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GOBLIN

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Goblin picture
Goblin biography
Founded in Rome, Italy in 1972 - Disbanded in 1982 - Regrouped in 2000, 2005 and 2009 - Reformed in 2010 as "NEW GOBLIN" and since 2013 also as "Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN"

Symphonic band from Italy who adapted their music to the movie industry, mainly horror movies from the 70's. The outstanding keyboard work performed by Claudio Simonetti is a trademark of GOBLIN. Most of their stuff is really heavy and moody, with a Floydian progressive feel, and generally pretty good.

Beginning with their first "Profundo Rosso" GOBLIN were obviously better suited to soundtrack music than as a studio offering and the majority of their work was in this vein. Their excellent second "Roller" is a very nice album of traditional symphonic progressive rock from the Italian group. Newcomers to the group will want to investigate their heralded soundtrack albums first, particularly "Profondo Rosso" and "Suspiria". The "essential" GOBLIN works. Highly recommended for fans of soundtrack music.

The band is again active with more releases and touring.

See also:
- GOBLIN REBIRTH
- CHERRY FIVE
- HERE

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GOBLIN discography


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GOBLIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 167 ratings
Profondo Rosso [Aka: Deep Red] (OST)
1975
4.02 | 269 ratings
Roller
1976
3.45 | 36 ratings
Il Reale Impero Britannico: Perché Si Uccidono (OST)
1976
3.72 | 157 ratings
Suspiria (OST)
1977
3.50 | 99 ratings
Il Fantastico Viaggio Del "Bagarozzo" Mark
1978
3.54 | 66 ratings
Zombi [aka: Dawn Of The Dead] (OST)
1978
3.00 | 17 ratings
Amo Non Amo (OST)
1979
2.25 | 16 ratings
Squadra Antigangsters (OST)
1979
2.66 | 20 ratings
Patrick (OST)
1979
2.80 | 26 ratings
Contamination (OST)
1980
1.65 | 20 ratings
Volo
1982
3.33 | 38 ratings
Tenebre (OST)
1982
2.15 | 11 ratings
Notturno (OST)
1983
2.73 | 18 ratings
Phenomena (OST)
1985
2.75 | 17 ratings
La Chiesa
1989
3.19 | 27 ratings
Buio Omega (OST)
1997
3.07 | 18 ratings
La Via Della Droga (OST)
1999
3.51 | 29 ratings
Non Ho Sonno (OST)
2001
3.89 | 25 ratings
Back To The Goblin 2005
2006
4.00 | 14 ratings
Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: The Murder Collection
2014
3.87 | 45 ratings
Four Of A Kind
2015
3.96 | 5 ratings
Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: Profondo Rosso (OST) [Aka: Deep Red]
2015
3.87 | 12 ratings
Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: The Devil Is Back
2019

GOBLIN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
New Goblin: Live in Roma
2012

GOBLIN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.67 | 6 ratings
Austinato: Live in Austin, Texas
2016

GOBLIN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.05 | 11 ratings
Greatest Hits
1979
4.33 | 3 ratings
Goblin (French compilation)
1982
3.22 | 8 ratings
Greatest Hits (1987)
1987
4.20 | 5 ratings
Zombi / Tenebre
1990
3.46 | 9 ratings
The Goblin Collection 1975-1989
1995
3.23 | 15 ratings
Profondo Rosso - The Complete Edition
1996
4.00 | 2 ratings
Eccitante! Goblin *
1997
4.00 | 6 ratings
Soundtracks Vol. II 1975 - 1980 *
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Soundtracks Vol. III - 1978 - 1984 *
1998
3.50 | 2 ratings
Italian Horror Showcase *
1998
2.25 | 4 ratings
The Original Remixes Collection Vol. 1 *
1998
2.40 | 5 ratings
Claudio Simonetti Compilation (Profondo Rosso)
1999
3.27 | 7 ratings
The Best Of Goblin Vol.1
2002
4.07 | 5 ratings
The Fantastic Voyage Of Goblin
2007
3.05 | 2 ratings
The Awakening
2012

GOBLIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
Profondo Rosso
1975
3.00 | 1 ratings
Roller
1976
4.00 | 3 ratings
Chi?
1976
4.00 | 1 ratings
Suspiria
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Suspiria (Japanese Version)
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Un Ragazzo D'Argento
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Yell
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
ゾンビ (Zombi)
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Amo Non Amo
1979

GOBLIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Roller by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 269 ratings

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Roller
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars I would like to pay tribute to an album that definitely surprised me, in a positive way. I consider it an excellent example of instrumental prog-rock, even if the record, unfortunately, did not attract the attention of other Italian groups of the period. In fact it is one of the few non-soundtrack Goblin albums, and this has allowed the five proggers to compose and play much more freely. And this is precisely the problem: the Goblin discography is mostly composed of soundtracks (especially for horror films), and this has made them victims of a cliché that has not allowed them, at other times, to fully express their their skill. Sin. If before listening to "Roller" I expected it to be quite wacky (as the ELPs were a bit), I then instead appreciated an unprecedented compositional ability, combined with an instrumental technique that has nothing to envy to a band far more noble.

The title track is a gothic piece, made even more obscure by the sadness of the organ (I think hammond): it is very reminiscent of the atmosphere of Profondo Rosso, but in my opinion it is more effective. "Aquaman" unfolds between acoustic arpeggios and a very intense central part, which is very reminiscent of the Pinkfloydian sound in the psychedic-dreamy atmosphere. "Snip Snap" is a more relaxed episode, and in my opinion it is a song in which the band shows great harmony: kitchen-scratch guitar in full funky style (wow!), Impeccable rhythm section, tasty space reserved for Guarini's electric piano . "The Snake Awakens" is instead a piano interlude enriched by numerous effects and by the intervention of the clarinet in the final part. "Goblin" is an ambitious, very long piece, a suite that presents different moments. The beginning is excellent, even if in the first four minutes the group in my opinion lacks a bit of virtuosity. The second part, on the other hand, is exceptional, the keyboard intertwining is spectacular and really creates a "spatial" atmosphere. I also find the final piece, "Dr. Frankenstein", excellent, which introduces us to a disturbing atmosphere through an original drumming style and a good use of electronic effects. In conclusion, in my opinion the album is original, in the sense that it does not take its cue from British bands in a manneristic way. Despite this, it is slightly reminiscent of Genesis in some more frenetic parts and has a mysterious atmosphere that can be approached to the contemporary debut lp of the Alan Parsons Project.

In my opinion, the Goblins are no longer able to make a work so free from the rigid schemes of the horror soundtrack, and I'm sorry. "Roller" is a disc rich in nuances, varied in settings and superbly recorded, thus making it very modern; excellent harmonies and a really mature use of the keyboards (many), without falling into the baroque style that takes away intensity from the composition. A cult for fans.

 The Awakening by GOBLIN album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.05 | 2 ratings

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The Awakening
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The legendary Italian prog band GOBLIN was born in 1973 (according to the liner notes of this 6 CD box, not in 1972 as the band bio says) when keyboardist Claudio Simonetti and guitarist Massimo Morante recorded some demos at Simonetti's studio. Some time later a quartet named CHERRY FIVE recorded their eponymous album (1975), and at this point they were suggested to film maker Dario Argento "who was looking for a rock group to augment the soundtrack of his new movie, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red); the original plan being that they would merely arrange and perform the music of Italian jazz legend Giorgio Gaslini, who had already begun working on the film with an orchestral score." After Gaslini had quarrelled with Argento and left the project, the director turned to the band who, with changes in the line-up, was now renamed as GOBLIN.

The liner notes I am citing are not very long, just two pages of the 12-page booklet, but they summarize quite well the represented era of Goblin (1975 -- 1982). At the end of his notes, Claudio Fuiano only points out that the full story is "labyrinthical and more than fascinating", and mentions several books written on the band.

Each of the six discs in this regular-size cardboard box set contain one album plus a varying amount of bonus tracks. Four of the albums are, not surprisingly, soundtracks for horror films. The remaining two are the group's highest regarded album Roller (1976) and "a concept album on the burning issue of drugs", Il Fantastico Viaggio del Bagarozzo Mark (1978). Although I wasn't in advance familiar with Goblin's output outside of Roller and a few separate movie themes, I think the set is well chosen. Judged by the PA album ratings, the weaker works of the timeline (such as 1979 soundtracks Amo Non Amo and Patrick, or the poor album Volo, 1982) are left out. Goblin continued recording soundtracks also after Tenebre (1982), but they seem to be weaker as well. True, there are plenty of spare room on these discs, and another kind of compiling strategy might have been interesting, but at least this is a clear approach, concentrating on one album per disc.

