MARS ON EARTH  self-titled  CD   (Red Stream)   6.99

The one n' only release of seriously weird, militaristic, interplanetary black metal from this obscure German band, released on Red Stream back in 2001. The band members for this project purportedly claimed to be of Martian origin themselves, though checking out their entry in Metal-Archives.com reveal suspiciously German-soubding names for the trio, also printed on the back of the album. They definioterly\ play the Martian Warfare concept straight here, though. Even on their Archive page there's little other infortmation to be found, the booklet is just a collage of strange otherworldly hues and images attached to each of the four songs, and from start to finish this disc delivers you into a hostile and magnificent blastscape of epic, operatic proportions. Themed around a violent Martian takeover and apparent terraforming of planet Earth, these guys whip up a wild frenzy of industrial, symphonic, electronic and experimental spasms that emanate from a rigid black metal attack that moves at supersonic tempos. It's all drenched in an odd, futuristic-seeming atmosphere, even though the metal is obviously influenced by the greats of the Norwegian second-wave; the sound is informed by Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk-era Emperor, Arcturus, and maybe even Mayhem's then-new Grand Declaration of War.

With the title track dropping titanic martial snares, helicopters flying overhead, ominous dissonant strings, military artillery, screaming voices, and clashes of orchestral bombast, Mars gets right into the dreadful chaos of a hideous warzone, layiong out this bleak soundscape before the EP rips into the bleeping insanity of "Planets". That's where this gets really odd, as old-school science-fiction film electronic effects and industrialized clang are tasken over by a mechanical black metal assault, weird time signatures writhing under the scorched, off-kilter riffs, the rumbling double bass sounding like it might have been programmed, the singer's reptilian scowl delivering what I imagine are hateful declarations from the Martian warmachine delivered in German, the song dropping in and out as weird proggy bass guitar runs emerge along with electronic beats and abstract percussive grooves. The whole thing has this hulking, alien awkwardness going on, and then the X-Files-esque synthesizer melodies start to take over (not kidding). Actually, this whole disc is loaded with killer synthesizer craziness, lots of Moogy gurgle and prog-style wigouts, usually appearing as a weird non-sequitur amid the mechanized symphonic black metal. The other two tracks blend more martial drumming, short passages of Laibach / In Slaughter Natives style industrial might, soundtracky samples, portentious tolling bells, some very cool sung vocal parts (some of which stretch out for awhile to dramatic effect), and blasts of utterly spaced-out lunacy with what turns into some seriously heavy riffing (especially on the technoid monstrosity "Die Stadt Ist Im Krieg"). It's truly "cyber war music". There's sort of a similiar surreal spirit as Dodheimsgard's experimental stuff. Pity that they didn't do anything after this, I would have loved to have heard more of their bizarre experimental black metal and see it evolve and coalesce into what is clearly a pretty unique creative vision.

Track Samples:
Sample : Bleeding Underwater
Sample : Die Stadt Ist Im Krieg
Sample : Planets