The Dark is the second full-length album released by Metal Church. It was released on 6 October 1986 and was the last album featuring the group's classic lineup of David Wayne, Kurdt Vanderhoof, Kirk Arrington, Duke Erickson, and Craig Wells. 1999's Masterpeace album reunited the former four, with John Marshall replacing Wells.
The Dark talks of somber themes, such as assassination, death, struggle, rituals, and the supernatural: the lyrics from "Line of Death", for example, were based on Libyan hostilities in the Gulf of Sidra. "Watch the Children Pray" became the band's first music video. The album was dedicated to the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, who died nine days before its release. In order to promote The Dark, Metal Church supported Metallica and Anthrax on the Damage, Inc. Tour. They also opened for King Diamond.
Reviews for The Dark have been mostly positive. Allmusic's Eduardo Rivadavia awards the album two-and-a-half stars out of five, and states that it "contained some of the group's best material." In 2005, the album was ranked number 389 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.
The Dark entered the Billboard 200 chart on January 24, 1987. The album itself peaked at number 92 and remained on the chart for 23 weeks.