Profondo Rosso (1975), originally just half an hour long, is perhaps the best of these soundtrack albums. One track ('Mad Puppet', I guess) interestingly reminds me of a section in Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, and another track is deliciously jazzy. On this disc the amount of bonuses is vast (27 tracks!), all from the film or at least recorded for it, ie. mostly variations on the album's themes, over and over again. For a non-completist it all gets a bit frustrating really. The most interesting ones are subtitled as Jazz Sources. If you've seen the film (I haven't), you'll probably remember the Lullaby theme. Here you can choose from several versions: with a child's voice, with a celesta, etc.

The 2nd (Roller) disc's two bonus track are both sides of a single made for RAI's TV programme titled Chi? The 3rd disc is devoted to Goblin's second Dario Argento sountrack, Suspiria (1977) which has a cult film status. I haven't seen it. The music has an essential role in creating the horror atmosphere. Only five bonuses this time: an alternate take on the title theme and four other very brief tracks. Since these O.S.T. albums were so short originally, one wonders how come so much material was left out (whether they were actually heard on the films or not).

The non-movie concept album Il Fantastico... (1978) was actually a positive surprise for me. It features vocals to make it interestingly different from both Roller and the soundtracks, but musically it is pretty solid and eclectic in style. Disc Five is devoted to the soundtrack for George A. Romero's Zombi -- Dawn of the Dead (1978). Not as good as an album as the previous soundtracks. The last one is again a collaboration with Dario Argent, Tenebre (1982), and the music contains some interesting showcases of the flexible, jazz-sensitive style of Goblin.

A dedicated fan probably already has the majority of the music, and I'm rather skeptical of the appeal of the very repetitive bonuses. Nevertheless, this box set gathers together Goblin's finest music. 3― stars actually.

 Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Studio Album, 1978
3.50 | 99 ratings

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Il Fantastico Viaggio Del "Bagarozzo" Mark
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" (English translation: "The Fantastic Journey of the Beetle Mark") is the 4th full-length studio album by Italian progressive rock artist Goblin. The album was released through Cinevox Records in 1978. Itīs the successor to "Suspiria" from 1977. Unlike its predecessor "Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" is not a soundtrack album, but instead a concept album telling the story of a flying bug named Mark and his colorful adventures in the imaginary land of Goblin. Two of the tracks from the album ("La danza" and "Notte") were however used on the soundtrack for the George A. Romero 1978 horror movie "Martin" (known internationally as "Wampyr").

"Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" is the first Goblin to feature vocals (at least traditional singing with lyrics), which are performed by guitarist Massimo Morante. He has a pleasant voice and can sing both melodic, theatrical/paatos filled (in the typical Italian tradition), and a little more raw and hard rocking when that is called for. Considering this is his first vocal performance with Goblin he does a great job here.

Stylistically the material on "Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" is symphonic progressive rock. An organic and well playing rhythm section, both electic and acoustic guitars (and some very well played guitar solos), and loads of synths and keyboards. I hear influences form artists like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Genesis here and there, but Goblin manage to create a relatively distinct sound. Goblin bring a few electronic elements, a couple of saxophone solos, and a disco beat to the table too, but those arenīt dominant elements, and the music here is predominantly early 70s influenced symphonic progressive rock.

One of the great assets of "Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" is the warm, organic, and detailed sound production, which does exactly what the best sound productions are supposed to do. Present the material in the best possible way for the listener to enjoy. So upon conclusion "Il Fantastico Viaggio Del Bagarozzo Mark" is a high quality release by Goblin and one of the few musical adventures they took outside making music specifically for movies ("Roller (1976)" is the other example and of course also the 1975 album they released under the Cherry Five monicker before changing their name to Goblin). Itīs a bit of a shame they didnīt expore this sound a bit more, but the fact that the album was mared by poor album sales probably didnīt give them much motivation to continue down this road, when they could make money making soundtrack music. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

 Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: The Devil Is Back by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.87 | 12 ratings

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Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: The Devil Is Back
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Revenge

If I remember correctly my first exposure to Goblin was on the soundtrack album The Church, which I listened to only because of the tracks by Keith Emerson on it. The Goblin tracks did not impress me much on that occasion as they seemed to function mostly like transportation between the more interesting Emerson tracks. Goblin is mostly known for their movie sound tracks (for horror movies in particular) a genre of music that usually does little for me.

