August 11, 2013

Rotorvator - I Vivi E I Mort

Review by Craig Hayes.

I Vivi E I Mort, the debut full-length from Italian band Rotorvator, contains equal amounts of psychotic circuitry slaughter, grinding gears of industrial noise, and lo-fi black metal. The album plummets into a fittingly pitch-black and apocalyptic abyss filled with mechanical dissonance, demonic vocals, and hypothermic riffing that revels in annihilation. No surprise then to find I Vivi E I Mort is released by the always fascinating purveyor of humanity's demise, label Crucial Blast. 

Superbly packaged in a DVD case with ten additional artworks, I Vivi E I Mort is a nerve-shredding listening experience, keeping thematic and sonic company with recent – and equally intense – releases from the Crucial Blast from the likes of Actuary and Mors Sonat. Like the bulk of the label's roster, Rotorvator's aim is to make a noise inspired by catastrophic disharmony, and while those goals are definitely met on I Vivi E I Mort, what the album captures best is the sound of humanity on the point of collapse. 

I Vivi E I Mort uses a jagged-edged audio drill to attack society with the clinical ferocity of homicidal machinery brought to life. Clanging metallic soundscapes are bombarded by manipulated distortion, and raw industrial metal and black metal's sinister hiss claw through blistering waves of martial percussion and doom electronics on tracks like, "I Morti", "Domenica" and "Facing West". All tracks on I Vivi E I Mort are awash in corrosive vortexes, where spectral atmospherics meet mechanical murderousness, and the album's acidity strips away the skin, while crushing the spirit. 

If you can imagine Gnaw Their Tongues, Utarm, and Thorns simultaneously peaking on a nightmarish hallucinatory experience, then that's a good summation of the visions being conjured throughout the album. Eerie psychedelic ambience, and that aforementioned lo-fi and frosty black metal, combine to bring plenty of seething sinisterness to proceedings. However, it's the sheer dementedness of I Vivi E I Mort that's the album's best feature; and "Humming Bones" sounds like Rotorvator having all the barbarity of the world injected into its third eye through a large bore contaminated needle, while covering early Depeche Mode, Ivs Primae Noctis, and Blut Aus Nord at the same time. 

There's also skewed darkwave, trip-hop, breakbeats, loops and buckled synth to be found strewn throughout the album. All is mangled and mutated into a funeral march for the world, (particularly on tracks such as, "L'Eternita" and "In Limine"), which ensures I Vivi E I Mort sounds eccentric and evil, but most of all, subversive. The album's black metal nucleus is surrounded by dispiriting electronic mayhem, negating any notion of advancement through technology. I Vivi E I Mort sounds exactly like it was constructed in a deep underground bunker, where news channels and horror-porn are played on a fast-forwarding continuous loop, for extra end of the world inspiration. The album shoves serrated synth, brittle riffs, and blackened and abrasive noise right down the throat, leaving you choking on modernity's death rattle. 

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

1 comment:
  1. The new A.M.S.G album "Anti-Cosmic Tyranny," which I think comes out this week on Profound Lore, has a similar-but-slightly-different diagram on its cover. It looks like something from graph theory to me, but mathematics probably isn't the proper prism to view this through.

    I also like the additional art that comes with the Rotorvator album. (I got the physical copy.) I don't know why they mean, either, but they're cool.