Goblin are an Italian progressive rock band that are perhaps best known for their work on film soundtracks, though I have to confess they are a new name to me.  Beyond The Darkness is an anthology of the second half of the career of the band and spans the dates 1977 – 2001 where a selection of tunes from ten film scores are used.

You can hear the influence of the classic prog’ masters such as Yes and perhaps Genesis, but there is a darkness to the music in places which reflects the subject matter of many of the films it was written to accompany. That said there’s also more exotic moments such as Bikini Island (from the 1979 Beyond the Darkness film) which is funky jazz rock with a latin feel to it. From 1977 there’s the music from La Via Della Droga (The Heroin Busters) whose opening few bars has me thinking of one of the Smiths’ tunes for some reason, before going off into a more progressive style. Similarly Sequence 4 from the same movie is reminiscent of something very familiar that I just can’t put my finger on.

There are repetitive themes and rhythms that lock you into the music with analogue synths thrown in for good measure. Bass guitar is particularly well played and provides the musical backbone around which many of the tracks herein build upon. Guitar is also lightening fast in the solo parts and clearly these are an accomplished set of musicians.  The music sounds good in its own right, but I’m pretty sure in the movie theatre and with the associated visual of the film it would be great – there is texture and tension.

The music here is a little out of context without the accompanying film, but it works on the whole. Yes, there are times when you just want to hear the band continue to develop the tunes into proper, fully fledged songs, but that’s not to suggest that you’ll not enjoy this record – I certainly did and it’s prompted me to explore the bands output a little deeper…and perhaps check out some of the films the music is taken from too.

Yes, this is broadly prog’ but it’s a little bit funkier than the norm and is pretty interesting for a newcomer to Goblin. Progressive rock fans will appreciate this record but I think they’ll be left wanting a little in that, despite the tunes being mini epics in their own right, they don’t seem to be fully fledged as such.

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