Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - Dracula Opera Rock CD (album) cover


Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM)

Rock Progressivo Italiano

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars Finally a modern accessible Opera Rock, which can be appreciated by a wider crowd of listeners (not for the prog fans only!!), of course with the same mood of a musical, even though I can not say it's equal to the 70's majestic opera rocks, such as "Jesus Christ Superstar for example or the good work by Who entitled "Tommy"...nevertheless it's suitable for a thrilling music event live on stage (as foreseen in the next concert programme of 2006), starring the whole old line up of PFM, plus a few guest stars, as well as a young talented female singer called "Dolcenera", singing in the final track "Un Destino di Rondine"... the good and the evil living together, the perfect representation of Dracula, this latter character already represented in the cinematographic masterpiece by F. Ford Coppola and here helped by the orchestral sections and the symphonic chorus as well, really delightful ; it's strange that it's the second concept album only, after the controversial (and quite disappointing too) "Ulisse" dated 1997, as They try to be involved in the development of a famous story and this time reaching their goal in a lot of circumstances: in fact the style of PFM is inspiring both in the accessible classic rock genre and in the symphonic breaks-through as well, close to a kind of classic music and with a certain creativity which is often remarkable. The lyrics by Vincenzo Incenzo are clever, thanks also to the melodramatic passages (think of the overture): of course it's not a prog masterpiece nor strictly a progressive concept album, but their music taste is always pleasant, being able to represent the various dramatic and romantic moods!! It should be worth a "3 stars" righter score in comparison to their best albums ...long live PFM, anyway!!
Report this review (#52729)
Posted Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A truly convincing new album by PFM. A this point in time I felt they were just an "old- dinosaurs" band , capable of a good live rendition of their 70's masterpieces , but no more than that.

As a matter of fact Ulisse and Serendipity are , in my opinion very deluding CD's if you are looking for prog music.

Something good and new was in their Live in Japan (CD version only) that contains "Sea of Memory" with Peter Hammil singing.

Now "Dracula" : form the very beginning , with "Overture" up to the end "Come una Rondine" it is a fantastic succession of modern (sometime almost metal prog sounds) , orchestral moments , good keyboards and guitar solos , excellent rhythmic and interesting vocal parts.

In other words , PFM 2005 style , just partially looking back to the 70's.

A true masterpiece , 5 stars.


Report this review (#55015)
Posted Monday, November 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, what do we have here? The return of a King? This is wonderful music, production, and performance. It's nice to see the old guys like PFM and Ange really do something modern, yet remain the same high quality progressiveness of their early years.

This is music that is both inspiring and technically challenging. It doesn't get much better than that. The vocals are very good, and the overall production is top notch.

I gave the new Ange "?" the best CD of 2005, but this is up there with it.

Long Live The Kings of m,m,my Generation!

Report this review (#62120)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Lets Welcome a truly new masterpiece from this band which even after so many years is able to produce such a fantastic album. Actually this is just a small part of the big Rock Opera Dracula, which is going to be performed in theatre. In my opinion, PFM confirms to be the only italian band who could even dare to start a project like this.Only talented musicians can do it. The result? An incredible album with prog music and melodic songs where Franz, Franco and Flavio alternate to vocals with success. This album is the result of many years of work and at the end shows an accurate research for perfection in music. Welcome to Dracula, a true Opera Rock!
Report this review (#62131)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I've tried hard to like this, I really have and I applaud PFM for doing something different. The problem is:

1- to me it sounds nothing like the PFM I like; 2- rock opera (or opera rock) is not a genre that does anything for me. So why did I buy it you ask? Because it's PFM! Which leads me back to point 1 again.

Tricky to rate. I'm trying to be objective despite being distinctly unimpressed. It's not poor by any means so 1 star is inappropriate. I'm not sure it will appeal to fans and collectors either. I think it might disappoint some fans (like me) but could well attract new ones.

For me it's somewhere between 2 and 3 stars I guess. So 'Good but non-essential' as far as I'm concerned. I won't be getting the original cast recording but just in case I suddenly 'get' this album I reserve the right to change my mind completely.