Fast forward to today, I stumbled on this 2019 album by a version of Goblin called "Claudio Simonetti's Goblin" and I was impressed. What we have here is a very nice instrumental album of symphonic progressive rock album with elements of electronica, jazz fusion, and heavy rock/metal. The focal point is Claudio Simonetti's powerful keyboard work, which incidentally reminds a bit of the aforementioned god Keith Emerson. The rest of the band is strong too with distinct bass lines, powerful drumming, and heavy guitar.

The cover art references Goblin's 1976 album Roller which is one of the few by them that I have actually heard. After hearing this excellent album, I will certainly dig deeper as I found myself enjoying The Devil Is Back a lot and I am a bit surprised that it has not received any previous reviews.

Highly recommended

 Suspiria (OST) by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.72 | 157 ratings

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Suspiria (OST)
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Life has a funny way of taking many of us on a completely different course than what was expected. Claudio Simonetti was born in Brazil of Italian heritage and after returning to the homeland of Italy never even considered the world of musical soundtracks but rather was more interested in the progressive rock scene that had emerged from the European scene in the late 60s and early 70s however once he crossed paths with Dario Argento, the Italian filmmaker who specialized in a certain niche genre of horror films, his destiny was forever altered. Simonetti's fortune changed fairly quickly in his musical career.

After a short stint with the band Cherry Five which released one self-titled album in 1975, Simonetti shifted gears to his more famous curator of creepy sounds for some of Italy's most blood curdling and hair raising cult films. After changing the band's name to GOBLIN, the new musical outfit found great success with its debut release "Profondo Rosso (Deep Red)" and cemented a mutually beneficial relationship between GOBLIN and Argento who was seeking such talent to provide some sound scores for his revival of the Italian film genre called giallo which often mixed crime fiction, sexploitation and psychological horror along with slasher elements and supernatural phenomena. It proved to be a marriage made in heaven.

After the success of the first collaboration, GOBLIN took the opportunity to nurture Simonetti's true passion of creating a bona fide progressive rock album and 1976 saw the release of "Roller," one of the band's scant few examples of an album not influenced by the film industry. Despite intentions to continue down this path, Argento kept the band diverted from that path and steered GOBLIN back to crafting the score for 1978's supernatural horror film SUSPIRIA which was partially based on Thomas De Quincey's 1845 essay "Suspiria De Profundis" (Sighs From The Depths).

Although Argento was already riding high on the Italian film scene with one box office smash after another, GOBLIN proved to be the extra icing on the cake that catapulted both director and band into new levels of fame and fortune however the soundtrack which GOBLIN crafted seems to have eclipsed the film as the decades have elapsed and has gone down in history. It has has become one of the most successful horror film soundtracks to have ever been scored and a major influence on such disparate bands ranging from Mogwai and Secret Chiefs 3 to all the countless GOBLIN splinter groups that are too numerous to even keep track of.

With the suggestive power of Argento, GOBLIN crafted a unique mix of disparate genres that included the creepy sounds of horror synth with the subtle sophistication of 70s progressive electronic most famously experienced by the likes of Tangerine Dream. GOBLIN fused the mood enhancing ominous sound effects with the intricate constructs of progressive rock and teased them all into mysterious experimental pieces that fit into the confines of the film's script. The results of all this were that the music not only made the film infinitely more interesting than it would have been otherwise but is one of those cases where the musical score has become more popular and influential than the film it represented.

The title track beings the score with creepy chiming that reminds me of the chilling Satanic overtones of films like "Rosemary's Baby" but the track also implements some freaky demonic whispers and a talking drum as it ratchets up a terrifying nightmare inducing sort of lullaby that continues throughout the film's run. Eerie synthesizer runs add murderous atmospheric vibes in the background thus generating the proper subliminal psychological torture. The track also excels in hypnotic repetition that allows a rhythmic pummelation of the senses while creepy pulsating Moog synthesizers slink around like a bloodthirsty vampire seeking out its next victim.

The tracks differ substantially and although each represents a certain moment in the film itself, the soundtrack flows together brilliantly in the most effective manner. The second track "Witch" provides a haunting blend of jittery percussion and possessed vocal utterances emerging from the synthesized avant-garde swirls of sound. "Sighs" contains a terrifying mix of hellish torturous vocals emerging from a cauldron of bouzouki strumming whereas "Markos" focuses on a more Berlin School style of progressive electronic run of synth stabs along with a frenetic display of various percussive sounds having a demonic conversation with a Moog that sounds like Keith Emerson joined Black Sabbath. The percussion sounds evoke an exorcism of hell which floods the 3D with evil astral entities.

