Progressive rock band Goblin is known for their soundtrack work, especially for the films of Dario Argento. Suspiria immediately comes to mind, which is really cool because it’s currently available over at Amazon Prime. (Hint, hint … no one knows how long it’ll be available there, so unless you have the DVD or Blu Ray, I’d suggest dropping whatever it is you’re doing right now and watch the film, it’s amazing.) Goblin also did the music for Zombi, which most fans recognize as the international version of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Regardless of what album you’re listening to, the Goblin sound is as distinctive as the films they score.
Through Goblin’s many incarnations, there seems to be two constants; guitarist Massimo Morante and keyboardist Claudio Simonetti. Currently, Simonetti is not in the band, though he has rejoined some of the members for concert tours over the last few years as Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, also known as Daemonia. Many of the soundtracks people tend to associate with Goblin are actually from Simonetti’s version of Goblin, and include the Argento films, Opera, Tenebre, Demons, and Dracula (3D), as well as the films Conquest, Midnight Killer, The Church, and Bloodline. The current version of Goblin released some new material in 2015 with Four of a Kind, and this non-soundtrack album captures everything about the band we’ve come to love over the decades.
Combining elements of heavy metal, jazz, and progressive rock, Goblin’s sound is much their own, easily recognizable, with unique personality and punch. Dynamically, the band’s non-soundtrack work still has that movie score sound, with theatrical cues, tempo changes, and dramatic swells. Fifty years on and these guys are still at the top of their game.
Once you begin listening to any of their albums, it’s easy to get lost in the music. If you’re an artist or writer and need that cinema influence while you work, Goblin will get you to that point and keep you there. There’s just something about the keyboard chimes they use, the subtle percussion at key points, that feels so sinister, so evil. The current lineup of the band features, as they say at their website, 4/5ths of the original lineup, (all but Simonetti) and their most recent release is Austinato: Live in Austin, Texas, which features excellent live recordings of all their classic songs. Highly recommended.