Image © Wind Up Records 2003
Image © Wind Up Records 2003
(04 May 2003) Fallen rocks: it is swirling, cinematic, spiritual, monumental and a fitting debut
for a band that will be making waves for years to come. Evanescence's label, Wind-Up
Records, seems to want to categorize them as something like Linkin Park meets Creed
with the female singer twist. (Ignore the label-placed guest vocalist on the first single,
"Bring Me To Life.") But between Ben Moody's wunderkind soundscapes and Amy Lee's
gorgeous vocals, Evanescence also deserves billing with more adult-oriented artists like
Everything But The Girl, Garbage, U2, Sarah McLachlan, and Portishead.
Indeed, if Fallen has a flaw, it is that it doesn't foreground Evanescence's
incredible versatility. Still, there's not a lot you can do to contain a band like Evanescence
and their brilliance shines through even when their versatility does not. That said, expect
Fallen to be a monumentally popular album and one of the best of the year. Because
the production on the album is so polished and precise and the songs so tightly arranged
and preformed, it is unlikely to receive the critical respect it should get because--and this
is the ironic part--Ben Moody is too good at what he does. He sounds too much like the
kind of guy who can only play whatever type of music he happens to be playing.
He plays them all so well and with impressive craftsmanship.
This has not escaped Moody at all. He's as cunning as he is brilliant. Evanescence's 2002
Demo tapes, from which the bulk of the album's eleven tracks are culled, were made as bait
for record labels. Wind-Up Records saw a star in the making and took the bait with
gusto--prominent placement on the Daredevil movie soundtrack, WWE pay-per-view
events, TV commercials, music videos, and, ultimately, Fallen followed in relatively
But if Ben Moody is the dark wizard of Evanescence, crafting intoxicating waves of beats
and rhythms, hidden beneath guitars and stacks and switchboards, than Amy Lee is their herald.
Lee's voice is the most striking thing about Evanescence and with good reason: it's absolutely
beautiful and her control over it is impressively mature. As with the album's two piano ballads,
"My Immortal" and "Hello", a heart-wrenching tale of retreating into one's own mind, Lee
shows that she's quite capable of carrying entire songs by herself. Yet she's equally glorious
complimenting Moody's driving soundscapes, particularly on "Imaginary," when she transitions
seamlessly from singing to screaming while still maintaining control over the pitch and body of
Amy Lee's vocal range and strength are impressive but not flawless; sometimes she can't
quite get the notes for which she's striving, but this works to the bands credit. Listening to
Fallen one gets the impression that at all times they are playing and singing at full force,
pouring their hearts and souls selflessly into every lyric and every note.
And while the songs are, by and large, brilliant, the album itself is somewhat lacking. Its
primary flaw is that it doesn't do much to differentiate its songs sonically. Some tracks will tease
the listener with electronic backbeats before switching gears back to the nu-metal guitars, only
hinting at the versatility of which Evanescence is capable. And while the sonic consistency,
gives the album a consistent feel, it doesn't capitalize by telling a story with a beginning,
middle, and end. There are many neat production tricks that are used to effect to segue
seamlessly from one track to the next, but Fallen still feels more like a collection of
songs than an album especially when compared to Origin.
Ultimately, listen to Fallen, particularly if you like bombastic, widescreen guitar rock,
delicate ballads, or lush female vocals. If anything whets your appetite, dig deeper. Even now,
there's much more to Evanescence than the considerable treasures that Fallen offers.
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.com
here. This album is worth a trans-Atlantic journey and is a must listen!