CLAUDIO SIMONETTI'S GOBLIN  The Murder Collection  LP PICTURE DISC   (Rustblade)   31.00

Shit has gotten completely out of hand with the Goblin guys. It seems we're now looking at least four different versions of the band that are currently active, presumably due to internal dysfunction amongst the founding members. It's making it tough to keep track of what's what. On the other hand, there's a LOT of Goblin related stuff coming out, whereas ten years ago it was virtually impossible to, say, find a decent copy of Suspiria here in the US without having to sell a kidney to fund the venture. I'm planning on stocking the new Goblin Rebirth album that just came out from Relapse, as what I've heard so far has been pretty terrific. Right now, however, I'm having a Simonetti moment. He started working with the Italian industrial music label Rustblade recently, and suddenly we're getting all kinds of cool stuff from the famed Goblin keyboardist. You'll find the brand new thirtieth anniversary reissue of Simonetti's awesome Demons score elsewhere on this week's new arrivals list, one of my favorite recent horror soundtrack reissues, and here we have a less-essential (but still plenty enjoyable) limited edition picture disc from Simonetti that (once again) sees him revisiting some of Goblin's most classic themes.

Released under the name Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, The Murder Collection is a collectable art-object/collection of revamped themes from the band, which is really just a renamed version of Daemonia, Simonetti's long running heavy metal/prog rock outfit. I'm a fan of Daemonia's stuff as well, so it's a blast hearing them do new rearranged versions of nine of Goblin's best-loved tracks, adding some of that metallic edge that Daemonia has always had. They don't stray too far from the feel of the originals, but longtime Goblin fans will definitely notice a difference; Simonetti's synthesizers are given prominence, so if you're a fan of his iconic electronic textures and style, you'll get a lot of that with this record. The new version of "Phenomena" particularly sticks out, the band reworking the second half of the song into a monstrous Hammond-dosed boogie, and Zombi's "L'alba Dei Morti Viventi" gets some serious metallic chug added to the song's sinister, droning prog rock groove. The version of "Roller" that appears here is lushly arranged, and "Non Ho Sonno" is given more metallic bite than before; a rendition of "E Suono Rock" off of Goblin's classic 1978 album Il Fantastico Viaggio Del "Bagarozzo" Mark is turned into a stunning piece of jazz-laced prog metal, and the record is capped off with an especially rollicking version of "Zombi". It's all classic stuff that's hardly necessary for fans who already own the original scores, but if you're a big Simonetti / Daemonia junkie, it's an enjoyable alternate take on this music. Gorgeous to boot, though the "spooky child" artwork seems a little too contemporary for this sort of stuff. Released in a limited hand-numbered edition of four hundred ninety-nine copies on 180 gram vinyl; all of the copies that we received from the distributor do not include the obi strip that apparently came with some of these records, FYI.