Whisked-back to a simpler time of nostalgic-appeal, one of the predominant rites-of-passage to grace the elegy of my collegiate years took shape in the form of Evanescence’s 2003 breakthrough: Fallen. Upon first listen, the powerhouse production of thick-yet mean-and-clean guitar-licks pushed through the meat-shredder of slick electronic-corridors and stabilized drum-strikes hails a shrieking resemblance to their famed successors, Linkin Park. After an earnest pursuit into the wilderness, these Gothic nu-metaliers lay before you an unmistakable sense of consummate-musicianship and personal songwriting.
Fallen opens with the single-cut, “Going Under” to unleash its formidable arsenal amid the listener’s virtue. The track masterfully soars at the whims of band co-founder/guitarist, Ben Moody’s meticulous riffing behind the lines of the ever-so-abundant industrial percussion-points. It’s not until the venerable punch of a chorus so unnerving that it becomes quite clear as to why these prog-metal stalwart’s from Little Rock, Arkansas challenge the very blueprint of the genre they otherwise might have been so pigeonholed. That distinguishable presence sells itself through the mezzo-soprano crooning of Amy Lee.
Flying high above her contemporaries, Amy Lee’s voice pierces the essence of heavy-laden sorcery she purports in the name of spiritual-expression. While once calling for the undying attention of the emotionally-troubled youth, a solid thirteen-years later Lee’s lyrical-agenda still strikes a relatable chord for those willing to lend an ear her direction. The cut that started it all: “Bring Me to Life” feels as though it hasn’t aged a day and remains the tour-de-force it once beckoned amidst the track-list defining the “Daredevil” soundtrack. As it opens, the tantalizing mega-hit springs to the mercy of Lee’s careening whimper while the fairytale piano melody takes its slight-stance of vulnerability. Then, hurled to the wall-of-sound only a finely-skilled producer could successfully harness, “Bring Me to Life” spreads its wings and unveils it’s unmatched persona. Bouncing between lyrical subterfuge, Lee’s siren-like vocal-prowess seamlessly compliments the chanted-rap and aggressive-wail of one-time guest-vocalist, Paul McCoy(12 Stones).
Coasting through the effervescent-flourishes which comprise the rest of Evanescence’s debut-soon-to-be-magnum opus, another one of the single’s claim to introspective-acceptance sets the mark in the shape of: “Everybody’s Fool.” Always slave to challenge the public’s perception of pop-diva imagery, Lee snarls as she calls out the hyper-sexualization of fellow pop-princesses of the era, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
While such soulful-tracks as: “Tourniquet” and even “My Last Breath” carry the formidable-record to emotional-crescendos no one ever saw coming, after all this time it’s still the piano-driven outcry of Amy Lee’s solo-penned, “My Immortal” that remains the crown-jewel among a fair-onslaught of stark-brazen masterpieces. “My Immortal” holds the fervor of power-ballad majesty as Lee’s vocals still lure the attentive spirit across a heartbroken terrain of haunted sorrow. The song carries a fleeting glimpse of the weary wanderer amid the gliding scales of piano chords. Although the piano-cadence and lingering string accompaniment bode well for the the cut’s emotional-resonance, it isn’t until the climactic-overlay of the full rock-band’s inclusion that the sheer-ferocity of this ballad ring true to the listener.
Written By: Nathan Porter