Goblin Rebirth

Goblin Rebirth

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Goblin Rebirth Review

by Mark Deming

Goblin Rebirth could be described as the Italian horror-prog answer to Creedence Clearwater Revisited -- the rhythm section of a noted band hire some guys who can mimic the sound and style of their former bandmates, and hit the road to play for their fans. If that description sounds less than charitable, let it be noted that Goblin Rebirth, the new group featuring bassist Fabio Pignatelli and drummer Agostino Marangolo of the fabled Italian prog rock band Goblin, have done one thing Creedence Clearwater Revisited's Doug Clifford and Stu Cook would never consider -- they've recorded a full album of new material. According to the band, Goblin Rebirth's self-titled debut is the score to a horror movie that exists only in their collective imagination, which is certainly fitting given Goblin's rich heritage in writing music for movies like Suspiria, Profondo Rosso (aka Deep Red), and Dawn of the Dead. And if obsessive fans grumble that it's not really Goblin without the presence of founder and keyboardist Claudio Simonetti, the truth is Pignatelli and Marangolo pull this off remarkably well. Goblin Rebirth captures the tone of Goblin's most famous work with impressive accuracy, and if this isn't quite as creepy as Goblin's best horror scores, it happens to work better by itself than many of the original band's soundtrack albums, clearly intended to be a listening experience on its own that evokes the spirit of Goblin's classic era rather than pieces meant to accompany someone else's work. Pignatelli and Marangolo are an inventive, technically precise rhythm section on these eight compositions, and if guitarist Giacomo Anselmi and keyboardists Danilo Cherni and Aidan Zammit are emulating an accepted style rather than formulating their own, they clearly get this stuff, and play with remarkable chops, and find a way to bring in a bit of their own personality with the electronics on "Back in 74" and the distorted vocals on "Evil in the Machine." Maybe it's not Goblin, but Goblin Rebirth comes close enough to satisfy nearly anyone who loves Goblin or the powerfully atmospheric film scores that made them cult heroes outside Europe.

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