It’s easy to dismiss Marduk nowadays with their ridiculous faux-drama and their machine like devotion to blast beat insanity, but Marduk was once a crucial and masterful band. I know they’ve had their ups and downs and lineup changes vast and complex and I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the very first Marduk full-length, an album that rarely gets brought up when talking about Marduk.
Now as far as I’m concerned the second, third, and fourth albums, respectively, Those of the Unlight, Opus Nocturne, Heaven Shall Burn…, and When We Are Gathered are some of the best Swedish black metal, maybe just black metal albums, crafted. They’re the legacy Marduk is built on but in 1992 Marduk was just coming into the unlight (hardy fucking har) and what reared it’s head was a more straightaway death metal approach. Sure, it’s a menacing, nasty slab of metal but all the theatrical horror atmospheres, fog-strewn, gothic, Hammer Horror imagery of the following three albums has yet to form. That’s their sweet spot for me but Dark Endless is no slouch. Easily as good as other Swedish death metal of the time and taking a heavy cue from their American contemporaries, Marduk’s debut is impressive, especially considering where they’d take their sound after this. I think, like Darkthrone’s debut, this one gets overlooked because of the style change and that the style change was done so much better and was more impactful to the genre that it gets overlooked but Endless is worth all of your attention because while it’s not that classic trilogy, it’s top five Marduk for sure.