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Goblin - BackToTheGoblin 2005 CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.90 | 24 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Celebrating 30 years in fine form, Goblin take heed and create a lovely, concise album with the release of 'Back To The Goblin.'

Dating back to the year 1975, Goblin released their very first studio effort with 'Profondo Rosso' and in my eyes the album was a huge success, and is still a giant land mark in the Horror/film scoring genre today as well as the RPI music scene as well. Amazingly 30 years later, being the year of 2005, Goblin still show no signs of rust or age for that matter with the album release of 'Back To The Goblin' which represents beautifully, a thirty-year tenure fully equipped with diverse soundscapes. 

'Back To The Goblin' was a project that was conceived a couple of years before the year 2005, in order to prepare and honor 30 quality years in music making. 2 years? For the making of an under 40 minute album? Well, in my opinion, it paid off and made sense. For this reason, it wasn't easy given the fact that both Guitarist/composer Massimo Morante and Bass/Keyboard virtuoso Fabio Pignatelli lived in Italy while the legendary keyboardist Maurizio Guarini was residing in Richmond Hill, Canada where he assumed studio control in 'Bedford Studios' While his other bandmates Marangolo, Morante and Pignatelli would write and record at the 'Pignatelli Studio' in Rome. I guess the band couldn't deal with the travel expenses or hassle of flying back and forth to compose and complete an album at their own leisure? Ummm? Nonetheless, the Goblin team would prove victorious given their geographical differences by making excellent use of 21st century technology, which is that new-Fangled thing called the Internet.  Compositions and sound sequences where thrown back and forth in Cyber like fashion from the Goblin machine, and it all started with the inception of Guarini's 'Victor' which, in my humble estimation, is a perfect lead off track opener to incite the direction Goblin were taking with this album and that direction was difference. 'Victor' is completely composed/recorded by Guarini himself and 'Victor' is not in any way, a typical sounding Goblin track. You could say that 'Victor' could be an opening theme to a very adventurous play or maybe even I would go so far to say that Guarini's creation could be used as a video game score. Furthermore, 'Victor' is a very clever track, but for the hard-core Goblin listener it may take some getting used to since it carries no moody or ominous dark nature to it. 

Meanwhile, back in Italy, Morante and Pignatelli were hard at work recording and laying down solid ground for the rest of the tracks on the album.  Specifically, Morante was working on his intial compositions like 'Bass theme in E minor' which is a thumpy and grumpy bass line that persists and pulsate's throughout the entire track and is an excellent track overall. I love it when the 'bass' is the featured instrument in a prog song. Also, I thought Pignatelli would have wrote that one! Another track that was being worked on, and my favourite on the 'Back To The Goblin' album is 'Dlen Dlon.' This is a song where you will be immediately hooked into an extremely catchy and edgy guitar riff followed up by Guarini and Pignatelli's amazing soft, ambient like keyboards while 2-minutes in, the track speeds up with Morante playing faster and Pignatelli crushing those Hammond pads to give the track the edge it deserves. All in all, a wonderful track and as I said my favourite on the album. The next Morante pieces to follow were 'Lost In The Universe' which starts off with a beautiful piano intro about 1 minute in, a light guitar performed by Morante seals the deal for a delicate beginning that would last to the 2min mark and then Bam!! Morante kicks his guitar up into high gear performing a nice little speed riff accompanied by the cymbal high hat crashing of Agostino Marangolo's drumming. A nice little Crescendo I might add. To continue,' Lost In The Universe' is actually a track you can get lost in because it is a perfect blend of Drums, keys, Bass and Guitar. Something that we all love and appreciate from that vintage Goblin sound.  Lastly, Morante's 'Hitches' which is a track that has some light vocals on it similar to the track 'School at Night (lullaby mix)' off Profondo Rosso special edition. To be honest, the vocals performed by 'Arden Smith' is something I really can't get into and it's borderline distracting for me, as a listener. The vocals are sparse on the track, which is a good thing cause they are performed as if a 10 year old child is having a bit of fun with a microphone. Mainly, I felt 'Hitches' lost major points here because i think Goblin should just stick to being the great Pantomimes they are, especially on this album. My guess is that the vocals on 'Hitches' were for diversity's sake, but I can't see or hear how it fits on this album. It's a mistake I think, but on a higher note and Morante's last major contribution to the album is the 'Back To The Goblin's closing track 'Thriller' and it is nothing for short of pure gold. Guarini's keys start slow and frightening while Pignatelli picks up the synth slack by fashioning such a beautiful, cleverly upbeat and fast melody that's around 6 or 7 notes in the making. The 'Thriller' track is full of many twists and turns with regards to the style and tempo of the track. It's a fantastic conclusion indeed. 

