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Evanescence: The Open Door

Returning with all the dramatic musical theatre that made their mainstream hit debut release, Fallen, Evanescence steps back into the spotlight with The Open Door. No less darkly expressive lyrically, and no less powerful musically, this new relase hits quite a bit heavier with crunchy guitar filling more of the soundscape than before.

Evanescence, now comprisrd of founder Amy Lee and a new guitarist Terry Balsamo along with John LeCompt on guitar and Rocky Gray on drums, continue to skillfully blend classical technique into pounding hard rock and metal motifs. Though The Open Door impresses as slightly less cohesive a series of tracks than did those of Fallen, presenting a collection of songs more musically independent, a little more angry, the band's technical skill and confident experimentation infuse each track with the edgy and divergent personality well-established on their major-label debut.

"Sweet Sacrifice", seemingly a segue from the dominant lyrical inspiration of Fallen, ushers in a more varied assemblage of songs portraying more than mere sadness this time round, but also anger, resolution, and even a hint of contentment.

Apparently inspired by Mozart's Requiem in D Minor, Evanescence aptly bestows "Lacrymosa" (Lacrimosa) with a bit of goth/metal flaire and personality atop strings and the traditional latin chorus of the Requiem Mass.

A touch on the commercial side of things, "Call Me Whem You're Sober" apparently won the choice for pre-release video single, although "All That I'm Living For" struck me as more in keeping with the MTV audience to which the video was presented. Both tracks stand out on the album, but while "All That I'm Living For" is a bit closer to the previous hit single "Bring Me To Life" in overall atmosphere, "Call Me When You're Sober" domonstrates more of the classical and artistic musical variety that has become the band's identity.

Unfortunately, "Cloud Nine", is probably the least "characteristically Evanescence" of the lot, initially impressing a bit like Britney on acid (think "Toxic"... on second thought, don't risk it). Of course, if Britney had any talent, she might aspire to produce something as good. Featuring a more pop-sounding, undulating and almost sci-fi vocal element, as well as mechanically filtered vocals and, occasionally, an almost dance-inspiring rhythm, "Cloud Nine" seems somewhat out of place in the track set. Alas, not all albums can be a perfect, well, thirteen.

The Open Door certainly does not fail to leave us without at least one purely melodic, mellow showcase of Amy Lee's skilled vocals in the album's final track. More mature and inctricate than the two true ballads on Fallen, "Good Enough", featuring Lee's artful piano complemented by orchestral strings, is an almost "happy" (almost) and graceful finale to this potent and solid release from Evanescence.

Track List:

  1. Sweet Sacrifice
  2. Call Me When You're Sober
  3. Weight of the World
  4. Lithium
  5. Cloud Nine
  6. Snow White Queen
  7. Lacrymosa
  8. Like You
  9. Lose Control
  10. The Only One
  11. Your Star
  12. All That I'm Living For
  13. Good Enough

Added: October 24th 2006
Reviewer: Greg Stewart
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 3786
Language: english

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Evanescence: The Open Door
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-10-24 07:02:55
My Score:

Exploding on to the scene like a dynamo, Evanescence would find themselves a chart-topping artist with their major debut "Fallen". It was an album that was that was loaded with powerful levels of alternative Hard Rock and would make singer Amy Lee a superstar. Turmoil of the time led to the split of band co-founder Ben Moody, who also was a large contributor in terms of the song-writing success they found. Going forward the question would be could Amy follow up the blockbuster record without his involvement. The answer would be yes she could, and on "The Open Door", she adventures forward extending the levels of emotion used in the content more than she ever did on her previous songs. The past couple of turbulent years in the band and singers life would lead to their documentation in song and that alone makes this purer in its essence and overall meaning as an album. The listener will find that the new recording leans a lot heavier on the Gothic side than "Fallen" had done and there are moments on the release that are quite heavy. It begins with "Sweet Sacrifice", a track where Amy shows that the group has not lost any of their edge in the way they do things and instantly reminds the listener that they rock. Comparing tracks from the last release, this number could stand as the new albums "Bring Me To Life". "Call Me When Your Sober" is perhaps the most important track to the singer as she sings of moving on from the demons that were the cause of her last relationships end. Her new song-writing partner would be Terry Balsamo, and together a new chapter is forged and is right on target. As a group, they have a lot to stand up against with their hit maker always looking at them, and they succeed in making the new album special with blends of the Classical on tracks such as "Lacrymosa". As one of the better tracks, it makes use of strings and a dramatic choir that works quite well. The three year absence from a studio album seems to have worked out well for the group on "Lithium", an important tune that advises choosing to feel as opposed to remaining numb from life's trials. The digipak release includes great artwork and interior design and photos. It truly adds to the experience of enjoying the album.

The band is spot on for the release and features Balsamo (guitar), John LeCompt (guitar), and Rocky Gray (drums) while Amy handles vocals and also some wonderful piano on some tracks. The release, while musically strong is still too early to determine if this recording will stand up to the level of acclaim that its predecessor provided them. I can safely report that it's been met with a largely positive response as the fan base has truly missed Lee's presence. It is an album that shows the group maturing musically and in their themes and most important it showcases the fact that one can move on and forward in life that's an important lesson to find. Life is meant to be lived so approach every moment as an "Open Door".

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