2 out of 5
Label: Waxwork Records
Produced by: Thomas Dimuzio (vinyl master)
I get it, man: collect ’em all; your favorite band – Goblin – got shafted on the soundtrack to Argento’s ‘Phenomena,’ relegated to background cues in favor of more relatively popular 80s rock or metal, and so having their unused score is definitely a plus, but we can’t even get to a full LPs worth of material this time as a result – the B-side gets into alternate versions (which are immediately repetitive), and C and D similarly offer alternates and sound effects. Plus: ’twas the 80s, and so out was the off-kilter prog operas, and in are the rather generic, fantasy / adventure keyboard riffs. It is very true that I have not the ear for many 70s bands of Goblin’s type, but any given score I’ve heard from their more popular selections gets a knowing nod from me when I realize who it is; I’m not sure I’d ever identify the kind of cheesy, and moderately uninspired tracks on Phenomena as coming from the band. Does this mean they’re bad songs? No, but in the same way that Goblin defined the sound for a lot of 70s horror, this feels like the opposite: Goblin playing in to the sounds expected of them for the era, although admittedly leaning more into sci-fi tones than the plodding slasher tunes of fright flicks.
Waxwork’s packaging on this is especially gorgeous, it should be said with stunning artwork from Killian Eng, stunningly lain out by Suzy Soto. DiMuzio’s mastering also sounds pretty sharp, perhaps working from better source material than the often grainy 70s-era scores the label puts out. Overall, though, this really seems more like a collector’s item – another Goblin entry – than the kind of score that sticks in your mind and is sought out for purchase. Given that, along with its inherent repetitiveness due to multiple, and rather similar, versions of songs makes it a lesser catalogue offering.