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Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Metal Thrash Metal




"Review - Heart So Black"

“Mortalus is a heavy/thrash metal band from Little Rock, Arkansas that is lead by vocalist/guitarist Michelle Gann. Influences range from Judas Priest & Iron Maiden to bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Overkill, Testament, Anthrax, and Death Angel. On the band's full-length debut, the aptly-titled titled "Heart So Black", it's groups like Crowbar and Pantera that bridge the gap between those different metal genres. Not surprisingly, the Arkansas-based group has hit on a sound that is bad ass to the core! With a run-time of just over 45 minutes, "Heart So Black" is chock full of heavy riffs and skull crushing leads. All at once hard-hitting and heavier than hell's bells, Mortalus' first full-length album is a monster recording that has mean motherf**ker written all over it!! It would be well-worth the price of admission for the music alone. What's really cool about the album though is how it mixes this sick music with well-thought out lyrics. With themes that cover everything from” - Heavy Metal Time Machine

"State of the Art: Mortalus"

I have always had the opinion that there is no sense fixing what ain’t broken. As those that know me and readers of my articles know, I am an old guy that has grown up listening to all types of music and have a passion for all things Metal: new stuff, old stuff, super heavy stuff, melodic stuff; I don’t care and I simply love it all. Truth be told though, if I am looking for something guaranteed to please, however, I drop back into music that never seems to get old: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Metal Church, Savatage, Flotsam and Jetsam, Overkill, Slayer; and on and on. These are the bands of my formative years that help keep me in a youthful state-of-mind. Again, if ain’t broken…

This is where my final May State of the Art band truly excels. Straight Thrash. No embellishment of keyboards, over production, backing tracks or computer-altered sounds here. No bullshit whatsoever; just four real, honest-to-God musicians playing real instruments and leaving nothing but devastation in their wake. From Little Rock, Arkansas, Mortalus is rough in a good way, harkening back to the sound made popular by Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All”, Flotsam and Jetsam’s “Doomsday For the Deceiver” and Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” in the late 80’s and early 90’s. With influences ranging from Metallica, Testament, Exodus, Machine Head, Crowbar, Pantera, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Slipknot, Death Angel, OverKill, Anthrax, Symphony X, Iced Earth and the like, one would expect nothing less. This is certainly not to say the Mortalus is a wanna-be of these distinguished bands. These guys are the real deal. The current lineup has been in place since 2013 consisting of Donald Holland on guitar and vocals, Mike Gann on guitar and vocals, Bryan Bedgood on bass and vocals and Patrick Mahoney rounding things out on drums. Mortalus’ sound is heavy-guitar based in it’s rhythm with sharp, traditional, neck-shredding leads with some of the best bass lines available in any music; all grounded by the heavy foundation laid down by Mahoney’s drums. Vocals are huge and commanding, powerful and musical. To my ears, this is the definition of great Thrash. With one EP release available wherever you buy your music, “Fighting Until Death” is an investment in real music that is so lacking in today’s environment. Songs range from fun, tongue-in-cheek, movie referenced “Day of the Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead” to the extremely heavy and mature “End This Pain” to overtly patriotic (my feeling, is tributes to our veterans and the pain of war) “The Darkness…The Price I Pay” and “Here We Go”. Being a veteran, this really strikes a moving chord with me. The more I listen to Mortalus, the more I like them. They truly understand Thrash. It is not all seriousness and oppression, but can be fun without being corny at any point and still remain heavy and relevant. There is certainly nothing broken with Mortalus…

Mortalus has a crushing stage presence that is shared with the audience which explains their almost constant showing in and around Arkansas and Tennessee. I honestly don’t know who is more excited to be at the show, the audience or the band. I see no egos. Simply four talented musicians sharing their love for what the audience and myself love: Pure, unadulterated Thrash. Period. End of story. If you are tired of wading through twenty new bands to find one that you like, stop. Here is a straight line to what you are longing for. Mortalus… - Metal Nexus


Fighting Until Death - 2014
Heart So Black - 2018



Heavy Metal. It's a term used to describe a genre of music that, in the 21st century, is as expansive as an ocean, with as many subgenre titles as there are species and all the seas. For Mortalus, their brand of metal is an ocean that can be deep and dark, pristine and beautiful, or full on, hull-crushing fury.

The members of Mortalus are students of their craft, striving to be at the top of their game at all times. Being described as "modern old school" isn't much of a stretch. The influences are vast expanses, ranging from the obvious, like "The Big Four," Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, to Evergrey, D.R.I., Nightwish, and Toto.

The three metalheads of Mortalus wear the title as a badge of honor. Fronted by the Cat 5 hurricane known as "Metal" Michelle Gann, she would be impressive enough as a lead vocalist if not for her beautifully intense guitar skills. Bassist and vocalist Bryan "Bedrock" Bedgood brings in a quirky, melodic style to the ocean bed low end. Drummer Patrick "Gumbo" Mahoney possesses battleship power and intensity behind the kit. Long time a quartet, Mortalus has since become a trio, writing and recording music filled with passion, melody, and yes, power.

Band Members