Goad are an Italian band from Florence that began life in the seventies on the initiative of multi-instrumentalist Maurilio Rossi and guitarist Gianni Rossi. Among their main influences and “sources of inspiration” you can find bands such as Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Black Widow, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Triumph, Genesis, Catapilla, Atomic Rooster and Black Sabbath, along with writers and poets as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe and Edgar Lee Masters. Their early recordings date back to eighties and during the years the band went though many troubles and line up changes. In the nineties they released albums such as “Tribute To Edgar Allan Poe" (1994), “Glimpse” (1998) and “Il Minosse” (1999). Then followed “Dark Virgin” (2001), “Raoment: Spoon River Anthology Songs” (2004) and “The Wood – Dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft” (2006). “In the House of the Dark Shining Dreams” was released in 2007 with a line up featuring Maurilio Rossi (organ, keyboards, moog, mellotron, guitars), Paolo Carniani (drums), Roberto Masini (guitar, violin), Francesco Diddi (violin, flute, sax) and Gianni Rossi (guitar) but during the recording sessions they were helped by some guest musicians. This is the first Goad’s album released on Black Widow Records, an interesting and dynamic Italian independent label from Genoa with a special taste for Gothic and dark prog. It features some re-arranged pieces from their album “Dark Virgin” along with some new songs and two covers.
The album opens with an instrumental intro taken from Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D. The sound of a violin emerging from a raging storm introduces what seems to be the subject matter of this work... Nightmares! On the second track, “Yet Another Battlefield”, the music seems bellowing from underground with the sound of the organ in the forefront. Muddy, suffering vocals draw imagines of dead grey soldiers, broken shields and feasting crows over a gloomy landscape. You can find the same Gothic atmosphere in the following “The Clapper Beatin’ Fast”, where soaring vocals, distorted guitars and organ depict anguish and fear with words of lead... “In the house of the dark shining dreams / Lived the dumb Phantom / White was her face, vermilion the halo...”. Well, in my opinion the esoteric, obscure lyrics by Luca Leonello Rimbotti are not the strength of this album, moreover the voice of Maurilio Rossi in not always clear and the lyrics are not written in the booklet. Anyway the music is intriguing and flows away like the soundtrack of a horror movie where “a dark night devours and swallows the reality”.
|In The House Of The Dark Shining Dreams - Album Cover|
“Dark Virgin”, “Olympia”, the Van Der Graaf Generator cover “Killer”, “As Nothing Had Changed”, “Dark virgin 2”, “Steep Path”, “It's Always The Same Thing”, “Springy”, and the King Crimson cover “21st Century Schizoid Man” follow in turn. There are some bluesy passages, classical inspired organ patterns, some hard rock guitar riffs and every now and again you can really feel a “wind of madness whistling in your ears”. The final “Genius Of Europe” includes a passage from Richard Wagner's Siegfried and evokes the ghost of a “world of eternal glory and beauty” corroded by hate and by the “wicked strokes of the new tele-barbarians”. It concludes, after more than 77 minutes, this interesting musical journey in the “Gothic side of prog”. On the whole an album that is worth listening to.
Goad: In The House Of The Dark Shining Dreams (2007). Other opinions
Pete Pardo: The music of Italy's Goad is not going to be for everyone, but if you like very dark prog, and are willing to invest close to 80 minutes of your time, this release could be for you. Next time out, they might want to work on the production a bit, as it's really muddy in spots, but the band obviously has a lot of talent and sound pretty different from the norm, so this should be something to seek out if you like obscure underground prog... (read the complete review HERE)