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Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Chocolate Kings CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.95 | 434 ratings

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4 stars Released in 1975, Chocolate Kings is perhaps my favourite release from PFM though admittedly my acquaintance with the band is somewhat limited but I prefer it to the often highly rated Per Un Amico and L'isola Di Niente, which although no doubt about it are great albums, this one has the edge for me. Chocolate Kings is Symphonic Prog of the highest quality that fans of Genesis and ELP are sure to enjoy. The standard of musicianship is excellent with Keyboards well to the fore including some wonderful Hammond Organ playing. Violin also adds a nice edge to the sound complimenting the usual Guitar, Bass and Drums. Vocalist Bernado Lanzetti has a decent voice reminding me a little of Roger Chapman of Family and it's worth noting that the vocals are sung in English, which is not always the case with PFM.

The two best tracks kick off the album. From Under and Harlequin are both explosive tracks though with quieter passages creating excellent dynamics against the heavier moments and with strong melodies too. The latter track is particularly powerful with an Organ led mid section that really takes off with some wonderful musical interplay between the band. Shortest and title track follows and ends side one of the original vinyl album. It's an up tempo song with some nice use of Violin and a worthy inclusion if not quite up to the standard set by the first two tracks.

Side two consists of just two songs, both around the eight minute mark and though not as strong as side one is still an enjoyable listen. Out on the Roundabout continues PFM's strong use of dynamics, Guitar arpeggio's complimenting swirling Organs and Violin, solid Bass playing and Drumming sometimes veering into Jazz territory. Paper Charms quiet Organ/Vocal intro builds with the adition of synth and flute before the full band join in for another powerful track to close the album.

By today's standards a fairly short album then but at least no fillers are present making the whole record a highly enjoyable listen. The perfect place to start for anyone wanting to check out this excellent Italian Sympnonic Prog band.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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