"Black Forest" and "Blind Concert" were originally separate tracks but often appear as a single one on newer remastered versions. The former takes on a jazzier big with guest saxophonist Antonio Marangolo although remains in creepsville by displaying the plethora of mellotrons, organs and moog sounds, also contains some of the most authentic "rock" elements. The latter adds some funk elements that contrast with the freaky synthesized counterpoints and irregular chiming elements that slink in and out of the scene. At times the synth-funk sounds like a highly intoxicated version Herbie Hancock a la the "Headhunter" era. The soundtrack ends with a piano based waltz appropriately called "Death Valzer" and comes across as something heard in the soundtrack of the film "The Sting."

From a prog perspective perhaps not as scary as albums such as Univers Zero's mind-bending "Heresie" or some more modern albums by Deathspell Omega or other experimental artists, nevertheless GOBLIN constructed a successful mastery of horror film ethos within a melodic synth rock context. The album was groundbreaking at the time because it was very rare to hear synthesizers in any film scores at all and after SUSPIRIA, it became common place. Most scores hitherto were often accompanied by elaborate orchestras or other classical arrangements. SUSPIRIA was a great success and pretty much made GOBLIN the horror film soundtrack stars that they still continue to be some two decades on in the 21st century but despite the many scores having been produced since, none rings as true to the source as SUSPIRIA which remains the chosen top dog of horror film scores and with that conclusion i cannot argue.

 Roller by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 269 ratings

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Roller
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars While GOBLIN has become one of Italy's greatest exports of horror synth prog in the niche of soundtrack music, the band has also released a scant few bona fide progressive rock albums outside the context of Dario Argento's commissioning of products. Following in the vein of the Cherry Five years, GOBLIN took the opportunity to release a non-soundtrack oriented album after the unexpected success of the band's debut "Profondo Rosso" soundtrack. ROLLER took the liberty of dishing out all the prog chops that one would expect from a serious prog band of the 70s but one can't erase what came before completely and the album retains a bit of the creepy blood curdling vibes of the soundtrack that preceded. In many ways ROLLER could be taken as just a mere warm up for the band's phenomenally successful and lauded followup album / soundtrack "Suspira" as it has the seedlings of the haunting vibes to come as well as returning to its Cherry Five roots only blowing them away manyfold.

ROLLER is an interesting mix of what the spectacular 70s prog rock scene had to offer and GOBLIN pulls it off with remarkable grace and technical wizardry. Only consisting of six tracks which includes in the 11-minute-plus spectacular thriller "Goblin," yeah the song which ironically is the same as the band! For the most part ROLLER is a somewhat chilled out album with occasional energetic outbursts. The main melodic drive is generated from the double keyboard sensations generated by Claudio Simonetetti and Maurizio Guarini. Generally speaking one takes on the role of percussive keyboard drive ranging from staccato riffing stabs to beautiful piano rolls while the other generates an intense atmospheric backdrop. The other star of the show is surely bassist Fabio Pignatelli whose rhythmic chops are tantamount to the Italian version of Chris Squire with powerful nosedives up and down the scales but always keeping the backbone of the melodic marches in tact. BTW this is a completely instrumental affair.

The title track initiates the listener into the mid-tempo grooves that are generated throughout ROLLER. Two keyboardists, one bassist and a phenomenal drumming style dished out by Agostino Marnagolo take the scaffolding of the tunes into orbit while Massimo Morante adds subtle textures of guitar sounds to the mix ranging from Steve Hackett styled pastoral prog in the form of acoustic and electric guitars to more skillful soloing out of the Pink Floyd playbook. At key moments he also takes the liberty to unleash some serious guitar wankery that takes the musical prowess far beyond the space rock world into borderline hard rock. "Aquaman" delivers an interesting dripping effect of the keys while nurturing a Floydish style of guitar playing in the context of space rock. "Snip-Snap" jumps ship altogether and takes a cue from the synth funk playbook of Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" and offers a slice of Brand X styled jazz-fusion.

