Thursday, June 13, 2024

Goblin: Roller 1976 + Suspiria 1977


Goblin are an Italian symphonic/experimental band that evolved out of Cherry Five during the mid-1970s. Between 1975 and 1983, the band released three proper albums and more than 10 soundtracks on Cinevox. The fact that Goblin is an Italian progressive rock band already makes them

somewhat unique, but they also pursued an intriguingly unorthodox career path, recording the majority of their music for horror film soundtracks, many with director Dario Argento. Internationally, they're probably best known for their work on the Night of the Living Dead sequel Dawn of the Dead (where they were credited as the Goblins), though their work on Profondo Rosso (aka Deep Red) and Suspiria is generally more acclaimed.

Formed in 1972, Goblin's roots lie in several other Italian prog rock bands of the time. Keyboardist and bandleader Claudio Simonetti and original drummer Walter Martino both played in Ritratto di Dorian

Gray, guitarist and occasional vocalist Massimo Morante was part of Era di Acquario, and bassist Fabio Pignatelli had been in Rivelazioni. With vocalist Tony Tartarini, the group initially dubbed themselves the Cherry Five and played British-style progressive rock in the vein of Yes, Genesis, and ELP. They signed with the Italian Cinevox label and issued a self-titled debut in 1975, which performed disappointingly.

It did, however, catch the ear of film director Dario Argento, who contacted Cinevox after becoming dissatisfied with the jazzy work being done on his Profondo Rosso by composer Giorgio Gaslini. The Cherry Five rechristened themselves Goblin (in keeping with the horror movie theme), kept a small

portion of Gaslini's work, and completely redid the remainder of the score in a heavier, harder-rocking style. The results helped make the film a hit, and the soundtrack album topped the Italian charts. Just as the group was about to begin a supporting tour to consolidate its unexpected success, Martino and Tartarini departed, the former to start his own band (Libra); he was replaced by Agostino Marangolo, who had previously drummed in Flea and Etna.

The quartet's next project was a non-soundtrack album titled Roller, released in 1976 and featuring a

more traditional prog rock sound, as well as second keyboardist Maurizio Guarini. The group, however, was unhappy with both the results and the label's promotional efforts, and nearly disbanded. Intervention by Argento smoothed things over, and he put Goblin to work creating a new soundtrack; this time, he shot the film only after hearing the music.

The result, 1977's Suspiria, became Goblin's most acclaimed work, combining the band's heavy

riffing and busy drum work with more eerie electronics than ever before, plus sinister experimental vocal effects.
The film and soundtrack were both hits, and the Goblin/Argento partnership was firmly established. The band worked on over a dozen film soundtracks over the next two years.



Goblin followed up the impressive Italian success of Profondo Rosso with one of the few non-soundtrack items in their catalog. Despite this fact, Roller finds the group's trademark mixture of prog rock complexity and horror movie atmospherics very much intact: The title track builds from staccato

piano passages into an epic riff powered by electric guitar and cathedral-style organ, while "Goblin" is an epic of prog fireworks that works in an array of complex solos from each of the group's members. The album also introduces a surprisingly gentle side to the group's sound through "Aquaman" and "Il Risveglio Del Serpente," two cuts that exchange the electric guitars and synthesizer excursions that dominate much of the album for quiet, delicate interplay between acoustic guitar and electric piano.

However, the most surprising cut on the album is "Snip Snap," which temporarily puts aside the rest of

the album's overt prog rock style to create a funky excursion that starts with an infectious clavinet riff and builds into a spacey slice of funk drenched in synthesizer effect. The end result is a strong album that consolidates the jazzy prog rock theatrics that made Profondo Rosso so impressive while also working in unexpected elements that flesh their sound out in new and interesting ways. In short, Roller is a necessity for Goblin fans and is an album that's also likely to appeal to fans of European prog rock.


Goblin – Roller
Label: Cinevox Record – CD MDF 634
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo 2008
Country: Italy
Released: 1976
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock



01. Roller    4:38
02. Aquaman    5:22
03. Snip-Snap    3:35
04. Il Risveglio Del Serpente    3:27
05. Goblin    11:07
06. Dr. Frankenstein    5:51



Agostino Marangolo: drums, percussion, vocals
Massimo Morante: Electric guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals
Fabio Pignatelli: Fender Precision Bass (fretless), Rickenbacker bass (fretted), tabla, acoustic guitar, vocals
Claudio Simonetti: Mellotron (presets: 3-Violins, church organ and 8-Choir), Elka organ, Logan violin, Celesta, Fender Rhodes electric piano, grand piano, Moog synthesizers (Minimoog and System 55)

Flac Size: 256 MB



This stunning soundtrack from 1977 is the favorite of many a Goblin fan because it represents their sound carried to its most powerful and intense extremes. Suspiria was another score for their cinematic

alter ego, director Dario Argento, and backed up the story of a girl who enrolls in a German dance academy only to discover it is a cover for a powerful coven of witches. The music is just as scary as the film itself, blending wailing electric guitar, whooping synthesizers, and screaming wordless cries into a spooky, bombastic sound that manages to be terrifying even without the benefit of the film's gruesome images.

Suspiria has long been popular with heavy metal fans because it sports a hard-rocking edge equal in

intensity to the scariest works of Black Sabbath or King Diamond: the title theme slowly builds a spooky riff on bells, acoustic guitar, and synthesizer until it erupts into a hard-rocking mid-section where nimble synthesizer solos spar with ghostly cries of "Witch! Witch!," and "Sighs" mixes panting, wordless vocals with an array of furious power chords to create an unbearably high level of suspense.

