Early hospital mortality prediction is critical as intensivists strive to make efficient medical decisions about the severely ill patients staying in intensive care units. As a result, various methods have been developed to address this problem based on clinical records. However, some of the laboratory test results are time-consuming and need to be processed. In this paper, we propose a novel method to predict mortality using features extracted from the heart signals of patients within the first hour of ICU admission. In order to predict the risk, quantitative features have been computed based on the heart rate signals of ICU patients. Each signal is described in terms of 12 statistical and signal-based features. The extracted features are fed into eight classifiers: decision tree, linear discriminant, logistic regression, support vector machine (SVM), random forest, boosted trees, Gaussian SVM, and K-nearest neighborhood (K-NN). To derive insight into the performance of the proposed method, several experiments have been conducted using the well-known clinical dataset named Medical Information Mart for Intensive Care III (MIMIC-III). The experimental results demonstrate the capability of the proposed method in terms of precision, recall, F1-score, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). The decision tree classifier satisfies both accuracy and interpretability better than the other classifiers, producing an F1-score and AUC equal to 0.91 and 0.93, respectively. It indicates that heart rate signals can be used for predicting mortality in patients in the ICU, achieving a comparable performance with existing predictions that rely on high dimensional features from clinical records which need to be processed and may contain missing information.