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Goblin Four Of A Kind album cover
3.86 | 47 ratings | 3 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2015

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Uneven Times (7:32)
2. In the Name of Goblin (4:48)
3. Mousse Roll (5:07)
4. Bon Ton (4:38)
5. Kingdom (5:37)
6. Dark Blue(s) (5:05)
7. Love & Hate (5:30)
8. 008 (5:24)

Total Time 43:41

Bonus track on 2017 CD reissue::
9. Goblin (recorded Live in Austin April 29, 2014) (12:23)

Line-up / Musicians

- Massimo Morante / electric & acoustic guitars, bouzouki (3)
- Maurizio Guarini / keyboards, Hammond & harpsichord (7)
- Fabio Pignatelli / bass, keyboards, mixing
- Agostino Marangolo / drums, keyboards

- Antonio Marangolo / sax (1)
- Aidan Zammit / keyboards (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Sean Chapell

LP BackToTheFudda ‎- BTTF 006 (2015, Italy)

CD BackToTheFudda ‎- BTTF 005 (2015, Italy)
CD Black Widow Records ‎- BWRCD 199-2 (2017, Italy) With a bonus Live track

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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GOBLIN Four Of A Kind ratings distribution

(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

GOBLIN Four Of A Kind reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Goblin surprised the Prog world by releasing 2 albums in 2015, Goblin Rebirth being an off-shoot band that kept the magnificent rhythmic tandem of Fabio Pignatelli and Agostino Marangolo together while infusing 3 talented players, creating a memorable self-titled album that I anointed with the highest praise. On 'Four of a Kind', the two are joined by initial members Massimo Morante on guitars and keyboardist Maurizio Guarini. Only Claudio Simonetti is missing but he has his own version of Goblin. For a bass fiend like me, an instrumental album that puts Pignatelli's instrument up front and center can only be another blissful pleasure. Since there are no vocals, I sort of see this 43 minute musical gnome as a one multi-part suite.

The usual Goblin characteristic is omnipresent throughout the 10 tracks , a dark, brooding, at times menacing atmosphere that permeates the arrangements, steered by that carving Rickenbacker bass, thankfully pushed forward in the mix, ably supported by Marangolo's decidedly Bonham-ian approach to percussive beats. Lather on top some profuse synthesizer weavings, shrill Hammond organ flashes and occasional piano eloquence. Finally the electric guitar frills add tension and sizzle to the bombastic expanse. The 7 minute+ 'Uneven Times' possesses all those characteristics, only including a brief sax venture from Marangolo's presumed relative, Antonio. The synth- heavy 'In the Name of Goblin' proposes troubling musical shifts and obscure patterns, kept in line by the Pignatelli 4 string magic. Morante constructs some complex axe phrasings that scratches the surface of some epidermal fear of the unknown, a classic Goblin trait. It starts out fairly homogenous, armed with a classic guitar melody before veering into a murky cemetery-like dirge middle section that reverts back to the beginning. The clavicembalo (a mythical RPI instrument) that is nothing more than a harpsichord, makes a brief intro on' Mousse Roll' before vaulting into a beefy leviathan of sound and fury, relentlessly pummeled by both the feisty bass and the cruel drumming, assisted by acoustic and electric guitar incursions. 'Bon Ton' keeps the rhythmic assault forceful, a very binary onslaught with zealous distortions and lightning blitzes that suddenly evolves into a complicated but surreal atmosphere where only the bass seems to be on target while the others float around in some semi-state, before resuming the bombast with even more aplomb. Morante makes his fret board scream and rage, it's a beautiful feeling as the choir mellotron howls in the background. The exit is phenomenally suave. 'Kingdom' flutters at first, elegant piano and orchestral gravity set the tone, a solo guitar serenade in the high notes introduces a more avid piano melody that is boosted by more choir mellotron, synths twinkling mechanically in the back ground. 'Dark Blue(s)', as the title may imply, is a bluesy affair, highly surprising under the circumstances but Goblin pull it off rather brilliantly, Morante showing decades of experience and chops on the guitar and he simply shines. Part Roy Buchanan, part Gary Moore, he bears his soul on the fret board, knowing the three others are right behind him, the genial background choir doing immense positive damage to the arrangement. Almost a Gothic religious feel to it that ends with a heartbeat. Amazing! 'Love & Hate' is back to the classic infernal dichotomy between two extremes, starting off all bothered and sweaty before slipping into radiant sweetness, the synths and piano in maximum lullaby overdrive. Achingly gorgeous, divine in spirit and expertly delivered by mature, talented musicians. You guessed it, on a dime, it reverts to almost Crimsonian bluster, angry Wetton-like bass blasting feverishly and slashing guitar scimitars doing serious damage. '008' is perhaps dedicated to James Bond's next agent in the line of fire, a rambling Hammond-fueled soundtrack for a raging Aston Martin barreling down the autostrada, a Beretta popping off synthesized bullets and some suave bambina looking back at you with a furtive glance. Sexy, sizzling and suave finale to a thrilling album that can easily offer future pleasures to the discriminating fan. Just listening to the bass and drums has more than enough interest for the audiophile

Can we please have some more music like this, per favore?