Moreover, Fabio Pignatelli was concocting his own creatively written and composed tracks with 'Sequential Ideas' and 'Japanese Air.' I must say that both of these tracks are so very well done and are more electronically driven than the Morante vision of song crafting. 'Japanese Air' starts off like it could be that of a Tangerine Dream song from the 80's Blue years catalogue. The intro reminds me of a lot of Hammond synths sequences taken from Tangerine Dream's 'Live Miles' track, especially near the end of the song. 'Japanese Air' is the most emotional song on the album and focuses on the more serious side of Goblin's playing style and character rather than being dark and Moody as most Goblin veterans know them to be. On the contrary, 'Japanese Air' is a soft, kind of ambient song with very touching and romantic melodies attached to it. I was deeply moved, especially since I've never heard Massimo play his Guitar in a David Gilmore and Steve Rothery like fashion. A soft touch by Pignatelli to have Morante play like that for this particular track. In any case, 'Japanese Air' is a complete winner and rounds out the album's overall diversity so incredibly well. On the another hand, 'Sequential Ideas' is an up beat, kind of in your face track that could belong in a Dancehall. Pignatelli created a beauty here, getting Guarini to play his keys like they belong in a Dracula movie while instilling a light disco beat to go along with the bass playing and drums.  A very creative track that most Goblin fans are really going to appreciate because it's really like nothing they've ever done, and from my experiences it's 'Diversity' that usually wins over the prog hearted individual. 

Thus, 'Back To The Goblin' is a fine representation to mark a historic land mark of 30 years of creating some of the very best and most unique music in progressive rock in general. 'Back To The Goblin' also depicts such character from the band, by how well Goblin work together as a team/unit. They are a beautiful team of musicians at that and I thought it was really neat how they worked so well together without not being in contact as an entire cohesive unit working together in the studio. The power of technology, and it just goes to show you that 'Goblin' as a band, are not afraid to adapt to any differences in terms of not having the total complete convenience of being able to write and compose an album together in the studio. Now that is musicianship baby! To continue, and given the light of all these circumstances, I cannot find much fault with this album at all. I really can't other than the fact as I mentioned earlier,  the vocal parts on 'Hitches' were deeply annoying for me and I felt the album was a tad too short. I would have loved to had at least one 10min epic showcasing the classic Goblin skill with the basis of a really dark atmosphere because after all, 'Back to The Goblin' is a pretty light and listening friendly album that showcases a ton of diversity while minimizing the famous dark and ominous scores they are trademarked for doing in Dario Argento horror pictures. Goblin really terrifically showed a different side to what kind of music they can create and surprisingly did it all without Claudio Simonetti, who was Goblin's leading Keyboard virtuoso from when they started back in 1975, but Pignatelli and Guarini have stepped up big time to fill some pretty big shoes left by Simonetti in the keyboard/synth department as well as other additional programming. 

Above all, I have to award this album a perfect rating even if the album doesn't include one of Goblin's most highly decorated band members in Claudio Simonetti. Regardless of that, the album is still a masterpiece that is full of character, diversity and clever song writing/composition. I would even recommend 'Back to The Goblin' for a Goblin newcomer, who wants to explore the wonderful music they have to offer by going beyond just horror picture scores. 'Back To The Goblin' is an album that is a quick listen (39min) and sadly it will leave you wanting a bit more, but I do see the point as to why Goblin kept this album to be a very tight, efficient and concise album cause when you embark on new territory in terms of sound, you may not want to go overboard. Goblin, certainly didn't do that and I admire them for that. They walked before they ran. 


progbethyname | 5/5 |


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