"Il Risveglio Del Serpente" (The Snake Awakens) provides a gentle piano based respite in between the funkiness of "Snip-Snap" and the monstrous shapeshifting band named track that follows. "Goblin" takes almost a minute to wade through the crackling sounds but then explodes into a series of emotive keyboard runs and power chords guitar style before morphing into what reminds me of Gryphon's style of progressive folk (such as on "Red Queen To Gryphon") complete with an instantly catchy melodic hook and stellar instrumental interplay especially between the keys, bass and drums. Remember that guitars are a tertiary event on this album well at least until Morante erupts into one of the most impressive guitar solos on the entire album which takes on a bluesy heavy rock persona a la Jimmy Page, Johnny Winter and other guitar greats of the era. The track drifts from atmospheric passages and other variations and culminates in a massive drum solo and synth funk-fest complete with African drumming.

The album ends with "Dr. Frankenstein" which slowly and placidly accumulates speed. A droning organ in the background offers a canvas for the guitar, bass and drums to slowly ratchet up the tension. When the bass kicks in, the synth funk groove is established but the counterpoints of the second keys and guitar offer glimpses into the scarier side of GOBLIN's personality that seduce the horrific soundtrack sounds to emerge from their cages. The track is essentially two different ones as about four minutes in morphs into an energetic extravaganza that finds the bass on hyperspeed and the keyboards duking it on on steroids Keith Emerson style. The track offers a profound ending to a nicely laid out album. ROLLER is quite the prog rock sensation and which offers a unique mix of GOBLIN's idiosyncratic goods along with styles from other prog rock bands of the era which offers an outstanding display of pyrotechnics in sonic form that doesn't eschew the art of musical foreplay and then delivering a climactic conclusion. In short, ROLLER displays GOBLIN going for the gusto where they can show off their chops out of the confines of the movie theme limitations and in the process rocked the friggin house.

 Roller by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.02 | 269 ratings

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Roller
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I was pretty pumped after hearing "Roller," the first tune on this album. It's a great composition with an excellent sound and absolutely fantastic bass playing by Fabio Pignatelli. Could they keep it going for another 30 minutes?

Not really. Going into Roller, I understood Goblin to be in the movie-scoring business, so maybe this colored my reception of the album. Most of Roller sounded like backing music when I first heard it, and it still does. In other words, most of the songs don't sound designed to stand on their own, but to support a movie, a TV show, or the like.

The album-closing "Dr. Frankenstein," perhaps as suggested by its title, could work as a theme in a science-fiction movie, although it's not distinctive enough to be the main theme. "The Snake Awakens," a piano-based piece with minimal percussion, could work as background music on a historical drama like the BBC used to make. And "Snip Snap" almost sounds more like a 1970s TV soundtrack than any 1970s TV soundtrack ever did. Nice swirly analog synths on this one, by the way.

"Goblin," an eleven-minute suite, moves from jam-band rockin' to melodic, almost new-agey jazz before evolving into that 1970s soundtrack sound with funky rhythm guitar, busy, clever bass, a drummer supported by a Latin percussionist... you get the idea. After a reasonable drum solo, another theme, faster but no less funky, wraps things up.

So the title track of Roller is where it's at. Sure, it's cinematic, but it also holds up as a standalone song. I'd recommend to any fan of symphonic rock and to anyone who enjoys meaty bass playing. As for the album as a whole, it's very good soundtrack music, and merely good progressive rock.

 Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: Profondo Rosso (OST) [Aka: Deep Red] by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.96 | 5 ratings

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Claudio Simonetti's Goblin: Profondo Rosso (OST) [Aka: Deep Red]
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars As GOBLIN's career spanned multi-decades, the band's popularity only continued to grow as new generations discovered their unique horror themed soundtrack music that started with the soundtrack to Dario Argento's 1975 film PROFONDO RUSSO (Deep Red) which proved to be one of the best selling soundtracks of its era and allowed the Italian band's music to be heard far and wide well outside of their native Italy. This would be the start of a beautiful relationship that would continue with other blockbuster flicks such as 1977's "Suspira" and 1978's "Dawn Of The Dead." The soundtrack offers just kept coming and as a result GOBLIN, despite having made stellar progressive rock albums outside the context of the film industry, have nevertheless gone down in history as a band that is commissioned to make compelling music to accompany video imagery.

