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SUSPIRIA Opening Sequence : With William Friedkin’s inspired choice of using the haunting theme from Mike Oldfield’s epic progressive rock album Tubular Bells in The Exorcist (1972), the horror soundtrack had a new musical model that combined sinuous delicacy with brooding menace. Like other progressive rock artists, Oldfield added a wide range of instrumentation to the traditional rock pallet, and the ringing percussion of Oldfield’s theme would later be echoed by Goblin’s use of chiming celeste on the unforgettable opening to Suspiria. Both pieces share a child-like delicacy in their jingling instrumentation, but in its transposition to the horror film, prog’s penchant for fairy tale whimsy and Tolkienesque fantasy mutated into twisted nursery melodies and dark folk tales. At their best, Goblin were able to shift effortlessly from subtle melodies and exotic instrumentation to bludgeoning crescendos and sonic mayhem, but they often succumbed to prog rock’s besetting sin: self-indulgence.

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