Dark Endless (Reissue)

Written by: EW on 31/12/2012 12:55:24

Ploughing through the depths of Marduk's impressive discography, Century Media have seen fit to give the blasphemous Swedes' debut LP "Dark Endless" the re-release treatment. Originally seeing the light (or darkness?) of day at the height of the second wave of black metal's heyday in 1992 the half-hour assault of "Dark Endless" serves both as a testimony to the timeless appeal of classic underground metal sound as well as to the band's longevity as this in no way is the suggestion of a band irrelevant to the current day reissues can sometimes be. Eerie discordant opener "The Eye of Funeral" is a track all on it's own here unlike on the original edition, leaving the subtly-titled "Still Fucking Dead (Here's No Peace)" as a stand alone track to bring forth the metal in the same no holds barred manner Marduk have always done so. With a production job that reveals every individual snare and kickdrum hit and a frontman in Dread intent on tearing out his larynx even this tidy up job feels humanly brutal and incisive in a way that modern-sounding extreme metal records simply do not, and this works to highlight the underground fire that is evident throughout.

Like many a BM record at the time there lingers the meaty kick of unbridled death metal in the blood of most track here, notably the like of "The Sun Turns Black As Night" and "The Funeral Seemed To Be Endless" which help carry Marduk up the ladder of extremity. The feel of these is very much of the blue-collar style death metal that was being pumped out by Incantation at the time, which results in the prominent feel of darkness across the record. The title track hammers hard and causes heads to bang through it's course, "Holy Inquisition" is a slow-burner at first bearing strong resemblance to Hypocrisy of old before picking up the speed in a very fluid manner while "Within The Abyss", "Departure From The Mortals" and "The Black…" are the less spectacular, albeit solid tracks making up the middle of the album which passes by in a blaze of glory leaving the listener wanting more.

Thankfully in the case of this reissue we get just that with 4 live and 2 rehearsal tracks. Such is the quality of recording in the live tracks it is unlikely all but the most die-hard of Marduk fans will give these repeat listens but they prove that in 1991, like today, a Marduk show was not a gentle place to be. The 2 rehearsal tracks are similarly gloomy but full of the kind of raw youthful energy that is utterly essential to the continued survival of these genres of music we so love. Released at a time when there are countless classic records to look back upon in the black and death metal genres, "Dark Endless" does not sit quite in those lofty standards but it still remains a very brutal and worthy slab of black/death metal over 20 years later. My single biggest compliment that can be paid to Marduk however is the quality of their recent material for they are a band still very much at the forefront of all that is blasphemous black metal.

Download: The Funeral Seemed To Be Endless, Dark Engless, Holy Inquisition
For The Fans Of: Hypocrisy, Dark Funeral, 1349
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.11.2012
(Originally December 1992)
Century Media Records

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