Report this review (#100945)
Posted Wednesday, November 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars When Dracula Opera Rock came out in Italy we all thought "this is the PFM commercial answer to Notredame De Paris, the incredibly successfull musical that Riccardo Cocciante created some years ago". And well, this is partly correct. One of the compositional inspiration is surely the Notredame opera, since the music in this cd is a little bit far from PFM usual horizons. But still, what a marvellous cd! Despite the lyrics which I find not very effective in places, music is outrageous, full of genial ideas and diversity. All the songs are theatrical, very dramatic, well constructed and with the catchiest choures you've ever heard in your life. Wonderful thing is that there is some space for the good old prog influences also ("Il castello dei perchŔ" opening theme which alternate between 5/8 and 6/8) but most of all those that will stick in your mind and in your heart will be the refrains and the melodies. From "Non Ŕ un incubo Ŕ realtÓ" to "il mio nome Ŕ Dracula", from "Terra madre" to "Non guardarmi" (my two personal favourites), from "La Morte non muore" to "Un destino di rondine", you will love it, no doubt.
Report this review (#104923)
Posted Saturday, December 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars After almost 15 or 20 years of disillusion, PFM hypnotized me again with that kind of opera rock. I have to recognize that when the album were released I was really scary because I thought that it could be another step down into PFM discography but (thanks God!) I was wrong...

Dracula is a very enjoyable album. Starting from the amazing Overture, every song is a delicious piece of rock -not so prog for moments- but full of changes, amazing instrumental sections and great vocals. Darker than other PFM albums and sometimes closer to heavy metal, the tracks really takes you to a scary state for several minutes. Songs like Non Ŕ un Incubo Ŕ RealtÓ and Il Mio Nome Ŕ Dracula sounds great: catchy strings, Di Cioccio amazing on vocals, obscure athmospheres and the sensation to be listening a PFM album recordered at least 25 years ago!

Even when there are two or three songs too many "pop" IMO, the album works good, captiviting your ears until the grand finales marked by Un Destino di Rondine, maybe one of the best PFM songs of the laast years. In fact, after listening Stati di Immaginazione, now I think that Dracula was the perfect album to prepare the path to one of the best albums of their discography...

If you love opera rock, this album can fit perfectly into your discography... If you like PFM, you will love this album... Not so prog, but a great purchase into any rock discography...


Report this review (#135675)
Posted Saturday, September 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I was a bit suspect before listening to this "opera rock" as mentioned on the front cover. Rather pompous appellation IMO.

Some songs are on the plus side like the beautiful "Ouverture". Full of lyricism and beauty. Truly "PFM" like we were used to a long time ago.or "Non Ŕ Un Incubo Ŕ RealtÓ" which is a combination between one of the rockiest song from the band and some pure symphonic parts. A very good combination. When you listen to the intro of "Il Castello Dei PerchŔ" you can't avoid to recognize the "ELP" sounds. Of course with such an "opera" project.

My preferred song of the whole and fully in line with the "Dracula" concept is "Il Mio Nome Ŕ Dracula". It has a scary and intriguing mood. Melody is not forgotten either. This is a bombastic song with the band being really powerful.

After having heard the mellow ballad "Non Guardarmi", the band offers a more complex and tortured song. "Ho Mangiato Gli Uccelli" is close to "Crimson". Jazzy flavour and harder sound. I prefer the peaceful and melodic "Terra Madre". This ballad is by no means precious: there are rhythm changes, very good guitar work and emotional vocals. Another good song.

I have an opposite view of "Male d'Amore" which is a flat and uninspired rock song. The negro spiritual chorus is particularly difficult to bear. The worse is still to come. This honour is without any doubt hold by "La Morte Non Muore". A noisy song mixing rock, jazz, improvisation. Completely chaotic and unpleasant.

Of course, there is the long closing number which is holds some good moments (but not those Broadway-like passages). It stops after almost six minutes and then starts again for a pompous finale.

This work is only a part of the full "Dracula" opera. I can't really agree that this album is a masterpiece. A good album, maybe. At best.

Three stars.

