Mortanius – A Voice From Beyond

6.5/10

Mortanius’ latest EP, A Voice From Beyond, is about as drenched in gothic sounds as it gets. From the synth-laden title track (which doesn’t let up on the melodrama for a whopping eleven and a half minutes) to the oh-so-ironic closing cover of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” this record is a wet dream for that kid in your highschool class with the choker and the black nail polish who grumbled instead of spoke.

I’ll be honest, I’ve got mixed feelings about this one. Hailing from Pennsylvania (or…TRANSYLVANIA! No, but it’s really Pennsylvania) Martanius music mostly sounds like Avenged Sevenfold with James Labrie singing. They’re also very skilled musicians individually, and rather adept at crafting melodies. It’s just that those melodies are so very cheesy. They’ve toned down their logo though, so kudos to them. On previous releases, it looked like an ink-blot test. At least it’s legible now.

The highlights on this record have to be the two covers. Though I’ve never seen the Japanese Anime Slam Dunk, the version showcased here makes me want to give it a shot. It’s so wonderfully gleeful. And that take on “Barbie Girl” I mentioned earlier? Absolutely fucking awesome. Unlike most metal attempts at pop songs which try to stifle the original’s hopeful spirit with screams and breakdowns, this one embraces the silliness that Aqua personified in the 90s. It reminds me of the way Children of Bodom took on Britney SpearsOops, I Did it Again.” Bonus points go to the spot on imitations of Barbie and Ken provided by vocalists Lucas Flocco and Jesse Shaw.

The two original tracks are as long as they are impressively beefy and just failed to make the same kind of impression as the two covers. They’re fairly standard gothic power metal, and while they’re well-executed, I just can’t include them on the A-list.

Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy

About Syd Ghan 191 Articles
Syd Ghan is a Montreal media man, born and bred. After spending his formative years playing music on stages big and small across the city, he transitioned seamlessly into a career as a full-time writer, editor, and content manager. He has reviewed numerous bands both in concert and on record, written for a number of different blogs and online publications, been both a host and featured guest on various local podcasts and radio shows, and has even logged time judging live music competitions. In his spare time, he enjoys engaging in spirited debates over the finer points of pop-rock radio and he’s never met a chicken wing he didn’t like.

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