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Bulldozer - Biography



In the early 80's thrash metal was nearly emerging on the musical scene, only to gain popularity in the following years. While Americans had its Bay Area, where bands spawned one after another, in Europe the thrash revolution had a more difficult way ahead of itself. Still, thrash groups were not unfamiliar to the European scene. One of these rare and noble examples is Italian legends Bulldozer. Although officially formed by the end of 1983, its beginnings reach the years 1980, when musicians Dario Carria (bass), Andy Panigada (guitar) and Emilio Galli (drums) joined forces to create the early Bulldozer. The band, however, soon split up, with Panigada forming his own project, which fell apart very quickly as well.

Right about that time Alberto Contini (aka AC Wild), the charismatic composer and vocalist, came into play: "I met and Rob in 1982 and we made one session and one concert, but in '83 Dario contacted Andy again, since he saved some money and wanted to reform Bulldozer to produce a 7" single. Andy listened to Dario's ideas and the melody of the song proposed by Dario, and after a few days he asked me to create with him a couple of songs. I suggested to make something aggressive for those times; then we met Dari and Erminio and proposed our ideas. They liked them and in 1983 we started recording "Fallen Angel" and "Another Beer". The 7" single was ready by early '84. We sent copies to shops, magazines, distributors and we sold them all." Reunited and ready for action, the band decisively marked its presence in the music business and soon the name Bulldozer was on the mouths of more and more Italian metal fans. Asked why the band took this particular name and does it have anything to do with the titles of Motorhead's song, Contini replies: "Once I asked Dario why he chose Bulldozer as the band's name. He said he was inspired by Tank, it was his favorite band."

The single, although containing only two songs, set a stylistic standard that Bulldozer would follow until its dissolution. Contini sums it up: "I can say the band was influenced by Motorhead, Venom, and Tank". By that time Dario and Erminio left the group because of their parents, who didn't support their sons playing in such a blasphemous band (later on they formed Neurodeliri). The bass duties in Bulldozer were filled by AC Wild himself, while the drums were soon occupied by Don Andras. After forming a steady line-up and signing a record deal with Roadrunner in November '84, the band was finally ready to release their debut album. The Day of Wrath saw daylight in March 1985. Contini remembers the cooperation with Roadrunner as very beneficial: "The album had been released almost worldwide, so we were soon known in many countries. Our fan club received letters from all continents". The record was produced by Algy Ward of Tank, whose experience helped to forge a musical phenomenon, easily joining black metal ideas with thrash metal substance. Contini: "Roadrunner suggested to have Algy producing the album. A very good man. A real gentleman. During the first evening we met and discussed about the album in one pub, he was drinking bottles of Italian red wine only. I invited Dario at the meeting and he was also invited during the recording session - he played bass on "Fallen Angels". I was satisfied with the sound chosen by Algy, while Andy did not like the guitar sound. However because of the production the UK press did not puke on this album...they did later…". Nevertheless, the musical content of The Day of Wrath was definitely far more extreme than anything made in Italy at that time. As Contini admits, this was a bit problematic for the band's promotion: "At the beginning we did not make any big shows and in Italy only a few fans were fond of our extreme music. There were a lot of bands but only us and Necrodeath were extreme. Of course we were respected because of the deal with Roadrunner, but we were not at all the most successful band in Italy". Despite this opinion, the song "Insurrection of the Living Damned" had been included in the compilation by MFN called Speed Kills (next to bands such as Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth). As Contini admits, the band was quite surprised with this choice: "I still don't understand why Metal Forces chose that song instead of other songs which were faster. Besides that we were deemed as 'total Venom clones', and of course were considered the worst band of the compilation. Even the chosen picture was not good". As for the musical company included in the compilation AC Wild states: "At that time I liked only Slayer among other bands. In case of Metallica, I only liked the first album and the first tour in 84; in 85 I left their show after three songs…Venom - I only liked the first two albums and that's it. Only Slayer got b better and better, and they are still the best!"

Bulldozer's debut cleared the path for the band and soon helped them achieve worldwide acclaim and hordes of devoted fans with anticipation awaiting the follow-up album. Finally, in February '86 The Final Separation is released. This time produced by the band, the record proved to be a success in Bulldozer's career. However, although the album itself was popular among fans, the promotion was a terrible catastrophe, which eventually led to canceling the deal with the American label. Meanwhile, another change in the line-up occurred, as Don Adras left Bulldozer. He was soon replaced by Rob K Cabrini, who stayed with the band until the end. The two-year halt did not affect the band's creativity, though. New material was being constantly written and by December 1987 Bulldozer managed to record their third album.

IX was released by Italy's biggest independent record label Discomagic Records/Metalmaster. However, the press reviews of the album lacked enthusiasm, while in other they considered IX as being absolutely improper, due to the controversial perverse and obscene lyrics and artwork, which eventually created an international scandal! Still, the band members were definitely proud of the music and attitude they presented on their new album. Despite the criticizing press reviews, the album became a great success in Japan and Italy, where its true meaning was understood. With all the controversy around them, Bulldozer slowly became a respected icon of the thrash metal scene. The song "The Derby" from IX proved to be a huge success, even years after the release of the album. After the success of IX among the fans, a follow-up record was strongly anticipated. Bulldozer did not hesitate to release their next masterpiece…

The fourth and final studio LP by the band Neurodeliri was released in October 1988. Produced by JK Birdsells, it presented a whole new quality in the band's style - new instruments, new ideas, new lyrics - this time without the ironical and provocative elements, but still strong and clear. The album was dedicated to Dario Carria, Bulldozer's first bass player, who committed suicide in 1988. Neurodeliri proved to be the band's finest effort, with a visible evolution of both the sound and the lyrical content. Unfortunately, it also marked the end of the Italian thrash heroes' career.

1990 welcomed the very last release by Bulldozer, a live album Alive…. In Poland, which was a record of the intensive farewell performance given in 1989 in Zabrze, Poland in front of 6,000 devoted fans. The enthusiastic reaction of the fans, well-heard on the live album, proved the undying cult of Bulldozer and their major status among thrash metal band worldwide. The Italian heroes of thrash earned a proper farewell by their audience.