Goblin - Roller (1976)

Second album by these notorious Italian proggers, and one of their rare non-soundtrack albums. To me, I wasn't all that big on "Profondo Rosso", it sounded like they really hadn't got their sound developed, and a couple of songs don't even sounds like GOBLIN at all (there was an orchestral and more traditional jazz piece tagged at the end). The album did have good stuff, of course, lots of reminding me of PINK FLOYD playing Mike OLDFIELD's "Tubular Bells" or John Carpenter's musical works from the movie "Halloween", and they even stole the same wind sounds and music box from the CHERRY FIVE album (no surprise, really, as CHERRY FIVE Five was basically GOBLIN with a vocalist and a different drummer, even though their music was more traditional YES/ELP-influenced prog).

With "Roller" GOBLIN can prove that they can float all by themselves without a gruesome Dario Argento flick to back them up. Without the need of worry about a film, the music tends to be a bit longer than what they usually do. The album opens up with "Roller", a song circling around some slap-bass, some OLDFIELD-like keyboards, and this big pipe organ. "Aquaman" is a nice atmospheric piece dominated by the electric piano, then there's a PINK FLOYD-like section with Hammond organ. "Snip Snap" is a funky piece, dominated by clavinet, with some great use of fretless bass. This song isn't too far off with what IL VOLO did on "Essere o Non Essere"? or the Austrian band EELA CRAIG did on "One Niter", combining a blaxploitation funk sound with the prog sound of the time. "The Serpent Awakes" (at least that's the title on the Canadian Attic label LP) is mainly a live piano-dominated piece. "Goblin" is the lengthiest piece at 11 minutes is the album's real high-point, really allowing the band to stretch out, with some somewhat spacy passages, to more funky passages, great themes and great playing all around. Unfortunately the last piece, "Dr. Frankenstein" is the album's only real weak spot, since a lot of the music tends to meander.

Aside from that, a wonderful classic album, and it's really to bad that the only people who don't think too kindly of this album were the members of GOBLIN themselves. Essential, as far as I'm concerned. Review by Proghead (Ben Miler)

Track Listings

1. Roller (4:38)
2. Aquaman (5:22)
3. Snip snap (3:37)
4. The snake awakens (3:27)
5. Goblin (11:10)
6. Dr. Frankenstein (6:00)

Total Time: 34:14

- Maurizio Guarini / keyboards, Moog
- Agostino Marangolo / drums, perc.
- Massimo Morante / guitars
- Fabio Pignatelli / basses
- Claudio Simonetti / keyboards, Moog


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