Bulldozer – The Day of Wrath

Gods of Wrath
The Making of Bulldozer’s The Day of Wrath

Motörhead. Venom. Hellhammer. Bulldozer. All bands that were despised, sometimes ridiculed, from the onset of their careers. Though it’s an ignominious distinction to be reviled so publicly, for bands that survive the initial battering, there can sometimes be redemption. Italian trio Bulldozer—who certainly owe a musical debt to at least two of the aforementioned bands and share a special connection with the third—arrived on the scene in 1984, via their self-released debut 7-inch “Fallen Angel” b/w “Another Beer (It’s What I Need).” In tribute to one of their primary influences, they were going by Bulldözer (with an umlaut) at the time, and they sported a four-person lineup—bassist Dario Carria, drummer Erminio Galli, guitarist Andy Panigada and vocalist Alberto “AC Wild” Contini—that would only perform on this initial single.

Carria and Galli originally formed Bulldozer in 1980 with Panigada, but this incarnation eventually split due to military obligations. When they reunited in 1983, they began anew with the addition of AC Wild in the fold. Not long after the reformation, they recorded that notorious debut single which would mark the end of Carria and Galli’s time in the band and also garnered Bulldozer the infamy only a pillorying in U.K. metal mag Kerrang! can offer. Carria and Galli were teenagers at the time the record was issued and their parents apparently took issue with (choose your reason) the fact that the pair had tattoos, the fact that they played in a band with AC Wild, and/or the fact that the cover of said single had a demon on it and a song called “Fallen Angel” (keeping in mind Italy’s pervasive Catholicism). Regardless, Bulldozer lost its rhythm section in one fell swoop.

Vocalist Contini took on bass duties, drummer (and former felon) Don Andras was drafted into the band and the lineup that would eventually record The Day of Wrath was finalized. Before they’d get the opportunity to record their debut, though, they’d have to weather that shellacking at the hands of Kerrang! in June 1984, where, coincidentally, Hellhammer’s Apocalyptic Raids EP was given a similar “worst record/band in existence” kind of review. Not bad company to be in, as it turns out. And, shockingly, Bulldozer parlayed their notoriety—and, to be honest, a debut single no shittier than, say, Venom’s first effort—into a record deal with Roadrunner, which resulted in The Day of Wrath, a prime slice of Motörhead- and Venom-inspired first-wave black metal.

Though Bulldozer plowed forward after Wrath, subsequent releases quickly moved away from the primal, punky evil of the debut. Nothing in the band’s catalog shares the feral immediacy of Wrath, and by the early ’90s Contini left Bulldozer behind and immersed himself in producing Euro dance tracks with great success. In 2008, Contini and Panigada relaunched a five-piece version of the band and continue to tour (though new material has been infrequent), as evidenced by a U.S. stint with Deceased in 2023. We’re here today, however, to celebrate the Italians’ snarling, brash debut, a record that sprung from an unlikely scene and found fans worldwide, making it a worthy new addition to the Decibel Hall of Fame.

Need more classic Bulldozer? To read the entire seven-page story, featuring interviews with the members who performed on The Day of Wrath, purchase the print issue from our store, or digitally via our app for iPhone/iPad or Android.