(All Album Reviews by Burgess Penguin)
Goblin has always occupied a very special niche' in the realm of progressive rock, namely as the band of choice for Italian horror movie director Dario Argento's films (such as Phenomenon, Zombie, Suspiria and others). Although the soundtracks were something Goblin grew to excel at, they were feeling the need to return to their roots as a band that dealt in extended compositions.
The result of that longing is Roller, a colorful and actually very FUN all-instrumental romp. All throughout, Goblin makes great use of its twin-keyboard lineup to provide thick, rich textures ranging from the eerie and creepy ("Roller") to downright funky ("Snip-Snap") rounded out by growling, funky bass, intricate syncopated drumming and bluesy guitar. Musically, it mixes elements of classical, folk, 70's cop-show funk and symphonic prog. Free of the constraints of time and matching music to visuals, Goblin paints its own set of vivid sonic pictures.
The title track "Roller" starts off with rumbling drums and pure grade-A spook organ and winds up in a rousing symphonic workout! "Snip-Snap" would not be out-of-place in your favorite 70's cop-show chase scene. "Goblin" is the album's epic centerpiece, combining wonderful symphonics and that 70's cop-show vibe as only they can. One might think they were watching too many "Starsky and Hutch" episodes in their off-time. Other highlights include the hypnotic "Aqua-Man" and "Dr. Frankenstein" with its appropriately lumbering rhythmic feel.
All told, Goblin succeeded in fulfilling their longing and produced a very honest and fun listen in the process. So grab your popcorn, dim the lights and enjoy this little spooky soundtrack for your mind.