I Vivi E I Morti is the debut album from Italian void-gazers Rotorvator, a seven-song blast of blackened electronics, pounding industrial rhythms, deformed black metal and punishing abstract noise issued through Crucial Blast's Crucial Blaze series. The band's unique strain of blackened industrial metal was first forged through a series of super-limited tapes and Cd-rs that were released on obscure, noise-friendly Italian labels like Dokuro; although Rotorvator's early works emerged out of the noise/drone underground, their music is unmistakably rooted in black metal, with blistering vocals, blasting tempos and eerily dissonant riffing all woven into their strange mechanical music, a unique sound that shifts between moments of mutant majesty and vicious chaos throughout this album.
Beginning with the pneumatic industrial rhythms, icy black metal guitars and gothic synthesizers diffused into wavering clouds of nebulous electronics on opener "Ad Sanctos", Rotorvator begins its descent into angular, blasting violence; the mechanical percussive sound that takes shape gives this a rigid, relentless attack that suggests the influence of early mecha-BM pioneers Mysticum and Dødheimsgard, even as the song slips into murky, tectonic breakbeats in its final moments. Then there's tracks like "Domenica", where the black metal elements are consumed into a strange, mutated industrial sound, shuffling breakbeats and eerie electronic ambience wrapping themselves around those ragged, utterly psychotic vocals and creeping minor key guitars, the shambling, sinister music suddenly erupting into masses of seething noise; and the bleak, droning crush of "In Limine", which fuses some brooding, slo-mo bass-thud layered with sheets of corrosive noise with fractured drum loops, swells of dramatic synthesizer drift, and a swirling fog of scathing screams and haunting distant vocals. Elsewhere on I Vivi E I Morti, Rotorvator wanders through stretches of dreamlike gothic trip-hop ("L'Eternita") and militant mechanical black metal ("I Morti"), the songs arranged chaotically as swarming black metal riffs suddenly collide with jagged, lurching rhythms, waves of stirring synthesizer drift combine with blasts of fractured, electronic doom, and corrosive noise rains down on shuffling hypnotic drum machines, eventually closing with the hallucinatory black majesty of "Humming Bones" where streaks of warped synth-pop flare out from the pounding tribal rhythms and malevolent riffing.
The disturbed apocalyptic electronics and blackened violence of Rotorvator's music is altogether too demented to simply be described as another industrial black metal outfit, drawing heavily from a mixture of industrial/electronic sounds to produce something more aligned with the likes of cult Swedish black industrialists Mz.412 and the malformed likes of Ivs Primae Noctis, Murmuüre, Gnaw Their Tongues and Utarm. Released as part of the Crucial Blaze series, I Vivi E I Morti comes in a Dvd-style case with a set of ten warped collage pieces created by the band, bound together in a black obi, the set produced in a limited hand-numbered edition of four hundred copies.