives way to creeping vocals and a dread-laden bass line that holds the structure down. Crunchy and distorted electronic beats fill out the sound, while metallic and fuzzed-out guitars pop in and out like needles in the ear to keep you on your toes.
Next is ‘Loading Screen’ where guitar and vocals take the lead. It’s a more laidback and melodically inclined affair, but things take a haunting turn around the two-minute mark with the vocal line. The reverb cloud progressively takes over as guitars rumble and gnash below, providing this nasty, grungy undercurrent.
Concluding Endgame is ‘Extinction Aphelion’. This dreamier track is a picture of terror, with wacky, psych-rock lines building to a hyped conclusion in tandem with the anxiety-filled vocals. What stands out most on this one, although it is evident across the release, is the sheer detail put into the piece. Every listen rewards new little trinkets.
Some may find the jagged shifts from one genre to a the next a little jarring with K4LT, but if you enjoy pastiches or adventurous music that starts and ends on entirely different areas of the map, this is well worthwhile. It’s a delightful gloomfest.