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Goblin - Roller CD (album) cover

ROLLER

Goblin

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.03 | 243 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I am aware that this Goblin album is generally pretty much acclaimed in many prog e- zines, and I certainly can see why. Released when the success of their OST to Argento's movie "Profondo Rosso" hadn't waned yet, "Roller" (a non-OST album) showed Goblin's ability to create varied music and perform it with both versatility and a clean technique. With the entry of extra keyboardsman Maurizio Guarini, there was a very good opportunity to continue working on dark textures and ambiences, even though this repertoire was not conceived as a sonic background for horror movie situations: that they do in most numbers of this album's repertoire. When I mention textures and ambiences, I mean that there is no frenzy dueling nor extreme pomposity in the dual keyboard department. In fact, beyond the occasional soloing and prominent harmonizing portrayed by some guitar, organ and synth parts, there is not a case of exhaustive pyrotechnics and intensive exhibitionism (as compared to Balletto's "Ys", for example) in "Roller", but a true, compact sense of ensemble. Each individual musician's skill is subjected to the concise demands of the written material. The compositions are usually full of subtleties which elegantly hide the real complexity that lies beneath. The first example is the opening title track, which turns out to be effective and catchy, yet complex enough to be of genuine progressive interest: the recurring main motif never gets boring through the reiterations, since the sense of exquisiteness prevails in order to keep and conquer the listener's attention. But is track 5 the most outstanding piece in the album: titled as the band itself, it mixes the special splendorous magic of your regular Italian symphonic prog (BMS, Le Orme) with lots of Canterbury colors displayed in a kaleidoscope of energy and sheer class. Its 11-minute duration doesn't feel too long, really. Between these two numbers, there are: the somber 'Aquaman', mysterious as a journey to the dark bottoms of the sea; the blatantly funky 'Snip-Snap', which takes things to a more upbeat level; the eerie 'Il Risveglio del Serpente', where Simonetti's grand piano assumes the leading role, with Morante keeping track of the piano chords with his delicate acoustic guitar lines and Guarini providing some clarinet stuff in the middle. Goblin certainly knows how to keep things varied while maintaining a cohesive signature sound. With the amazing closure 'Dr. Frankenstein', the band let themselves loose to do one thing they know best - create sonic tension, particularly during the final section, with those hyper-dissonant synth flows and that sinister bass filling the spaces craftily left empty by the drummer. A wonderful ending for an excellent album.

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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