Mortanius: American Progressive Metal with a Touch of Power
Written by Shannon Reardon
Hailing out of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., progressive metal band, Mortanius, recently released their third EP, A Voice From Beyond.
“Just to be simple I call it progressive metal, because you can keep getting more and more specific,” said vocalist, Lucas Flocco. “I think the band sounds unique, but at the risk of being someone who sounds pretentious and describes their band with a thousand adjectives, if I were to going to be specific, I would say neoclassical progressive power metal.”
Mortanius derives their unique sound by drawing inspiration from the scores of video games, both European and Japanese metal bands, and also the scores from horror movies. Flocco also claims Dream Theater and Symphony X as influences for Mortanius’ sound.
Continuing with the influence from video games, the name for the band comes from the Play Station game series, The Legacy of Kain.
“[Mortanius] is the necromancer from that game series, [which is] about vampires,” said Flocco. “I heard his name when I was trying to think of names for the band way back in 2011 or 2012 and thought, ‘that’s perfect!’”
With the release of their third EP, which has a play time just under thirty minutes, Mortanius showcased two original songs as well as two cover songs, ‘君が好きだと叫びたい (I Want to Shout ‘I Love You’),’ the theme song for the anime series, Slam Dunk, and ‘Barbie Girl’ by Aqua.
To achieve the sound that they were looking for their new EP though, Flocco had to take a step away from the position of guitarist.
“I used to do both, [play guitar and sing], and then for our current EP I got someone to play all the guitars on it, because I wanted someone who was better than me,” Flocco said. “My guitar playing was the weakest link in the band out of the vocals, drums, bass, and guitar.”
But while Mortanius was able to acquire a guitarist for the recording of A Voice From Beyond, this was not a permanent fix.
The band are currently searching for a guitarist and a drummer, which along with Flocco’s full course load for the semester at Temple University, prevent the band from currently being able to tour.
“We need a drummer and a guitarist,” laughed Flocco. “So possibly in the winter, and I’d really like to do something in the summer, we’ll set up a few shows out of state and go on tour.”
While fans wait for the semester to end for Flocco, they can still purchase both the current and past Mortanius EPs on the band’s Band Camp page to help get them through the coming winter.