Report this review (#155264)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Are you italian? Do you speak italian or understand it? If the answers is no, then you can appreciate this album. Otherwise, you will find it very hard to tolerate it. I say so because I am italian, therefore I am unluckily able to understand the lyrics of this record. The concept is based on Dracula - Great!, you say. That's what I said when I checked the album out, I *love* Dracula. But it's not about just Dracula's legend, or Bram Stoker's novel. It is based on Coppola's film. The songs follow the same order and logic of the movie, and this is the first reason why it sounds so lame, deja-vu, false. A story about a story about a story. This lack of originality is made worse by the very bad lyric-writing: banal, trite, like poems written by a teenager. Stupid verses, commonplace of the lowest kind: a whole childish approach to the theme (beware, he comes to drink your blood! is the typical line) which makes the story stupid and lame. And that's a great pity, because from a musical point of view the album is very good. Not very orignal indeed, but sure a great prog-rock album: perfectly played and composed, fast, thick, carpets of keyboards running on a warm pulse of drums, tasty solos, good melodies. I thought: this is the album that Dream Theater are trying to write since a long time. Technique always kept under control, the taste always put before the virtuosism. Semplicity. And a power rock album. The Ouverture is just splendid, a summa of the best symphonic prog rock of every time. Ho mangiato gli uccelli (I ate birds) reminds the most bizarre melodies of Pain Of Salvation. I didn't listen to the complete Opera yet, but the theatrical implant of the whole work can be heard, and it's very powerful, ready to have a great success in theatres. But alas, the lyrics are the worst example of italian romantic cliches, and they completely ruin a very good act of music by a master band.
Report this review (#176192)
Posted Sunday, July 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Getting better and better...

Again this remarkable band comes on the horizon with a great work. After the reformation in 1997 this is the third consecutive album by Premiata Forneria Marconi to be better than its predecessor. If we talk about the future Stati di immaginazione will be the fourth consecutive step forward. This reveals a strong return to form, lost after the middle of the 70s - thirty years earlier. It's admirable for sure. What about this album? Dracula Opera Rock is the first rock opera album by the band and it deserves this title. It's probably the first concept album by the band, too.

After a couple of controversial albums and thirty years of wandering, Premiata Forneria Marconi find its own new style and its way. Its strongly recommended for prog-period band lovers and not very much for pop-period band lovers (ha-ha). I would say it's different to 70s, but not in terms of weakness. The musicianship is very good and the songwriting, too! The album contains some opera themes (familiar to a rock opera), symphonic flavour and little jazz fusion. PFM is there they have to - on a solid ground! 4 stars!

Report this review (#247613)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars First of all, I speak no Italian, so I have to judge this release purely on the music alone. That may be a good thing for the band, as the work "amore" seems to pop up all too frequently, so if I was albe to understand it, I might be put off by the excessive mushiness.

This album bears little resemblance to the seventies PFM, despite being the same core group of musicians. On the plus side, the music sounds big. The orchestrations, mostly done on synthesizer patches are exquisite, giving this rock opera a very overblown (in a nice way) theatrical sound.

Report this review (#308921)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It was not until mid-90's when PFM seemed to return eventually towards the right direction.Flavio Premoli was back on track after many years and the quartet of Mussida-Djivas- Premoli-Di Cioccio recorded two albums, ''Ulisse'' from 1997 and ''Serendipity'' from 2000, which showed some hints of the great talent of these musicians, though being more on the accesible side of rock.In 2005 they came back with a more ambitious project entitled ''Dracula Opera Rock'', released on Sony BMG.

This concept album is a weird combination of rockin' parts along with PFM's old symphonic style blended with some more complex parts.The later are definitely what a listener seeks in PFM's music.And while the band sounds more fresh and modern than on their early years, anyone can still detect the similarities between the old and new sound.Most of the tracks fullfill all the Classical aspirations the title of the album suggests.Plenty of string sections, romantic piano textures and grandiose keyboard work with a cinematic edge along with series of dramatic vocal lines are definitely elements close to the prog likings.And the band presents them in a very professional way.Some of the compositions recall PFM's legendary past: Acoustic parts, symphonic keyboards work, organ leads and multi-vocal harmonies are more than welcome to be listened.And a fair amount of complex breaks appears every now and then.However a few compositions are rather dull, far of course from being bad, but also far from PFM's adaption.Very plastic synths, a couple of rockier' chessy parts and some flat vocal sections should not belong among the usual PFM menu and prevent the album to be really great.Nevertheless, there is enough material to satisfy the prog listener in here.

Do not expect a bombastic Rock opera from ''Dracula opera rock'', this is rather a modern and artistic Progressive Rock album with symphonic and Classical inspirations, but most of all it's a decent comeback of PFM into the prog field.Warmly recommended, despite being a step back compared to the essential efforts of the band from the 70's.

Report this review (#622650)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Dracula Opera Rock ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of PREMIATA FORNERIA MARCONI (PFM) Dracula Opera Rock

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives