(By Guest Author ‘Professor’ Jim)
It’s amazing when two of your songs are featured on the soundtrack of a blockbuster hit movie and yet almost nobody has heard of you or even know how to pronounce your band’s name. But really, Evanescence is a name you should look out for because sooner then later everybody is going to recognize this band’s evident musical talent.
Evanescence started out as a struggling band in Little Rock, Arkansas, trying to make a name for themselves in the local death metal music scene. That’s right, I said death metal from Arkansas. They certainly weren’t death metal and they certainly weren’t country, so finding a spot was tough. By word of mouth and the EPs Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody recorded in his basement started to build them a fan base.
But now with two tracks on the Daredevil soundtrack and their debut album Fallen finally released, they are ready to take on the world. They are epic dark rock driven by Amy Lee’s angelic voice and Ben’s simple but effective guitar riffage, backed by strings and piano. It’s a beautiful yet haunting ride from start to finish.
The album opens up with “Going Under”, a hard hitting, melodic almost rock ballad with hints of electronic beats and beautiful piano. Amy’s voice starts out deep, raspy and downright sexy. In fact, let me just get this out of the way now, I have a huge crush on this girl. Her vocal skills can be downright breath taking, shown by this song and the rest of the album. I’d let her “bring me to life” anytime she wantedï¿½if you know what I meanï¿½and I think you do. The chorus is very nice, catchy, but not too poppy and disposable.
Lyrical highlight: “Screaming deceiving and bleeding for you, and you still won’t hear me”. It has nice, solid guitar solo as well, completing the package.
The second song, and one featured on the Daredevil soundtrack is “Bring Me to Life”. Again, great chorus and hook, beautiful piano and some heavy riffs through out. I have mixed feelings for the guest vocals from Paul McCoy from 12 Stones, but I still love this song to no end. Lyrical highlight: “Where I’ve become so numb without a soul, my spirit sleeping somewhere cold”. The album then shifts into “Everybody’s Fool” which as some nice lyrical progressions. Something I love about this band is a lot of times bands like to repeat themselves. They go back to the same set of lyrics again and again. But it seems Evanescence is beyond that, and the verses and chorus’s seem to grow. It’s a nice change from some of the mainstream rock out nowadays.
“My Immortal” is slow, beautiful song with only Amy Lee’s amazing voice, strings and piano. The second song featured on the Daredevil soundtrack, it’s a beautiful ballad with some great lyrics. “Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams, you voice it chased away all the sanity in me”. Now that’s something that can speak to people in so many levels. After the slow song, it’s usually customary to make the next song a little on the heavier side, and Evanescence doesn’t disappoint. “Haunted” is just like the name suggests, a haunting, heavy song, probably the heaviest on the album. It’s also got some great electronic elements.
“Tourniquet” is lyrically interesting, and you can interpret it either a spiritual or non- spiritual way. Great song over all, and it ends with a beautiful orchestration the transitions into the next song “Imaginary”, a song about escaping from the world into your own. “Don’t say I’m out of touch with this repent chaosï¿½your reality”. “Taking Over Me” is about wanting the old flame, the one who got away. “I’ll give up everything to find you, I have to be with you to live, to breathe, your taking over me.”
“Hello” is another beautiful ballad, and “My Last Breath” is another haunting, heavy rocker again with some great electronic do-dads. Finally there’s “Whisper”, which I think is the worst song on the album. It seems kinda tacked on.
Overall, the only beefs I really have with this band is the guitar is kind of simple and kind of a little too familiar once in a while. Some times the lyrics can get on the cheesy side, but some how they make it work better than most bands. But with the beautiful melodies and Amy’s amazing voice, this is one helluva album. It’s nice to hear a band that’s lyrically honest and not that fake teen angst that you might hear from freaking Avril Lavigne or some other mainstream rock on the radio. I give this git 4 out of 5 stars; one enjoyable, beautiful album.