In the 2000s though, something really wild happened when members from the band's loose revolving door policy that centered around guitarist Massimo Morante, keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, and bassist Fabio Pignatelli, started to create a ridiculous number of GOBLIN related projects that were obviously trying to cash in on the GOBLIN brand name. Not only would the original GOBLIN lineup of Massimo Morante (guitar), Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Fabio Pignatelli (bass), Walter Martino (drums) with Agostino Marangolo (more drums) continue the original GOBLIN but each of these members would initiate new versions of the band such as GOBLIN Rebirth, New GOBLIN, The GOBLIN Keys, Back To The GOBLIN and even a new version of the original Cherry Five. However, CLAUDIO SIMONETTI did something almost unthinkable and in conjunct with the 40th anniversary edition of PROFUNDO RUSSO, released his own re-recorded version of the debut album under the moniker CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN.

This one caught me completely off guard because i was interested in purchasing the debut GOBLIN album PROFONDO RUSSO that was originally released in 1975. However CLAUDIO SIMONETTI pulled a fast one that totally pissed me off at first. Not only did he take four tracks off the debut album and re-record them but added four remixes of various tracks which leaves this album with no less than three versions of the title track. The confusion results from the misleading album cover that is nearly identical to the original with a scarlet red backdrop with the famous blackened GOBLIN logo along with the giant black letters shouting PROFONDO RUSSO. However, closer scrutiny will reveal that above the GOBLIN logo in tiny print find that this is indeed CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN and although the picture of the upside down dude on the cover differs the dude peaking through some sort of whole in the wall, i simply assumed different artwork for a newer reissue. I was wrong. Doh!

However, my irritation quickly transmogrified itself into delight as i realized that this was actually a damn good album despite sounding like a pathetic attempt to milk it for all its worth. Graced with an entirely different lineup which finds SIMONETTI's keyboard playing as the only connection to the past, the others include Bruno Previtali picking up guitar duties, Federico Amorosi on bass and Titta Tani on drums. To make things even more confusing, the CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN project also goes by the names Daemonia and Simonetti Horror Project and the nine tracks are assigned to each of these monikers making it look like this is a collaborative effort instead of a single group of musicians performing all instrumental duties. This all seems a little gimmicky of course and i really want to hate this but it all goes back to the music which is absolutely brilliant. These tracks are just as good as the original and even better if taking modern day production values into account.

The first four tracks are re-recorded versions of the first four tracks from the original PROFONDO RUSSO. The title track, "Death Dies," "Mad Puppet" and "Wild Session" find a newly charged lineup tackle these classics with grace and add new interesting elements while remaining faithful to the original intent. Still rooted in a unique mix of progressive rock, jazz, blues and electronic keyboard wizardry, these four tracks deliver the same hypnagogic trance inducing repetition that adds subtle elements to create the perfect horrific response with small variations on the bass, guitar and keyboard runs. The compositions are teased out in slightly different arrangements but somehow it all works and nothing seems poisoned by this tampering.

The tracks "School At Night," "Mad Puppet" and second version of the title track that follow are live versions recorded in the year 2000 under the Daemonia moniker and add more improvisational attacks to the classic compositional constructs. The final two tracks, "Death Dies" and the third version of the title track are listed as being performed by SIMONETTI Horror Project and are remixed versions that take the tracks and completely update them into the 21st century with all sorts of collage sound effects and somewhat over produced synthesizer effects but offers dramatic effects such as Keith Emerson inspired keyboards gymnastics and more improvisational takes on the basic melodies and song structures. These last two tracks are the weakest part of the album but not necessarily without merit.

I have very mixed feelings about this one. One the one hand this is a mad dash to the bank to cash in on the band's past glories without the original members joining SIMONETTI in the process, however each of the other members get their own band to do the same. This wildly innovative experiment of splitting the band into several projects is quite interesting and all the members seem to carry it off fairly well. The album cover that deceives the consumer into thinking that this is the original is a mortal sin and SIMONETTI should be spanked for this naughty prank he portrayed upon his unsuspecting fans, however i probably never would've sought this out otherwise and just wrote it off as a gimmick and as it turns out, i like this as much as the original although i probably would've preferred the entirety of the album re-recorded if he's gonna go for it. Oh well, it is what it is and when all is said and done, this is an infectiously clever version of GOBLIN's past that i can't penalize simply for its clever Jedi mind trick that it successfully pulled off on me.

