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

CHOCOLATE KINGS

Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.94 | 334 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

slipperman
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This amazing slab of PFM-ness marks a shift toward a more English style of prog. As other reviewers have mentioned, and one can't fail to hear, there's a heavy whiff of Genesis here, mostly due to the fragile yet expressive strength of vocalist Bernardo Lanzetti, who resembles Peter Gabriel. But, like Neuschwanstein, it's less a rip-off and more a case of inspiration (or even coincidence). 'Chocolate Kings' offers plenty of wonderful moments and it sees them avoiding the stereotypical Italian prog sound that they helped define, in an effort to evolve and not be trapped into a box of their own making. (Nothing wrong with '70s Italian prog of course, but once a band in any prog sub-genre becomes predictable, it's all of a sudden not that progressive anymore, is it?) All songs offer a steady balance of instrumentation, from the thunderous bass/drum syncopation between Franz Di Cioccio and Patrick Djivas (so rightly credited with "ripper bass"!) and the kinetic performance from woodwind/violin man Mauro Pagani. Plenty of activity, truckloads of dynamics, captivating vocals, and the kind of songcraft that shows a band its peak.

The last two songs capitalize on the great moments that come in the first half, with "Out Of The Roundabout" merging their newfound style with an element of their exotic early years, along with an approach that almost reaches into fusion at times. There is no weak point here. Every song offers something the others don't, yet all of them unify in a tight focus, which makes for very satisfying listening. Overall, 'Chocolate Kings' is a high point in PFM history, and for some fans represents their last great '70s album before stylistic rot started to set in.

slipperman | 4/5 |

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