MARDUK — Dark Endless

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MARDUK - Dark Endless cover
3.04 | 10 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1992

Filed under Death Metal
By MARDUK

Tracklist

1. Still Fucking Dead (Here's No Peace) (3:59)
2. The Sun Turns Black as Night (3:06)
3. Within the Abyss (3:43)
4. The Funeral Seemed to Be Endless (3:39)
5. Departure From the Mortals (3:22)
6. The Black... (4:03)
7. Dark Endless (3:52)
8. Holy Inquisition (4:25)

Total Time: 30:13

Line-up/Musicians

- Andreas Axelsson / Vocals
- Devo Andersson / Guitars
- Morgan "Evil" Håkansson / Guitars
- Joakin Grave / Drums
- Richard Kalm / Bass

About this release

No Fashion Records, December 1992

Cat.No. NFR 003

Released on LP and CD as well as on Picture Disc which is limited to 1000 copies and includes a bonus track : "Within the Abyss (Live Norrköping 21/5/92)".

Re-released by Necropolis Records on CD.

Re-released in 2006 by Black Lodge Records in Digipak format without bonus tracks. This version is not approved by the band.

Re-released by Blooddawn/Regain Records later in 2006 with new Digipak-artwork, remastered sound and 6 bonus tracks, 5 being previously unreleased live tracks. The 1st track is called "The Eye of Funeral", then come the normal tracklisting and finally the 5 live tracks:
10. Departure from the Mortals (Live) [3:39]
11. Within the Abyss (Live) [3:43]
12. Still Fucking Dead (Live) [3:00]
13. The Black Goat (Live) [4:03]
14. Evil Dead (Death cover - Live) [2:59]

Thanks to Vehemency, Wilytank, UMUR for the updates

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Black Lodge Records 2006
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1998
$79.95
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MARDUK DARK ENDLESS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
MARDUK released their dirty full-length debut “DARK ENDLESS” in1992 after their blasphemous demo “Fuck Me Jesus” the previous year and continued with their feet in both the black and death metal worlds much like other early black metal bands like Darkthrone. Black metal elements include Andreas Axelsson shouted and screamed anguished vocal style, blasphemous anti-Christian lyrical content as well as the black metal fashion statements of spiky leather things and corpse paint and while the music itself is more remnant of old school death metal, it also exhibits at this early stage some of the transitions of becoming black metal with buzzsaw guitar frenzies and blastbeat drumming madness. On the composition side of things though this does indeed sound a lot like old school death metal of the early 90s with heavy distorted riffing and the stylistic meanderings throughout the album. The band added a second guitarist in the form of Magnus Andersson as well.

This debut album by MARDUK is a mixed bag for me as it seems that the two styles of metal are more of a hindrance for a cohesive whole sound than one would hear on more developed blackened death metal as heard by bands like Behemoth. After a rather sinister sounding piano piece that sounds super creepy and twisted, “DARK ENDLESS” seems to fall in a stale rut fairly quickly but still manages to pack enough punch to keep the album from totally falling into the abyss. While the compositions seem to be more sophisticated than some of the contemporary black metal bands of the era, unfortunately the musicianship is a little lackluster at times with Joakin Grave’s percussion standing out as the weakest link.

While MARDUK has never been one of the most original bands in the black metal world, they have persevered for their tight wickedly evil black metal style that has come to perfect the old school black metal sound that they would adopt after this debut album. However, on this one things just sound off as the their fusion prowess was clearly not firing on all cylinders. “DARK ENDLESS” in the end comes off as a decent raw and filthy early blackened death metal album with all the shock and awe one would expect but ultimately fails to deliver the goods in an ultimately satisfying way. Despite the lack of perfection on this one, it’s a decent listen and i simply love the album cover! Wisely they would abandon the death metal side of their equation and ultimately master the black metal side quite well.
Warthur
Like fellow second wave of black metal pioneers Darkthrone, Marduk started out as a death metal band. Unlike Darkthrone, whose debut album was squarely in a death metal style, Marduk's debut caught them partway in the process of transforming from death metal outfit to the black metal monsters they would become. Whilst this sort of blackened death metal/deathened black metal territory can be fruitful soil, in this case I don't feel it quite works - it sounds to me like rather tired-out death metal riffs played with mediocre black metal vocals and drumming. It's not an outright incompetent first stab at an album but it's not exactly a seminal work of enduring genius either; clearly, Ma Duck's boys had a little way to go yet.
UMUR
"Dark Endless" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal (later black metal) act Marduk. The album was released through Fashion Records in December 1992. By the end of 1992 the Swedish old school death metal scene had already produced quite a few of the albums, that we today consider "classics" in the genre (acts like Carnage, Entombed, Grave and Dismember were some of the leaders on that scene), but another Swedish death metal movement was also about to emerge.

...while Marduk today is a full fledged black metal act, they started life as a death metal act. Drawing influences from the traditional old school Swedish death metal sound, but with the twist that they added a blackened element. "Dark Endless" is probably one of the earliest examples of a blackened Swedish death metal album. Albums like "The Nocturnal Silence (1993)" by Necrophobic and "In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead (1993)" by Unanimated would soon follow though and I think it´s valid to talk about a blackened sub-genre to the old school Swedish death metal sound. The imagery and the lyrics are anti-Christian/occult themed and the growling vocals are very high pitched and aggressive rather than deep and brutal. Especially the latter provides a blackened edge to the music that not many other Swedish acts had at the time. The sound production is also in fat and brutal death metal territories rather than in thin lo-fi black metal ditto.

"Dark Endless" isn´t the most successful release in the genre (I´d recommend the above mentioned Necrophobic album any day) and not the most well performed, well produced or well written either, but there is a historical importance to the album that shouldn´t be forgotten. However even with that dimension in mind I can´t give more than a 3 (60%) rating.

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