7 Sept 2014

Album Review: Goblin "Beyond The Darkness: 1977-2001"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Put together by the folks at Bella Casa as a sort of companion piece to their essential Goblin box set "The Awakening"(which included full versions of their essential seventies scores and albums), "Beyond The Darkness" has a slightly harder task on its hands.

The timeframe covered on this collection sees both a never-ending rotation of band personnel, and an inevitable evolution of the band's sound. Partly as a result of the wider scope of their soundtrack work of the time ("Beyond the Darkness" includes music from not only horror and thriller films, but also comedy, action and cop films), and partly as a response to changing technology and fashions, this is not music which is always easily identifiable as Goblin, and as such, the variety on display here doesn't always make for a cohesive listening experience.

Apart from the lack of overall cohesion caused by the lengthy timespan covered here, a few of the hard funk tracks steer a little too close to disco for my liking, but that's a small price to pay for a valuable introduction to the lesser known end of Goblin's back catalogue, cherry picking the best moments from a number of their harder to find scores.

The material from "La Via Della Droga" is an early highlight showing a tense and funky side of the band, which you'll hear a bit more of later on in the collection. Elsewhere the band's move from analogue to digital synthesizers is shown not to necessarily be the lamentable mistake that it's been made out to be, with the selections from "Phenomena", "Buio Omega" and "Contamination" (the full score of which is available on vinyl, and well worth seeking out) doing a particularly good job of updating the 'classic' Goblin sound.

An excellent springboard for those who wish to continue exploring the Goblin universe.

"Beyond The Darkness 1977-2001" is available on CD here.

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