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Goblin - Roller CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.03 | 243 ratings

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3 stars I was pretty pumped after hearing "Roller," the first tune here. 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 on Roller 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.

patrickq | 3/5 |


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