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Mortanius - Till Death Do Us Part

Till Death Do Us Part
by Crisstopher Robyn at 27 February 2019, 12:15 PM

The Progressive Power Metal band MORTANIUS began in 2013  when vocalist, Lucas Flocco's former band, OUTLANDER, split.  Originally comprised of Lucas on vocals and guitar, Victor Cardone (from OUTLANDER) on drums, and Eric Giannone (also from OUTLANDER) on bass, MORTANIUS performed a handful of shows during the summer of 2013 before recruiting Mike Gissi as the second guitarist. In summer of 2014 Jesse Shaw replaced Giannone on bass and MORTANIUS recorded and released their first EP, "Ethereal Waltz," the following fall. Gissi departed the band shortly after. In winter 2015, MORTANIUS worked with Jim Jenca and Chris Kelly (of GALACTIC EMPIRE) to produce their second EP, "Savage Garden".

The EP was released the following summer and a string of successful shows soon followed. In 2016, MORTANIUS once again collaborated with Jim Jenca and Chris Kelly to create their third EP, "A Voice From Beyond". It was at this point that Lucas stepped down as guitarist, deciding to focus solely on vocal duties, and Mike Hunsicker (of New Jersey power metal band SHATTERED SANCTITY) was recruited as a session musician to handle all guitar work. After recording of the EP wrapped up, Victor Cardone departed the band. "A Voice From Beyond" received much more attention than MORTANIUS' previous releases, garnering praise from several online reviewers and doing much more to build up MORTANIUS' online following. MORTANIUS decided in 2017 that it was finally time to record a full length album, and so they returned to the studio with Jim Jenca to record "Till Death Do Us Part". Ollie Bernstein (of OUSIODES) recorded all lead guitars on the album, while AJ Larsen (of MADISON RISING and VICIOUS) handled rhythm guitar duties.

MORTANIUS also reached out to renowned power metal singers, Leo Figaro (of MINSTRELIX and DRAGON GUARDIAN) and Jonas Heidgert (of DRAGONLAND) to provide guest vocals. "Till Death Do Us Part" featured the longest production cycle out of any of MORTANIUS' previous releases, finally wrapping up production a year later, in the fall of 2018.This album features MORTANIUS' most fully fleshed out and dynamic compositions, tightest performances, and highest quality production to date.

Till Death Do Us Part” starts out sounding a lot like the band’s influences but sounds more like RUSH meets DRAGONFORCE to my ears. “S” captures many tones and different time signatures that seem to flow apart within the song. I cannot find any interest here. “Disengage” comes in strong, but like a lot of songs, the intro is nothing like the rest of the song.  Lucas Flocco’s vocals do not seem to be a parade of range. It is either here or there throughout the song, although they still remind me of Geddy Lee. The music comes out more TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA mixed with some DRAGONFORCE flair. The song is beautiful, but the vocal notes  seem to throw the song off more than it should. Overall, the ten minute masterpiece has highlights worth listening to.

Jaded” is our midpoint to the album. Starting off it reminds me of an old SYSTEM OF A DOWN song and has me thinking in a different direction before we head in another. I feel like I have stepped into Poetry Night at the local coffee shop. Jesse Shaw’s bass is mostly the highlight here. “Till Death Do Us Part” begins more like METALLICA than MORTANIUS. The soft guitar strums and gentle drumbeats sway to piano. Lucas Flocco’s harmonize really well with the intro. “Never knew the day would come, When I would say farewell to you, my love” hits a certain part of my heart. The build is very tight and creates a certain flow within, then you get hit with an 80’s Thrash in the style of IRON MAIDEN. Lucas’s vocals mesh very well here and sound like a mix of Geddy and Bruce, but can hit soft tones of a lullaby. The song is almost 18 minutes long of different time signatures, but still hold a good mix throughout. It is a very long song for an era of listeners who have the attention span of toddlers. There are some who could be settling in for the evening, smoking a cigar, and a stiff drink who would love this song. The tempo changes and the harmonization make this the best song on the album.

Last Christmas”,(a WHAM! cover), bids us a fond farewell. Honestly, it shouldn’t even be on the album at all. I mean, really? Why is this sappy Christmas song, especially after the 18 minute epic before? I get it, maybe MORTANIUS wanted to let out their inner TRANS-SIBERIAN, but do it as a single during the season. Metal-heads dance around radio stations to avoid this kind of stuff between July and December. This is not what I would expect to end this decent album. They jump to another spectrum of music with this song. It just doesn’t belong here. Give me another 18 minutes of good original music instead of this any day!

Do not get me wrong, I enjoyed the album up to the last song. I even tried listening to it again but couldn’t make it through the intro. I would rather sit in silence while typing this up. Throw another “Till Death” 18 minute opus on there. That song is a defining moment. The other 3 tracks are decent but “Jaded” still throws me for a loop. As for “Last Christmas,” give it a listen, maybe you can make it further than I did. Sadly, it is just a horrible song. MORTANIUS have some talent, but working with floating musicians can often hurt a band and their sound. Maybe they can hold on to all involved in “Till Death Do Us Part” and maybe we can hear some more of the 18 minute sonatas.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 5
Production:  8

3 Star Rating

1. Facing the Truth
2. Disengage
3. Jaded
4. Till Death Do Us Part
5. Last Christmas (Wham! Cover)
Lucas Flocco - Vocals
Jesse Shaw - Bass
Record Label: Rockshots Records


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Edited 06 December 2022

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