Goblin Rebirth - Goblin Rebirth

by Gerry Hathaway Rating:9 Release Date:2015-06-29

Horror-centric Italian prog-rock legends Goblin have once again splintered into different incarnations. Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin is Simonetti only with a band of hired guns, while the remaining four members exist under the original moniker.

Goblin Rebirth came into existence in 2010 as a means for original Goblin bassist Fabio Pignatelli and drummer Agostino Marangolo to continue making similar music while the remaining Goblin members were either unavailable or disinterested. Guitarist Giacomo Anselmi and keyboardists Danilo Cherni and Aidan Zammit round out the group. Written and produced by Fabio Pignattelli, the overall tone of Goblin Rebirth is a few shades lighter than its progenitor, existing in its own universe outside the realm of 70s Italian horror soundtracks.

'Requiem for X' gently guides the listener into the record with dreamy bells and strings, swelling until the rhythm section joins in for a Grand Guignol crescendo, signaling the rising tension to come. As the title suggests, things go full-on 70s prog on the sinister 'Back in ’74', with echo-drenched guitar, classical piano and complex time-signature changes.

'Book of Skulls' channels a haunted jazz-lounge before the pace quickens to a chase, complete with orchestral accompaniment. 'Mysterium' leads the listener further into danger with its dark blues-driven coolness, further accentuated by impressive interwoven synthesizer and guitar arrangements. 

Album highlight 'Evil in the Machine' is the darkest track on the record replete with heavy riffs, groove-infested basslines and a robot vocal describing the demonic possession of a computer. The result sounds like Giorgio Moroder at a black mass. 

'Forest' provides a rest from the frantic pace of the album with melodic, symphonic atmospheres and haunting, ethereal female vocals. The expertly crafted 'Dark Bolero' takes the listener out West with spanish guitar strums, fiddle, and chanting choir before segueing into the dense and richly layered progressive powerhouse of 'Rebirth', bringing the journey to a close.

It is without question that Goblin Rebirth caters to the original Goblin fanbase. Comparisons between both bands should be viewed as intentional and unabashedly welcome, as Goblin Rebirth is as strong as anything by the original line-up. Fans of progressive rock in general have a lot to benefit by giving this record a spin as it transcends horror soundtrack kitsch for something more universally appealing.

In the past, Claudio Simonetti was often cited as the driving force behind Goblin’s signature sound, with the rest of the band relegated to obscurity. However, Fabio Pignatelli and Agostino Marangolo have proven themselves integral to the trademark musical formula that helped catapult Goblin into legendary status. It is from that classic template that Goblin Rebirth has emerged, taking the vintage cinematic progressive rock of its parent group into the 21st century and beyond.

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