I was actually a late bloomer when it comes to several sub-genres of horror. Foreign horror is one of those areas. It’s only been a few years since I first started watching Dario Argento films. Deep Red (Profundo Rosso) was my first, and still my favorite. I remember thinking at the time that part of what made the Argento films so awesome was the badass soundtracks. Some time later I was listening to a random station on Pandora and a very cool Electronica song came on that I knew I had heard before. Upon checking, I discovered that it was the title track from Deep Red and was performed by a band called Goblin.
I instantly created a Goblin station on Pandora and have been hooked ever since.
Goblin is an Italian group that’s labeled as “progressive rock”, but their style is hard to put a sticker on in my opinion. They’re a blend of electronica-fused synthesized-alternative that somehow comes together in an amazing instrumental orgy that’s just damn fun to listen to. Argento’s Deep Red put them on the map in 1975 and the group released a stand-alone album, Roller, before working with Argento again on Suspiria in 1977. The group also did the score for the European version of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (Zombi). Goblin worked again with Dario Argento on Tenebre and Phenomena and basically stayed off the radar for the next 15 years or so. Some band members came and went over the years, and the name of the group changed slightly from time to time. Eventually, in 2000, Goblin hooked back up to work with their tried and true skipper, Dario Argento, on the soundtrack for Non ho sonno (Sleepless). The group officially disbanded but came back together in 2005 to release a new album titled Back to the Goblin. In 2009 the group toured Europe and performed live concerts for the first time in 32 years. At the time of this posting Goblin is currently on their first ever North American tour. Sadly, the only dates remaining are in October and I won’t be able to make any of them. I can only hope that they continue to pop up here and there for shows in the future.
Physical Goblin material isn’t easy to find. I discovered this when I began looking for albums on vinyl. I went to the local record store, which is run by very reputable hippies, so I knew that if anyone would have vintage Goblin vinyl it would be them. Upon telling the gentleman I was searching for “an Italian group called Goblin” they replied with an almost shocked “are you really?!?” They went on to tell me that finding them on vinyl was almost impossible in the US, as most material is still floating around Europe, but they did sneak into their back room, to their “private” collection, and re-appear with a Greatest Hits C.D., which to this day is one of my favorite albums in my entire music collection. However, the CD was quickly replaced in my rankings this year when The Nerdcronomicon’s own, Chris, got me the European Dawn of the Dead (Zombi) soundtrack on vinyl. He had to have it shipped all the way from Berlin, Germany (Thanks Johannes!). With any luck I’ll be able to grab George Romero’s autograph on the album cover this Halloween at a convention and hang it on my “wall-o-horror.”
My point is that while Goblin is far from popular, and not easy to get your hands on, they’re not hard to listen to via Pandora or Youtube. A true nerdcromancer should give this group the proper respect, as they ARE the soundtrack of Italian horror.