 Profondo Rosso [Aka: Deep Red]  (OST) by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.92 | 167 ratings

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Profondo Rosso [Aka: Deep Red] (OST)
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars GOBLIN was and still is one of the most unique bands ever to emerge from the 1970s Italian progressive rock scene and not only that but also has remained one of the most enduring and successful of the entire era due to their almost ubiquitous presence as composers for the fruitful Italian horror movie soundtrack scene. The band's origins date back to 1972 Rome when Claudio Simonetti (keyboards) and Massimo Moranto (guitars) started a band called Oliver with Fabio Pignatelli (bass) however the trio would go through a few lineup changes and emerge from the turbulence as the group Cherry Five which they would record one eponymously titled album that was released in 1975. The band well could have continued under this moniker had it not been for fate intervening.

The tale is an interesting one and all starts out when Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Dario Argento was crafting his project PROFONDO RUSSO (Deep Red), a horror film about a pianist who turns investigator concerning a series of murders executed by a mysterious miscreant who wears black leather gloves. So film noire. The original composer of choice was Italy's own jazz pianist, composer and conductor Giorgio Gaslini however Argento was unsatisfied with the composer's works in relation to the effect he desired that would fit in with his vision. After trying and failing to entice the super popular English band Pink Floyd to write the score, he turned his gaze back to his home land and that's when he discovered the likes of Cherry Five who would soon rename themselves GOBLIN and launched a very unusual career as they would become Italy's premiere horror flick soundtrack composers.

The PROFUNDO RUSSO soundtrack is also unusual in that despite Gaslini having been sacked from the project still ended up receiving credit for the the entire score with GOBLIN listed as mere performers. Three of Gaslini's works were reworked by GOBLIN but the rest is a GOBLIN musical creation from start to finish. This faux pas has since been rectified after the initial releases. Gaslini is also listed as orchestral score and conductor on the original release. At this point in the GOBLIN world, the band consisted of four members: Massimo Morante (guitar), Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Fabio Pignatelli (bass) and Water Martino (drums) who would soon be replaced by Agostino Marangolo who performed drums on "Death Dies" and would gain permanent membership into the club of all things GOBLIN.

PROFONDO RUSSO established an overall sound and feel unlike any other and with the success of the film launched GOBLIN into the spotlight as one of Italy's most beloved soundtrack composers. Sounding nothing like the previous Cherry Five that preceded, GOBLIN created a unique mix of progressive heavy rock in the vein of King Crimson mixed with elements of jazz, classical, blues and electronic keyboard wizardry. The tracks exuded an instantly addictive quality with repetitive keyboard arpeggios augmenting a rather simple extended blues scale with jazzy drumming and an extra stellar funky bass performance. While the keyboards are more likely to provide an atmospheric presence, in the case of GOBLIN, they were the main actors while the guitar was implemented to create complex harmonic counterpoints over the overall melodic theme. The result of the unorthodox setting was that GOBLIN stood out like a sore thumb and found the perfect musical formula to launch their successful soundtrack album career.

The album was totally instrumental and all the better for it since it evokes a creepy keyboard driven freneticism that creates a unique tension unlike anything experience in Anglocentric soundtracks which more often than not resort to classical constructs. GOBLIN perfectly concocted a jazzy rock driven funky groove that utilized both progressive rock and blues scales to get the job done. This soundtrack was only the beginning of a lengthy and lucrative career but GOBLIN scored a perfect sound accompaniment for a horror flick. While i have yet to experience these sounds in tandem with the flick it was designed for, as a stand alone series of tracks that evoke the emotional responses to the subject matter at hand, GOBLIN hit a home run in my book. PROFONDO RUSSO perfectly examples a more contemporary and sophisticated approach to eking out the desired dreadful shock and awe that the 70s was ushering in. A stroke of luck indeed that Argento chose GOBLIN but the luck was equally in Argento's court for having found them.

BUYER BEWARE!!!! For those not overly familiar with this album, you may accidentally do exactly what did and that is purchase the re-recorded version of this album that goes under the moniker Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN which was released in 2015. While i'm not complaining that i made this mistake, i was initially irritated beyond belief because the album cover is practically the same and the GOBLIN moniker stands proud with the tiny print of Claudio Simonetti above it. While it may seem obvious that it is a modern version, it is not obvious that only four tracks were re-recorded and four other tracks are remixes of other tracks with the title track appearing three times. A devious trick indeed although in this case both albums are excellent musical experiences. I dislike the misleading approach though so if you want to purchase the original version of this album, look very closely to make sure that it contains the original track listing and doesn't have the Simonetti name attached.

 Four Of A Kind by GOBLIN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.87 | 45 ratings

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Four Of A Kind
Goblin Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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