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Goblin - La Via Della Droga CD (album) cover

LA VIA DELLA DROGA

Goblin

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.04 | 10 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
3 stars `La Via Della Droga' is another mostly unknown and forgotten soundtrack from Italian legends Goblin. I was lucky enough to pick up a CD of this years ago at a record fair, where I paid WAY more than what it was worth, but it's not exactly a dud album. Although not a horror soundtrack, rather from my understanding a police/drug/crime film, it still has typical Goblin characteristics and trademark sounds scattered amongst the low-key and tasteful jazz/fusion playing and arrangements. Special mention must go to the Fabio Pignatelli's murmuring dank bass playing and Agnostino Marangolo's ton of varying percussion sounds, but of course Claudio Simonetti and Massimo Morante are reliable as ever.

Although the CD tracklisting would pass the album off as one single 13 part piece, it's really a collection of separate isolated chunks that don't have individual song titles. Sorry, prog fans, no album-long piece or multi-part epic suite here!

The album begins and ends with the main theme, featuring lovely subtle synths (or is that Mellotron mixed way back?) with a typical wailing Massimo guitar solo. The next few tracks have hypnotic looping electronics with metallic percussion and droning male wordless vocals, slightly funky repetitive jazzy percussion with lovely murky sliding bass and tense electric piano. Nice wavering synths and Latin percussion pop in too. Like most of the pieces on this album, these bits usually run about two minutes.

But finally a longer track, and it begins rather like a more typical Goblin piece - more please! `Sequence 5' begins with very eerie shimmering synths and random loopy electronic effects with numbing plodding drumwork and nimble acoustic guitar, before fading out as very harsh and violent stabbing percussion enter, with aggressive bass and wild acoustic guitar strums over colourful dancing synth runs. Going by the theme of the movie the music is based on, perhaps it's meant to represent a disorientating drug-trip? Anyway, it's far and away the standout track on the album, and one more casual Goblin fans will probably appreciate most.

Sequence 6 onwards has bashing electronic abrasive percussion and cold computer effects assaulting the listener over hypnotic near-tribal beats, before returning for a run of loose jazzy sections full of busy drumming, funky driving guitar and more of that supremely dirty bass playing! Lots of different percussion sounds through these moments as well. Sure, it's disjointed, but full of lots of different sounds and ideas to keep you interested. The final part is a downbeat and slightly sinister movement with slowly unwinding dark guitar lines.

It's a shame that most of the pieces are so short, because pretty much every fragment has enough musical potential that would have been even better if they'd been worked on a little more and expanded. This music was probably never even meant for a proper album, but the demand for more Goblin product resulted in this product. Goblin have a few of these sort of belated CD releases, and I think it would be better if they could be packaged together on a few multi-disc sets to keep the costs down and make them more attractive and affordable. It would be nice having them all in one place too, and opposed to searching them down individually.

As it stands, `La Via Della Droga' is a perfectly laidback, subtle and restrained instrumental album that probably occasionally drifts into the realm of forgettable and a little unremarkable from time to time. Certainly don't pay a high price for it like I did, but if you do come across it cheap and happen to be a Goblin fan who appreciates their lesser known work as well as their classics, by all means give the album a try. It makes for a perfectly rewarding background light prog instrumental album played by great musicians.

Three stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 3/5 |

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