We are Human

Label: Independent
Three similar bands: Iron Maiden/Judas Priest/Metallica

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Battle Born
2. The FiXX
3. Fearless
4. Intended Victims [Official Video]
5. Dearest friEND
6. Blood Red Sunset
7. We Are Human
8. Danger Zone

Michelle Gann – Vocals and Guitar
Bryan Bedgood – Bass and Vocals
Patrick Mahoney – Drums and Percussion

Heart So Black (2018)


Artwork by

Released 2023-02-24
Reviewed 2023-03-04


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American trio Mortalus give us their second effort, an album called We are Human. Wouldn’t it be a bit strange if they claimed to be Martian or eagles? The artwork is kind of digital, not the most unique or great one I have ever seen, but it is an adequate cover for this album. Equal part classic and modern I read, and they claim the bands are for fans of a rather diverse range of bands from Anthrax to Nightwish or Slayer to Judas Priest, Everygrey as well as Metallica and Iron Maiden are dropped in there as well. I think that comparing them with more traditional heavy metal is the more correct way to do it, more akin to Iron Maiden than Anthrax for example.

The singer Michelle has quite a powerful vocal presence, not quite your typical female rock voice, but neither alone in that style of singing among female vocalists – I think she is good and has positive impact on the songs of this album. They have a modern and powerful sound, yet the songs are quite typical traditional metal songs in terms of composition and structure. Pretty good dynamics and variation over eight tracks, but I doubt there are many heavy metal fans that will look upon this album as original, it doesn’t really offer much in that regard. In fact, lots of it feels quite familiar, I wonder if there aren’t a few things that are borrowed from bands that have inspired them. Still, the sound is good, and the album quite catchy, and therefore I think it should have an overall good appeal to metal fans.

I found it to be a rather fun album to listen to, the songs are good, the energy is good, it is a likeable album. However, I find that I am missing that little extra, the x-factor that grabs my attention and makes me want to listen to the album over and over. The lack of a distinct and outstanding hit song can be one reason for that finding, the second track called The FiXX is probably my favourite, but it is not a track that really stands out, none of the album’s eight tracks are. That is a weakness, a strength is that it is an album that stands up well to more extensive listening, I have listened to it many times and is nowhere near as bored with it as I am with many albums I review. There are certainly positive aspects here, several of them in fact.

And if you are a fan of the classic heavy metal genre, especially if you also enjoy slightly heavier modern sounds, it should be an album you will like, and certainly one that you should have a closer look at. I find it to be funny album to listen to but not one that makes a strong lasting impression.