So, I have the opportunity to buy a mesa mark III for an awesome price.
why is this so much cheaper than the mark IV? will I be able to dial in some modern metal tones with it?

Brigadier of the 7-string legion. 7>6

Fender Telecaster
Schecter Damien 7
Engl Fireball
The Mark III is voiced a bit more aggressively then the Mark IV. It's kind of like a Mark IIc with a bit more gain on tap. I suppose you could dial in a modern metal sound akin to Lamb of God with it. It's a really good amplifier anyways. You should nab it while you have the chance.
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I actually much prefer the tone of the III to the IV.

Worst case scenario is it's an investment that will likely sell for more than you pay for it, presuming the price is indeed awesome.
ESP LTD EC-256 and a Fender Deluxe VM
A good amount of people actually prefer the Mark III over the Mark IV, at least the ones who have played both. The Mark III has nicer cleans than the Mark IV, they're supposed to be more along the lines of Fender cleans. Then, you have your crunch and lead channels. I find the lead channel to be smoother and tighter than the Mark IV. The crunch channel is great as well. You can easily get a Marshall-like sound using the crunch channel.

My friend uses a custom Mark III head with matching 1x12 cab. They gig 2-3 times a week. The 1x12 cab has more than enough power to fill bars and clubs. If you can get it for a good price and you've tried it and it's what you're looking for, it should be pretty obvious what to do.
haven't tried it yet, doing that on wednesday, and now I'm really looking forward to it. thank you, lads
Brigadier of the 7-string legion. 7>6

Fender Telecaster
Schecter Damien 7
Engl Fireball