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Autonomous - 83%

Felix 1666, March 10th, 2018
Written based on this version: 1988, 12" vinyl, Metal Master Records

"Neurodeliri" celebrates its 30th anniversary. (Somehow shocking, isn't it?) To be honest, I always liked the album with the strange artwork, but it seemed as if I were almost the only one - at least in Germany - who enjoyed Bulldozer's fourth full-length. As already mentioned in the "The Day of Wrath" review, the published opinion had nothing better to do than to bash the Italians permanently. In particular the here presented effort did not deserve such a treatment. "Neurodeliri" has a very individual aura. Frankly speaking, I do not know a comparable album.

One reason for the uniqueness of the pretty short work is its somewhat sticky, pretty blurred sound. I do not listen to a demo, but differentiation and clarity have been completely irrelevant during the recording sessions. The album does not sound very organic, but the machine on the cover is no natural organism as well... Another special feature is contributed by the keyboards. Of course, to use this instrument is usually not overly original, but I still wonder why a thrash metal band with an underground attitude decided to integrate keyboard lines in its sound. Even more surprising, they take the lead from time to time. But this does not mean that Bulldozer suffer from confusion. The coherently designed keyboard melodies deliver a dark aura and remind us of the fact that the trio was labelled as a black metal band in the first days of the group's existence. Nevertheless, the musical approach has not much in common with that of the pretty awkward debut. "Neurodeliri" is more melodic, but not lackadaisical. In particular tracks such as the straight, fast and direct "Minkions" or "Mors Tua - Vita Mea" make clear that the formation still likes to swing the hammer. However, they are not the most impressive songs. Bulldozer have also penned crude thrash metal operas. This sounds spooky, I know, but I have no more precise description.

The opener and the closer surprise with almost bombastic lines that do not match the usual thrash approach. Bulldozer don't care. The unpredictable musicians honour a former band member who has committed suicide and therefore it is time for great feelings. But don't worry, the dudes are erratic enough to deliver another shabby porn star anthem ("Ilona Had Been Elected") and a capricious ode to their home country. "Neurodeliri" does not reach the 30 minutes mark, but Bulldozer have pressed their whole portfolio into this narrow time frame. Even intimate topics like impotence are addressed and, of course, this approach promises sophisticated lyrics. Be that as it may, the album does not suffer from inconsistency. Already the unusual sound lends the songs a common bond. Additionally, I have no reason to lament with respect to single songs - all of them have something to say. The instrumental part of "Art f Deception", for example, sounds like an homage to Jon Lord (R.I.P.). It's clear to see that these slightly crazy Italians know no reservations.

It is a pity that Bulldozer never published a worthy successor for "Neurodeliri". Quite the opposite, they went techno and even "Unexpected Fate", their metallic output from 2009, 21 years after the release of the here reviewed work, cannot hold a candle to songs like "Mors Tua - Vita Mea" or "Neurodeliri". What remains is a hotchpotch of feelings such as anger, aggression, lust, fun and melancholia. As mentioned above, a very individual vinyl - and it has withstood the test of time. Highly recommended for everybody with an affinity for totally autonomous albums.