"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.