Mortalus – We Are Human
Release Date: 24/02/2023
Running Time: 32:09
Review by Victor Augusto
Mortalus! One of the greatest bands that I’ve had the chance to discover since I’ve been working in this complicated environment of heavy metal music. It makes me very happy when I have the chance to meet new independent bands, considering I always had this desire to support them, and I don’t think the fact of having a label behind a band could change many things in someone’s career.
The first thing that made me enjoy their music is how mature they are, displaying a freedom from any chains among their style. I’ll point out they are a Heavy Metal band even though it could sound like a silly observation from my side. But they’re different… Let me put it this way. They have the Rock and Roll spirit that Mr. Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead taught us for many years, but with heavy arrangements. Am I less confused about my thoughts, now?
Well, you will hear good riffs and solos. They are very catchy and offer heaviness in a good measure that doesn’t let you get tired. Michelle Gann is responsible for the guitar work, and she also creates a good vocal line, that is perfectly well balanced between melodic and aggressive voices. Right after the first heart beating, which starts the opening song ‘Battle Born’, you will immediately feel hypnotised by the quality of music. By the way, I associate these heart beats with the album title, because this is the sound that proves we are alive and still humans. Maybe it’s just a coincidence.
The bass of Bryan Bedgood complements all the music, and we don’t have that empty or thin sound which some bands with just one guitar can suffer. On ‘Intended Victims’ it’s good to hear his clean bass lines from the first notes. The drums of Patrick Mahoney helps on heaviness, with a strong beating. The kicks reminded me of the famous arrangements by Lars Ulrich, mainly used after the black album “Metallica”.
It looks like the album title refers just to the lack of humanity that we have been living with all the chaos around the world. The album cover shows a mix of a human and something like a robot or android, which seems to be closer to becoming a reality than a fiction, as it was in the past when we saw many movies talking about this dystopia. ‘Blood Red Sunset’ even shows more introspective interpretations and depressive melodies.
The album finishes with a version of ‘Danger Zone’, which was a famous song from the movie “Top Gun”, in 1986. The difference is that Mortalus play it with a heavier arrangement, to offer a more aggressive sound. It’s funny because the original track was played in happy moments of adrenaline when the pilots flew their fighter’s jet. But if it was in a war situation with the risk of dying, I believe that the Mortalus version would fit better for a movie soundtrack like that.
Overall, I loved the album. The only aspect that I believe they could take care of for further releases is the recording productions, especially on the drum sound. It is a nice production, with a focus on an organic sound, which I loved, but I would like a bit more finesse . Nevertheless, it doesn’t decrease the excitement of any of the material.
What I most enjoyed is the fact that they don’t need to be chained by formulas or style. They know what they want to play, without sounding lost or confusing. No rules nor chain around it, just their souls and hearts, because they are all humans, and so are we!
‘Intended Victims’ Official Music Video
01. Battle Born
02. The FiXX
04. Intended Victims
05. Dearest FriEND
06. Blood Red Sunset
07. We Are Human
08. Danger Zone
Michelle Gann – Vocals and Guitar
Bryan Bedgood – Bass and Vocals
Patrick Mahoney – Drums and Percussion
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