Every once in a while you stumble across an artist that changes your world. That happened to me some years back when I discovered Goblin. There is something about there music that is downright beautiful, entrancing, mesmerizing, you name it. I can pretty much listen to them at any time and be a happy man. My go to album has always been one of their Best Of type collections, but throw on Suspiria, Contamination, Profondo Rosso, pretty much any of them and I am good to go. Now I have another one in the mix.
When I first heard there was going to be new Goblin music, you could not wipe the smile off my face. Now, this is not the original lineup and does not count its most famous musician among its lineup (that being Claudio Simonetti), but it is still Goblin. If I were to recount the history of the band from its formation more than forty years ago to now, we would be here all day and I would not even scratch the surface. Let's just say that there has been a revolving door of musicians over the years, break ups, reformations, competing lineups, and various names. They began as Cherry Five, became Goblin, and have been known as New Goblin, Back to the Goblin, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, and now Goblin Rebirth. And that doesn't even count when they were credited as The Goblins in the original Dawn of the Dead.
So let's get the lineup out of the way. Goblin Rebirth is comprised of Fabio Pignatelli on bass, Augustino Marangolo on drums, Aidan Zammit on keyboards, Giacomo Anselmi on guitars, and Danilo Cherni on keyboards. Pignatelli is an original member and has featured in all of the classic album lineups, while Marangolo has been around for a good number of the classics, including Suspiria. Zammit has been in a couple variations over the past decade. The final two are new to the Goblin name.
I am not quite sure this lives up to the band's greats, but, boy, if this is not some exhilarating music. Obviously, this is less soundtrack based, although I could certainly see many being used cinematically, and more song based. It is a light and breezy listen, however, the instruments are layered in a beautiful fashion. Songs build from simple beginnings to wonderful layered rhythms and melodies. Everything is instantly recognizable as Goblin. No matter the lineup changes, there has always been a recognizable consistency in the approach.
The album begins with "Requiem for X", a song that begins soft, not unlike a lullaby, before guitars and drums make their presence known, then the tones of an organ enter the mix. The next song is "Back in 74," a throwback element permeates this progressive jam before moving into a more atmospherically dark composition with "Book of Skulls." Among my favorites is "Evil in the Machine," it features some great bass, and the atmospheric eeriness of "Forest," and the acoustic tinged "Dark Bolero." So much excellence throughout.
Really, I don't want to really step through the songs individually. Suffice to say, while not quite with their greatest works, this is truly a great and beautiful album. It is filled with wonderful instrumentation, an atmospheric sense of dread, of excitement, of danger, of hope. The self titled Goblin Rebirth is a treat for music fans that should not be ignored. There have been some really great bands to follow in their footsteps (Anima Morte, Bottin, Umberto, Giallo's Flame, Zombi), but there is only one Goblin. Well, many incarnations making up one legendary music catalog.