Keys of Knowledge

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Band Name Flames Of Misery
Album Name Keys of Knowledge
Type Album
Released date 17 July 2002
Music StyleNeo Classical
Members owning this album2


1. Memories of Innocence 08:13
2. Signs' Lake 06:31
3. Night Gates 14:21
4. Candles of Oblivion 12:02
5. Venomous Vehemence 06:11
6. Eminence of Misanthropy 12:34
7. Deluge of Abhorrence 03:11
Total playing time 1:03:18

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Flames Of Misery

Review @ Bleak_Landscape

14 December 2009
After the listening of the demo "Misanthropic Poems", I was impatient to hear Flames OF Misery's first album "Keys of Knowledge". I had the chance to see Laurent Zaessinger live in Switzerland, and I was sure in advance that I wouldn't be disappointed because it was really incredible, even if there were no vocals Live.

I know that it's really rare to say that an album is perfect, and maybe you will find a drawback in every album, even in this one. Anyway, this CD is in my opinion the most amazing masterpiece I've ever heard.

When I put this CD in my stereo I begin to be transported in another world, the inner world of soul mysteries and darkest desires. Laurent Zaessinger is a talented pianist, playing at least 10 melodies for a 6 minutes long song and 20 melodies for a 12 minutes long song, so 4 or 5 times more melodies than most of other Dark Ambient bands who are only able to play 3 notes a minute on their Casio keyboard. So, his tracks are really rich. But in fact, he cannot be assimilated to the Ambient/Goth scene so easily because there is a real classical influence, before all in the technique. The mixing of technical and more easy parts confers another dimension to this album, as well as the mixing of sad and less sad parts. The best example is "Night Gates", maybe the most impressive track of the album. There are slow passages, very quick parts, etc. The atmosphere changes too: sometimes sad, than almost positive, than crazy, after that funeral, and finally mysterious. Of course, the final result is really obscure and full of sorrow and grief (all tracks are played on minor), like the lyrics, misanthropic and a clear profanation. A special mention too for the track "Candles of Oblivion", based on a major scale at the beginning. During all this track, Laurent puts another flat note, in order to obtain a minor scale. That's an amazing technical Innovation, reflecting Laurent's Post-Modern Creativity.

Imagine how could sound Wagner after meeting Burzum! Majestic and occult, with a lot of rhythmic variations, even by repeated melodies, so that it's never boring. Some bad thinkers would say that he doesn't do it deliberately, but it's false. Nothing is hazardous in this album, and that's exactly what makes Laurent Zaessinger being a great pianist. Some parts are quite melodious and near classical music, very fluid, while others are Avant-garde by the structure and by the deliberate disharmony. It creates a real morbid atmosphere and makes this CD full of variations, for our biggest joy and pleasure. It's impossible to classify this release, it's definitively Elitist. You will Love it or Hate it, I doubt that there is any other alternative.

For those who don't know Laurent Zaessinger, I would just compare him to the excellent band Le'Rue Delashay in the vein, even if it's not really the same approach. I hope this will help you to make you an idea. Concerning the vocals, the presence of more lines is really interesting and full of suspense. You never know what will happen. They sound a bit like Theater.

So, at the program of this album, you will find Art and Creativity at a very high level, mixing perfectly Theatrical vocals and Avant-Garde piano compositions with classical roots and dark atmospheres, like in majestic Ambiant/Symphonic releases.

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