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Evanescence - Fallen
by Dan Grote

Just when nu metal was being declared stale and last year’s news, this two-piece cum four-piece from Arkansas comes along and changes up the formula by… having a female lead singer. Granted, Amy Lee is not the first female to die her hair black and start screaming about the pain of life. There have been a handful of females in other metal acts over the past few years in bands like Drain STH, Snake River Conspiracy, and Coal Chamber.

Here’s the difference though: Evanescence is the band most geared towards both modern rock and top 40 airplay. With their familiar chugga-chugga guitars and rocker-chick female presence, the band has been well-tooled to draw a crowd.

Evanescence centers around vocalist Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. Beyond them are a Wind-up Records-funded army of studio and touring musicians, including drums by A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese. All this leads to songs like the band’s smash Daredevil-boosted single “Bring Me to Life,” given that extra-special rap metal edge by Paul McCoy of 12 Stones (“Broken”).

“Bring Me to Life,” partnered with the album’s opening track, “Going Under,” set the tone for Fallen by pounding on the guitars as hard as possible, while Lee sings about pain, nothingness, a desperate need for salvation, and on “Tourniquet,” a drug addiction she probably doesn’t have.

The difference on Fallen lies in the ballads. “My Immortal” takes the listener by surprise as the guitars and drums go away, leaving Lee to sing her dark little choirgirl’s heart out over David Hodges’ quiet storm keyboards. It becomes clear here, and later on “Hello,” that Evanescence is Lee’s show, despite the fact that her show has a dubiously large production budget.

VERDICT: If Evanescence were a full band, it might perhaps be easier to trust their authenticity. However, with a debut album replete with choral back-ups, celebrity drummers, and hired gun piano players (when Lee herself has piano training) that could only have been affordable through Wind-up’s “Creed made us stinking rich” fund, it’s easy to assume that somebody found Lee on the street and threw her in the studio with half of Linkin Park. The only thing that makes Lee and Evanescence believable are Lee’s solo ballads and the fact that she screams only once in eleven songs on the entire album, a reminder that Lee herself isn’t trying too hard.

CD Info 

Evanescence - Fallen
Label: Wind-up Records
Going Under 
Bring Me To Life 
Everybody's Fool 
My Immortal 
Taking Over Me 
My Last Breath 
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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