Evanescence - Fallen

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Wind-Up
Catalog Number: 13063
Format: CD
Total Time: 44:19:00

Fallen is the debut album from new goths on the block Evanescence, and they've done amazingly well with it. They've broken the mainstream, in part due to the success of the hit single "Bring Me To Life," which was featured on the soundtrack to Daredevil; if anyone knows any of their work, it will likely be this. The young core members Amy Lee (vocals) and Ben Moody (guitars) both hail from Arkansas, where their soft-metal sound was not quite appreciated. Since being discovered by an LA-based producer, that has certainly changed.

The music itself is beautifully composed, but relatively simple. What sets Evanescence apart are the seraphic vocals of Lee, who sings like a female James LaBrie - clear soaring highs, mellow dark lows, emotion dripping from every syllable. She makes the music more than it is. The album is poignant, haunting; its themes somber. Fallen deals with human misery, wounds to the soul that might be healed if only we knew how. We have unrequited or obsessive, hurtful love ("Going Under," "Taking Over Me," "Haunted"), the loss of loved ones ("My Immortal," "My Last Breath"), insanity ("Imaginary," "Hello," "Whisper"), self-delusion ("Everybody's Fool") and the pain of crying out to a God you aren't sure is hearing you ("Tourniquet"). The popular single, "Bring Me To Life," is about defining yourself through someone else's love, only to lose yourself without it. Such is the way I interpret these songs, in any case.

While each song is beautiful in its own right, gather them into an album and it becomes ... well, depressing. Though I personally can't say I share experiences with all the misery that is touched on Fallen, some of it does cut fairly close to home. I think most people would be able to say the same. This at least means that Evanescence has done a superb job of writing simple music and lyrics which people can relate to, which was their purpose - to write about such things, and let the listener know that they aren't alone in their very human unhappiness. There's no metaphor, no imagery or simile, to soften the subject matter; the messages are starkly bare, undisguised.

I'm divided in my final opinion of Fallen. I really do appreciate the music, which is beautiful and highly expressive, but I don't enjoy listening to the album as a whole. I have other albums in my collection which make me pleasantly melancholy, such as Pain of Salvation's Remedy Lane or Opeth's Damnation, but they are not actually painful to listen to. Fallen is, but that's very much a personal thing. My recommendation? It's a worthwhile purchase, certainly, and there's a lot to get out of this album.

Similar to: Lacuna Coil

[This review originally appeared August 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Going Under / Bring Me To Life / Everybody's Fool / My Immortal / Haunted / Tourniquet / Imaginary / Taking Over Me / Hello / My Last Breath / Whisper

Francis DiCosmo - bass
Josh Freese - drums
David Hodges - piano, keyboards, programming, string arr.
Amy Lee - vocals
Ben Moody - guitars
Graeme Revell - string arr.
Chris Johnson - programming
Beverly Allen, Geri Allen, Melanie Jackson, Joanne Paratore, Leslie Paton, Dwight Stone, Richard Stubbs, Susan Youngblood - choir/chorus

Origin (2002)
Fallen (2003)
Anywhere But Home (2004)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: December 18th 2004
Reviewer: Karyn Hamilton
Artist website: www.evanescence.com
Hits: 1173
Language: english


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