Italian horror movie maestro Dario Argento’s bloody visions found a capable partner in Goblin, a five-piece band whose trippy, creeped-out soundtracks became as important as what was up on the screen. Influenced by the proggy sonic excursions of King Crimson and early Genesis, Goblin almost stumbled into its soundtrack work — Argento, after failing to get Pink Floyd, hired his fellow countrymen to score 1975’s Profondo Rosso, which became an unlikely hit in Italy.
But it was the soundtrack to Argento’s 1977 cult classic Suspiria that would cement Goblin’s legacy. Filled with twinkling vibes, incessantly throbbing bass lines, moody keyboards and echoing, strangely rendered voices, the title track sounds like a children’s bedtime story gone epically bad. Its icy, atmospheric keyboard sound would influence a generation of filmmakers, including John Carpenter, who used a similar approach for his now-iconic Halloween score.
Goblin would go on to score George A.
Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (among other lesser-known genre films), but the band’s success couldn’t keep it from losing members at a rapid pace, effectively ending its existence in the early 1980s. Improbably, Goblin reformed in 2000 to score Argento’s Sleepless, which, nearly four decades after its inception, has now led to the group’s first-ever North American tour. Four of the five original members are taking part, and they seem a little taken aback by the rabid response to their presence.
“A lot of you were able to tell, but we cannot say enough how overwhelming it was for us to see such enthusiasm,” the band writes on its website. “Night after night, speaking with fans before and after shows, everybody’s passion for what we do and what we did, we honestly weren’t aware and frankly we were touched by it.”
GOBLIN performs Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Ballroom at the Taft Theatre. Find tickets and more info here.