Date of Show: November 9th, 2002/ Progwest
Reviewed by: Elias Granillo Jr.
Exposition for the uninitiated: in the mid-1970s, four young Italian musicians - Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Massimo Morante (guitars), Fabio Pignatelli (bass) and Walter Martino, followed by Agostino Marangolo (drums) - were hired by noted "giallo" (yellow) filmmaker Dario Argento to provide unique, rock-oriented soundtracks for his acclaimed horror/suspense flicks, Profondo Rosso (1975) and Suspiria (1977). This wonderful foursome - who called themselves GOBLIN - also collaborated with Argento on the creation of the truly sublime score for the second episode in George A. Romero's 'Dead' trilogy, Dawn Of The Dead, aka Zombi (1978). These soundtracks, along with others, are revered by fans and nonfans of symphonic progressive rock alike.
The band's only two studio albums, Roller (1976 - which, along with Zombi, was recorded as a quintet, with 2nd keyboardist, Maurizio Guarini) and Il Fantastico Viaggio Del 'Bagarozzo' Mark (1978 - which features vocals by Morante), allowed them to stretch beyond the confines of celluloid cues and record some of the best music of their career: their namesake composition "Goblin" showcases much wonderful keyboards-guitar interplay, the proverbial cherry being Simonetti's work on Hohner Clavinet & Logan String Synthesizer, the latter a suitable substitute for the Mellotron.
In varying lineup configurations, Goblin's musical link with Argento continued with films like Tenebrae (Simonetti/Pignatelli/Morante - 1982), Phenomena (Simonetti/Pignatelli - 1984), and Opera (Simonetti - 1987). Fabio Pignatelli would also use the Goblin moniker to score music for the Argento-produced vehicle, La Chiesa (The Church) in 1989. La Chiesa also featured a companion title track by Keith Emerson, who in 1978 had provided music for an earlier Argento film, Inferno.
During the last two decades, Claudio Simonetti also recorded several albums' worth of reworkings of Goblinmusic and film horror themes from Halloween, The Exorcist, Tubular Bells, Escape From New York, and others; the unofficial recording, Horror Project, is excellent and worth tracking down, and is also available now as a video (PAL only) from Simonetti.org.
Finally, the year 2000 saw a reunion of the four primary Goblin alumni-Simonetti, Morante, Pignatelli, Marangolo-who cooked up the positively fantastic score for a brand new Argento nightmare, Nonhosonno (I Can't Sleep). This was no simple opportunity for the boys to wax nostalgic: the Nonhosonno sessions resulted in one of the best soundtracks they ever produced, exceeding the expectations of this reviewer and many others-Simonetti, particularly, and Morante, are in fine form on excellent pieces such as the title track and "Death Farm"-the latter features an exquisite solo by Claudio on an authentic-sounding analog synth patch. Nonhosonno was released on CD on Cinevox Records, current home to all recordings Goblin, in 2001.
Reviewed by Elias Granillo Jr. for ProgNaut.com on November 18th, 2002
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