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Goblin - Roller CD (album) cover

ROLLER

Goblin

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.06 | 166 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Negoba
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A Taste of Italy, No Wait, A Taste of Instrumental Prog

Italian prog band Goblin, best known for horror film soundtracks, had a few stand alone albums, and the highest rated is this album, ROLLER. While categorized as RPI, the band does not have the distinctive Italian flavor of PFM or QVL. Like Gryphon or Triumvirat or a number of 2nd tier 70's bands, this group produces high quality, prototypical prog rock. In fact, this album may be the best single "sampler" of the various sounds that made up classic prog. Ranging from acoustic guitar driven pastoral pieces to funky jazz fusion, ROLLER pulls all of the classic instrumental sounds into a cohesive piece of work. While the band really does nothing to create a trademark identity for itself, the members are adept ambassadors for the genre in general.

When I listen to this album, I am impressed with the balance between the players. All get a chance to shine in a variety of tempos and rhythms. Guitarist Massimo Morante plays with plenty of fire, evoking Steve Howe, Anthony Phillips, and even forecasting Alex Lifeson. Maurizio Guarini is great on the various keyboards (especially Moog), pulling out spacey pads, swift-fingered solos, and even quiet acoustic piano. The rhythm section is among the funkiest in support of a symphonic prog outfit, with heavy influence of Weather Report and Billy Cobham. Despite a very broad span of musical style in 34 minutes, the album holds together remarkably well.

Though I only have this album by the band, it seems like the group could have really made a niche for themselves as an Italian symphonic jazz rock fusion outfit. (As ridiculous as that sounds, once you hear the album it will make sense.) On the final track "Dr. Frankenstein," the most fusion-y song on the album, you can hear the members really starting to find some identity. However, the song builds slowly and ends almost abruptly just as they are reaching a climactic energy. (How about sticking around for a cigarette guys?) Maybe they were late for a soundtrack engagement, the eventual calling that would dominate the rest of their career.

In the end, this is a very well done sampler of prog sounds. Lots of fun, very well played, a 3- 4 star effort that I'm rounding toward the middle yet again.

Negoba | 3/5 |

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