4.5 gargoyles

On a side note, it took 3 months for this disc to arrive in the mail, proving once gain that I have more patience than a hospital (wink)

Review by kev rowland
4 stars

There is no doubt in my mind, and nor in many other's I would imagine, that Goblin are the finest progressive rock bands ever to come out of Italy. Their 1977 soundtrack to the cult horror 'Suspiria' is an amazing album, and I was lucky enough to see a version of the band play live in front of a showing of the film in Auckland a few years ago. But there's the problem, their history has been a little problematic, and in 2015 there were two different versions of the bands doing the rounds. I am a little unsure if this is a Goblin album, or a 4Goblin album, as it doesn't appear on the discography of their official website, and a '4' appears inside the capital 'G' on all places, and not long before this album came out in 2015 there was a band called New Goblin. In addition, Claudio Simonetti also has a version of Goblin, but he is the only member of the 'Suspiria' quartet missing from this line-up, his place taken by Maurizio Guarini who joined the band in 2003.

Originally released by Backtothefudda in 2015, Black Widow have pulled out the stops with this release as there is a booklet, slip sleeve, and even four playing card aces featuring cartoons of the musicians. But, it is easy to see why, as here is a band that may have left the scene for quite a few years in this career, but they are back with an absolute vengeance. The production is spot on, which allows each of the musicians to really shine on this instrumental album. It shouts class from the first note to the very last, and it is incredible to realise that this band was formed more than forty years ago yet is still producing music that is important and relevant today. Massimo Morante has the same delicate touch on guitar as always, and this brings the music together in a fashion that allows the others to create space and depth throughout. This is yet another Goblin classic to add to their canon, and I hope that I manage to catch these guys in concert again. Superb.

Review by Matti
4 stars Goblin is among the great Italian classic prog bands from the seventies, and perhaps the greatest of the instrumentally oriented ones. Often they have made music for films, especially for Italian horror flicks. In recent years there have been more than one Goblin-related line-ups around, but I'm not going into those details here. Former review of Kev Rowland already speculates also about the slight uncertainty on the band name (Goblin or 4Goblin?) I'll put all that rather frustrating mess aside and try to share my reception on this album alone. My Goblin listening history isn't very big: I have the classic non-soundtrack album Roller (1976) and the recent live double disc by Goblin Rebirth.

Four of a Kind saw a re-release this year from Black Widow, and it contains 'Goblin' (Recorded Live in Austin, April 29, 2014) as a bonus track. By the way, I threw the four miniature playing cards away as totally valueless to me... OK, onto the music, which is completely instrumental. The strong and intensive opener 'Uneven Times', featuring the guest appearance of saxophonist Antonio Marangolo, adjusts the level very high. This is truly the same group (give or take one member) that recorded all those classic albums in the 70's. The sound is tight, clear and extremely dynamic. Especially a large variety of synthesizers are used a lot. There certainly are no weak links in this seasoned quartet of keyboardist, guitarist, bassist and drummer. More or less each track is graced with sonic richness and emotional power. Personally, I'm very pleased to hear prog music that is "powerful" without being metal-ish. It does approach "heaviness" here and there, but quite free of Heavy/Metal mannerism. For example the electric guitar completely avoids the metal edginess.

The entire album is pretty even and strong, which means it's not so easy to spot clear highlights. 'Dark Blue(s)' sticks out stylistically, being bluesy, but I'm not convinced by the Gothic male choir addition. 'Love & Hate' contains the most delicate moments, without losing any of the dynamics. '008' that ends the studio album is probably my least fave, and it's not bad at all. Tszirmay's theory of the title referring to the next secret agent after James Bond is right on the spot without any doubt.

The 12-minute live version of 'Goblin' (originally from Roller) is a nice extra, a reminder of how tight this group is also on stage. Five stars wouldn't be totally out of question for this release, but in the end it may be too "even" (in the lack of a better word) for being a timeless masterpiece. But yes, if you're a fan of Goblin, you simply have to have this album.

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