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This album...just wow. I bought it simply because it had cool album art, and came with some free goodies (patch and a pin). It turned out to be one of the best random purchases I've ever had. This really is just awesome. The whole album is just nothing but awesome thrash/death metal, all the way through. I haven't headbanged this much or this hard since I listened to Pleasure To Kill for the first time. This really is an awesome release.
The whole thing is like having Earth destroyed by a massive invasion from space. You look up at the sky, and see the ships descending down on you, as the album slowly gets louder in the beginning. Then, as the main riff comes in, the ships suddenly stop in mid-air, and begin raining down artillery fire on the whole planet. Everything is exploding around you. Entire cities are being crushed into nothing but dust. And are those drums you hear? No, those aren't drums. That's the sound of thousands of machine guns being fired down upon you. The descruction continues, as the aliens pull out everything they have in their arsenal. They drop massive amounts of napalm, fire shells, launch nuclear missiles, and shoot burning lasers across the face of the planet. As songs like The Gods Themselves and Devils in Iron play, you and everything you have ever known is being burned into nothing by the relentless battery of riffs coming down upon you.
Then, as No Blade of Grass begins to play, the aliens stop the bombardment, and begin to bathe the planet in weird radiation. All organic matter begins to fall apart and die, under an attack that may not be as straightforwardly destructive as the previous one, but it is no less deadly. And then, the bombardment begins again. It seems the aliens just like shooting stuff, and got bored with using radiation. Once again, everything around you is on fire. The sound would be deafening if your ears hadn't given out already. Everything is falling apart beneath an endless rain of weaponry. This goes on, until the last song on the album, Dead of Winter, where the aliens leave. They give no explanation for why they just killed everyone. No one understands why all this just happens. You're just left to survey the destruction for the last 7 minutes, as the final remnants of life on earth die, whether from fire, starvation, radiation, or the thousands of other dangers left behind by the aliens. Your final thoughts as you die are “Holy shit, that kicked ass.”
Ok, that may have been one hell of a long metaphor, but I really mean what I say there. This band just plays relentlessly raw, destructive, and nasty metal. It is merciless, and it is fantastic. Just 53 minutes of great riffs, pounding drumming, ripping solos, and nasty vocals. The only weakness that I could name with this band, is that occasionally the song structure feels weak. Some riffs are repeated too much, or the songs just occasionally do not flow. But it doesn't happen too often, and overall Mars is still a great album.