MORTALUS "We Are Human"

By Dr. Abner Mality

MORTALUS is a power trio hailing from Arkansas and they've come up with a debut that, while it's not really a major standout, does have some interesting aspects. The most notable of these is that the band doesn't really sound exactly like anybody else, which is a plus in these days of an oversaturated metal market.

They claim to merge both old school and modern metal elements and this is mostly true. I'd say their "surface" sound is very much in the modern groove metal realm, with that kind of guitar sound.and production. Yet songs like "Fearless" and the title track have definite connections to classic metal like JUDAS PRIEST and the NWOBHM. They also have a female vocalist, Michelle Gann, who is not going to make anybody forget Tarja Turunen or the mainstays of female-fronted metal, but is competent enough.

There is a certain clunkiness to how some songs are structured...."The Fixx" being one...that kind of hold the band back. The obligatory ballad "Blood Red Sunset" is just that...obligatory. But their metalized cover of KENNY LOGGINS' "Danger Zone" is kinda cool. The musicianship is solid throughout, it's just that the MORTALUS sound seems unformed at this point. Maybe a band to keep an eye on, if they don't get swallowed up by the relentless tide of new releases.