Marduk - Dark Endless Digi-CD


Dark Endless is a unique hybrid of death metal and black metal released at about the same time as several of the more influential Norwegian Second Wave of black metal albums.
It begins with an inconspicuous one-minute intro track, The Eye of Funeral, which consists of little more than a few keys giving off a rather cold, ghostly atmosphere in preparation for the much more straightforward songs to follow. As mentioned before, this album has little to do with the Marduk of today. Instead, the music here is a type of darker death metal sealed inside a black metal aesthetic. The production has little to do with the band’s subsequent albums, being considerably cleaner, and the song structures themselves are heavily rooted in the Swedish death metal style of the early 1990’s. In this sense the album may be compared with Darkthrone’s Soulside Journey, with both albums being death metal beginnings in the careers of two well-known black metal bands.

The death metal present herein surprises the listener by its nature: the Marduk sound is definitely there, admittedly in a more primitive form, and some songs border on the more doom-oriented side of death metal, with slow passages being prevalent in several spots throughout the whole album. The Sun Turns Black as Night, Within the Abyss and especially Holy Inquisition are excellent examples of this well-hidden part of Marduk’s career, where they actually played slow death metal. One of these songs, Holy Inquisition, is also the last track off the album and its definite highlight. Starting with an incredibly epic slow riff, the song then proceeds to slowly distinguish itself as a first rate death metal track, highlighting everything that’s great about this album. It even has an awesome solo near the end, right before the song (and the album’s) closing passage, a kind of demonic whispering done relatively well.

Dark Endless is a very good record, on par with some of the best extreme metal coming out of Scandinavia during the period. It’s also considerably different from the later Marduk releases, so liking or hating the band’s newer stuff doesn’t necessarily imply either enjoyment or hatred of Dark Endless