Goad — The Silent Moonchild
(Black Widow BWRCD 184-2, 2015, CD)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-05-03
Goad is an Italian progressive band with a long history dating back to the late 70s. The Rossi brothers, Gianni and Maurilio, formed the band in Florence and did not release their first album until 1983. Their output was small until the mid 90s when they forayed into gothic progressive music with a project dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe. Since then they’ve been releasing music sporadically. In 2015 they released their ninth album The Silent Moonchild. While previous albums have featured their individual style of King Crimson inspired progressive rock, the only Crimson reference I can detect on The Silent Moonchild is the album title. The current band lineup is Maurilio Rossi (vocals, keyboards, electric guitars), Filippo Trentastasti (drums, percussion), Francesco Diddi (guitars, violin, flute), and Gianni Rossi (electric guitar). They are joined by guest musicians Alessandro Bruno (slide guitar, violin, flute), Silvana Aliotta (vocals), Guido Wasserman (guitar), Martin Grice (saxophone), Freddy Delirio (keyboards), and Paolo Carniani (drums). The music and subject matter are quite dark, with outstanding organ, mellotron, synths, and guitars. There are 11 tracks, mostly songs. The opening song, “Except Hate,” with its sinister violin and angry / gritty vocals is basically God admonishing a person who is full of hate. The second song, “For You,” is a gothic love song that reminds me a bit of the Fields of Nephilim. This song takes an ambient turn towards the end. The third song, “Here with Me,” is more upbeat, but still sombre as it is a cry for help to save a dark soul. The lyrics and vocals end at about the midpoint and the remainder is an outstanding instrumental of mellotron, sax, and drums that becomes cinematic. Track four, “Clay Masks,” is an excellent surreal nightmarish song with acoustic guitar, Mellotron, synths, and flute. This is another cry for help as the narrator’s mind is slipping away. Then we have the title track, a song of unrequited love to an inhuman ghostly spirit. Next is an instrumental for the title track, but this music is different from the previous song. The instrumental takes on an urban / jazzy ambiance that reminds me a bit of “Town without Pity.” The remaining songs continue in the same vein, becoming more obvious that this spirit is a succubus, with the narrator wanting to transcend time. Even though the vocals dominate most of the songs, they are secondary to the music, and this is where the band excels. There are many excellent moments on this disc, but I wish that the band would focus more on the instrumentals and deemphasize the vocals.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more