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


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.10 | 387 ratings

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5 stars Despite having all of PFM's seventies output in my collection, no doubt like many prog fans I gave their eighties and nineties albums a wide berth and have only a passing acquaintance with their more commercial pop inflected material. While Dracula Opera Rock showed promise with some strong musical moments, some of the vocals just didn't hit the spot with me. Released a year later Stati Di Immaginazione marked a real return to form and can amazingly sit head and shoulders with their best albums.

Stati Di Immaginazione is a truly beautiful piece of work, this time PFM going for an entirely instrumental approach. The band sound so tight on these perfectly executed musical gems cut from a diverse musical template moving through jazz inflected prog, rock, classical influences and acoustic restraint. The album opens with its finest moment, La Terra Dell'acqua which has a beautiful build from delicately plucked and atmospheric electric guitar, a haunting synth line and ethereal violin alongside a very sympathetic rhythm section including some tasteful fretless bass. After such a spellbinding start it's more of a surprise when the track explodes into a fiery lead guitar fuelled workout before a lone piano marks a temporary lull before some more excellent guitar work from Franco Mussida.

After such a breathtaking start surely it can only be downhill from here? Well not quite as although the album never quite reaches such heights, though Visioni di Archimede has a good try, the rest of the album is full of wonderful and refined musical treats, if not quite as exhilarating then making up for it in the beautifully executed diversity of the compositions. There's mellower moments like the lovely classical guitar led Il Sogno di Leonardo but still room for some fiery workouts like the closing section of La Conquista.

Franz Di Cioccio's drumming is fantastic, a master of restraint where necessary but equally at home with the more explosive sections and what a sound! However it would be doing the rest of the band a disservice to not mention that each plays with virtuoso precision, not surprising considering how far most of these players go back and were already masters of their art in the seventies.

It's difficult to fault this album such is the overall consistency of the excellent music. As I write this review I'm awaiting delivery of the new PFM album which is in the post as I type. I'm hoping for great things but it's got one hell of a challenge to be anywhere near as good as Stati Di Immaginazione. Only five stars will do.

Incidently, the album comes with a DVD, not a band performance but pieces of film to reflect the album tracks which works really well.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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