Keyboardist Claudio Simonetti was born in São Paulo, Brazil, but was raised in Italy. There he formed a progressive rock band called Oliver in 1972. The band was renamed Cherry Five for its first album, but then changed its name again to Goblin when given the opportunity to record the score of an Italian film in 1975. Goblin became a popular band, but became better known for its many soundtracks. Over the years, however, the personnel changed frequently, and many splinter groups emerged, including Simonetti's heavy metal band Daemonia. In recent times, different combinations of former members of Goblin have regrouped as Goblin, Back to the Goblin, New Goblin, Goblin Rebirth, the Goblin Keys, the Goblins and, nost recently, Claudio Simonetti's Goblin. When New Goblin split, Simonetti gathered its guitarist, Bruno Previtali, and drummer, Titta Tani, and recruited bassist Federico Amorosi from Daemonia to form Claudio Simonetti's Goblin. In 2014 Claudio Simonetti's Goblin released the album The Murder Collection, consisting of new, but faithful, versions of some of Goblin and Simonetti's most well-known compositions.
Claudio Simonetti's Goblin headlined tonight at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall, and the music was often accompanied by clips of the films from which they were born, including Suspiria and Dawn of the Dead. Indeed, many of the movies that Goblin scored were suspense or horror films, so there was more than sufficient gore on the screen as the music played. Led by Simonetti, the instrumental pieces were intricate, delicate compositions that ranged from soft aesthetic to raging thunder. Unlike much of today's progressive rock, the emphasis was not on odd time signatures or anything else that would be jarring. The emphasis was on fluid musicianship, where Previtali proved his worth as a tasteful, textured guitarist, and Simonetti demonstrated advanced skill in playing and arranging his keyboard sounds. Was this music a soundtrack for the film clips or were the film clips the accompaniment for the band's impressive music? The lines were blurred even more when a woman in a burlesque-styled outfit came on stage twice to dance to the music. While it was easy to get lost in the film clips or the dancer's moves, neither visual diminished the value of the quartet's ambitious music.