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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Stati Di Immaginazione CD (album) cover

STATI DI IMMAGINAZIONE

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.08 | 318 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars As the years go by, miracles become a rare commodity even to dream about , let alone witness, whether in politics (no messiahs anywhere!), in romance (a seemingly prehistoric concept) or in the arts (boring!!!!!). But , somehow in Progland (where fairytales often coalesce with legends), there is still the spark. Who would of ever imagined that this once-seminal band of the timeless Italian School of Progressive Music, after decades of poppish dirge (by opposition to their earlier monuments), would one day , 30 years later, deliver such a riveting recording! Yes, boys and girls, there is still reason to believe in faith and the wait makes it so much more breathtaking. Wonder how that happened? Well, some inner muse suggested that maybe the past should be revisited (ah, nostalgia) for a one-shot series of concerts in Italy and Japan (of which we have the DVDs), perhaps their may be interest! The reception was warm enough to suggest a 2005 summer tour with stops in Montreal, Quebec City and the Progfest among a few other dates. Well, I attended the Montreal concert and the 600 or so middle aged progsters were musically transported (not sure they could do it physically!) back into the rebelious discovery of their youth, a return to the days where music mattered! What a sight it was, bordering on religious zeal, everyone rekindling a long lost buzz of aural nirvana. Allegedly, the Quebec City concert was even more fanatical, with adoring fans turning the concert into a ritual of veneration. Franz, Franco and Patrick were literally blown away by the crazed response, almost embarassed to have kept these long suffering audiophiles in limbo for so many years. Progfest was another nail in the pop coffin because upon their return to the boot (and perhaps buoyed by Italy"s World Cup victory, they release this mindblowing disc. To prove their respect to their fans, they stuck to instrumental tracks, chock full of the trademark characteristics that once made PFM the Italian Masters of Prog. I deliberately waited a while before tackling this one, so many pleasurable memories of their wonderful concert 5 years ago yet to overcome. Yes, PFM is back from a long exile , returning to the prog glow that made the first fans in 1972 so frenzied , revived once again. Their early history is legendary and this all-instrumental masterpiece has the hallmarks of past glories, a whopping slice of modern symphonic progressive with tight rhythms, incredible bass adventures (way more upfront that ever before, Patrick Djivas is such an ace!) and dewey orchestrations. What a mind boggling opener in "La terra dell'acqua", a scintillating pace deliberately caressing and so very romantic in that very Italian way (Djivas' bass is revoltingly delicious and some spirited violin only adds to the mix) , things get suddenly obscure and dark, Mussida's jagged guitar weaving manically around Franz di Cioccio's manic drum stool. A sensational revelation as an ornate Flavio Premoli piano decorates the scene with some splendid emotions, cymbals trilling and a marvelous extended Mussida solo, all hard fury and imploding rage , perhaps his best ever (yeah nice and long!) closer to vintage Robin Trower than , say Steve Hackett ! Impressively impressive. "Il mondo in testa" has a wide variety of bounces, soft then dissonant and then a KC like intro from the guitar, all texture and tone, whilst the violin takes this into playful mode (honky tonk piano and all), very circus-like atmosphere with assorted acrobatics that keeps the jaw agape. "La conquista" is jazzy, funky and proggy all in one, a shuffling groove emitting a sort of vintage Gong feel, almost a candidate to fit on the Gazeuse album (perhaps the vibes in the background are the culprit) but just when you get all mushy the lads veer into the misty and ponderous , almost floating Floyd (the pink one!), stamped by a wah-drenched axe blitz that sizzles sexily and aims for the galaxies (my goodness, is he ever an underrated fretman!), what a conquering gem! Solid and effervescent applause! "Il sogno di Leonardo" is a personal fave, a bucolic acoustic guitar preamble sets the tone for the elegant flute, enveloped in a seductive lullaby , just like one of Da Vinci's dreams before waking up and drawing a helicopter or some magnificent domed mural, capturing the true essence of genius in musical form. The violin passage is outright classical, then with Djivas repeating the theme with the nimblest of fingers and Premoli's synthesizer soaring mightily, we arrive in prog heaven, absolute beauty incarnate. Fourth massive wave of ovations! "Cyber Alpha" is a frighteningly gorgeous guitar weaving that bleeds ,spurts and wails like some deeply melancholic maniac, relentless, passionate and in obvious pain. Franco, you are among the guitar greats again, welcome back! What a sensational solo, hard to not openly gush and marvel at the fast fingers and the emotionally stringed terminology. Wow! "Agua Azul" is a Spanish title not Italian but the core is very much Andalusian, with deeply resonating pathos and genuine regret, a suave violin aches in the forefront and a slick synth shoves this into prog overdrive , again a tremendous display of scope, vision and expression. The brief "Nederland 1903" is almost folkish with more violin, acoustic guitar and resonant bass, recalling the sounds and spirit of a century ago. So how does this monument end, you ask? How about the show stopping "Visioni di Archimede" , a languorous progressive extravaganza that has all those features we all like = fascinating groove, colossal solos and invigorating rhythm play (one of the all-time great duos easily). While all the original members were stellar way back in 1972, the ease and fluidity these silver-haired dudes have is really immediately apparent and staggering! So let them take a bow : Franco Mussida , on electric and acoustic guitar. Bravo! On synthesizer, piano and organ ?. Flavio Premoli. Bravo! On the athletic bass guitar? Frenchman Patrick Djivas. Bravo! And on drums and percussion maestro extraordinaire, Franz di Cioccio! Bravo! PFM are back in the saddle. The easiest five pastries I have ever served up. What a special gift this album is! Thank you. Thank you and yes, thank you!
tszirmay | 5/5 |

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