Even when the score downplays the gothic rock theatrics on subtler tracks like "Black Forest" and

"Blind Concert," the group's members still manage to create an intensely creepy atmosphere. The end result is an album that is guaranteed to please Goblin fans and is highly likely to appeal to fans of gothic and heavy metal sounds. [Collector's note: the 1997 CD reissue of Suspiria sports four bonus tracks, consisting of three alternate version of "Suspiria" and a slightly different version of "Markos."]

Goblin – Suspiria 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Label: Cinevox Record – BX MDF 002/a
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue, Limited Edition, Numbered, 40th Anniversary Edition Version Oct 31, 2017
Country: Italy
Released: 1976, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack, Prog Rock, Experimental



01. Suspiria    6:01
02. Witch    3:13
03. Opening to the Sighs    0:32
04. Sighs    5:16
05. Markos    4:05
06. Black Forest    6:08
07. Blind Concert    6:16
08. Death Valzer    1:51

40th Anniversary Edition bonus tracks


09. Suspiria (Celesta and Bells)    1:3
10. Dario Argento Speaks About the Genesis of the Soundtrack   0:35    
11. Suspiria (Narration)    1:50
12. Suspiria (Intro)    0:34
13. Agostino Marangolo Speaks About the Differences Between Suspiria and Profondo Rosso    0:36
14. Claudio Simonetti Speaks About the Main Theme    0:32
15. Markos (alternate version)    4:12
16. Massimo Morante Speaks About the Use of the Bouzouki    0:58
17. Fabio Pignatelli Speaks About Experimentation in Music    0:32
18. Suspiria (alternate take)    3:51
19. Suspiria (Intro #2)    0:31
20. Suspiria (Main Titles)    1:00
21. Witch (Film Version)    2:40
22. Markos (Alternate Version #2)    1:43



Agostino Marangolo: drums, percussion, vocals
Massimo Morante: Electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bouzouki, vocals
Fabio Pignatelli: Fender Precision Bass (fretless), Rickenbacker bass (fretted), tabla, acoustic guitar, vocals
Claudio Simonetti: Mellotron (presets: 3-Violins, church organ and 8-Choir), Elka organ, Logan violin, Celesta, Fender Rhodes electric piano, grand piano, Moog synthesizers (Minimoog and System 55)



Antonio Marangolo: Saxophone (on "Black Forest")
Maurizio Guarini (uncredited): Additional keyboards, including the Moog synthesizers and other keyboards listed on Roller

Flac Size: 336 MB

Goblin: Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) on Urban Aspirines HERE


  1. Thank you for the unknown. I don't have you old entry either. Overlooked or i wasn't interested at the time ? I've been looking for Argento SUSPIRIA's film as an uncut
    version on dvd for a long time. Incredible expensive. Is certainly one of the best this genre has to offer.

    1. Goblin is one of the best Italian Prog bands of the 70s. I think that Deep Red and Roller are their best albums. Dario Argento is a magician of Horror films, I know all his movies. After the middle of 80s seems to me a little bit tired.

  2. Speaking of horror films: the best one for me is by Tobe Hooper TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE from 1974. I saw it in a cinema at the end of the 70s and it literally lifted me off my chair. A horror shocker like i've never seen before. But you have to be careful there are so many mutilated versions. The succession are rubbish, i've never seen them, no interested.

  3. Holy shizzznit!! Kostas you struck a rich rich vein for me with this band! Thank you thank you and please post more. You can see what I have posted all my CD's--one direct from Dario's dungeon store from our Globus tour with parents, aunt/uncle and two older sisters. I've seen them play in St. Petersburg, FL over ten years ago and they absolutely blew me and my friends away with their noodling with a hidden electric instrument of some sort of box shape on stage. I like the L.A. Goth band called 'Midnight Movies' when I lived in L.A. and still wear the shirt to work but it reminds me our local horror movies only played at midnight in high school I went with older brothers to see Dawn Of The Dead, I didn't see all due to school but my older brothers saw it with Hill Have Eyes. Yeah, Hellraiser, Evil Dead, Texas as Joseph mentions all real classics!!

    1. A friend of mine REINHARD JUD, film director and author ( his best film about the american crime writer James Ellroy title: James Ellroy: demon dog of american crime fiction 1993) published a special issue of FILMLOGBUCH in the early 80s about unknown but MASTERPIECE of horror films. ( he was editor- on-chief, the magazine had around 15 numbers and was the best Austrian film magazine that ever existed). I looked at things on cassettes back in the early 80s. Unfortunately i no longer have the magazine otherwise i would have made a list for you. But maybe i can get information from other people, then i'll share it here.

  4. You can see a short trailer (2:45) from R. Jud film about James Ellroy.

    1. Thanks Josef. Looks very good and I see the whole film in many parts on youtube as well so I will have to watch it when I have time. I have collected many VHS/DVD from Goodwill store cheaply and used my Pinnacle device to convert to MP4 and have HUGE collection in my waterproof/fireproof safe on many hard drives such as 10 or so movies of the "Don't Go in THe Basement", Don't do this and don't do that, etc. I have a fun collection maybe some are interested in MP4 exchange via bestfiles. List for list I can bring from home to work where I am online.

    2. Well great, you're more than covered.
      Life is too short for everything you want to get to know.