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Goblin - Roller CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.03 | 243 ratings

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4 stars A completely instrumental album from GOBLIN, three of whose members played in CHERRY FIVE. Unlike the group's first album "Profondo Rosso", the music on this album is not the soundtrack to a movie; nevertheless it has all the feel of a soundtrack. Actually, according to the CD booklet, 'Aquaman' and 'Dr Frankenstein' were included in the soundtrack to the movie Suspiria. Whilst it has more than a hint of jazz-funk about it in many places, the music still manages to maintain a rather eerie, melancholic feel overall and would be perfect for a horror movie or thriller. The music is well written and professionally delivered -- in fact the group sound to me like session musicians rather than a rock group -- but perhaps the music is slightly unexciting. Because of these various factors, I bet that many people who profess not to like Progressive Rock would not only be able to listen to this album but would do so without realising it is Progressive Rock.

'Roller' starts off spookily but then a catchy staccato beat with meandering Logan String Melody(?) and soaring, almost ecclesiastical-sounding organ liven up the track. The strong bass line and the various electronic keyboards work very well together and set the pattern for the rest of the album. The album is actually a keyboard lover's feast but, because of the compositions, somehow manages not to ram those keyboards in your face (at least so it seems to me).

'Aquaman' has a nice, spooky feel to it, enhanced by the initial sound of dripping water, the plucking acoustic guitar and what sounds to me like Rhodes piano. About two thirds of the way through, some laidback guitar over organ is very reminiscent of PINK FLOYD.

'Snip-Snap' has some really funky keyboards, bass and guitar. It has the feel of a barroom number, yet still maintains a slightly sinister edge due to the rather shrill synthesizer at times.

'Il Risveglio Del Serpente' (the awakening of the snake) is based around calm, pleasant, slightly Baroque or jazzy piano. Clarinet and swishing cymbals, the latter indeed reminiscent of a snake, add some mood to the piece. It sounds like a live number, as I can hear what appears to be the sound of an appreciative audience at the end.

The crunching or crackling sound at the beginning of 'Goblin' is disconcerting, then in comes lovely, tinkling clavinet, the track seems it is going to rock up but then in comes a very catchy yet haunting synthesizer riff. Some funky guitar and bass really jazz up the track and get the head nodding. In my opinion the track is the masterwork on this album. A very pleasing 11 minutes of Progressive Rock. Boy does this sound to me like it belongs in a movie.

'Dr Frankenstein' sounds suitably macabre yet very jazz-funky indeed and. slow, man. Yet another one to groove to, except that, two thirds of the way through, it ups tempo dramatically like a pulsar, and the synthesizers produce some very pleasant sounds indeed. And it ends very abruptly.

To me this instrumental album is very much background music or mood music. At only 34' 21", it ends too quickly and I invariably have to play it again. It's uniformly good: not particularly exciting and yet never fails to please. This is one of those albums that, when I'm not listening to it, I think deserves 3 stars (Good but not essential) but flashes up 4 stars (Excellent addition to any progressive music collection) every time I play it. Do you like instrumentals? Keyboards? Italian Progressive Rock? Jazz-funk? Then go for it, but give it some time to grow on you if it does not wow you straight out of the box.

Incidentally, be sure to check out GOBLIN's album "Suspiria" if you want something more exciting than "Roller" -- see my review of that album.

Fitzcarraldo | 4/5 |


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