The Open Door
Wind Up Records
Evanescence took the hard rock/metal world by storm back in 2003 with their debut cd "Fallen". Amy Lee's soaring, angelic vocals merged with Ben Moody's massive guitar riffs sent them straight up the charts. Granted their musical formula was not entirely new, as European metal acts such as The Gathering, Nightwish, and Lacuna Coil have always had strong female vocalists. However, Evanescence was the first American band to put this style in the limelight. World tours followed along with the hit singles "Bring Me To Life", "My Immortal", "Going Under"and "Everybody's Fool". Even with the huge success of the band, tensions arose and co-founding member Moody, left because of creative differences. From there, this began a downward slide for the rest of the band, which caused the remaining members to depart due to various reasons. However replacements were found and the band continued forward. In 2004 the Cd/DVD "Anywhere But Home was released with a live concert from Paris on the DVD, and several unreleased and live songs on the Cd.
Finally in late 2006 "The Open Door" was released with fevered anticipation by fans worldwide. The album was another major hit for the band and spawned four more singles "Call Me When Your Sober", "Lithium", "Sweet Sacrifice" and "Good Enough". Even with the total line-up change minus Amy Lee, Evanescence sounded just as heavy and tight as ever. The songwriting had not suffered either, despite Ben Moody's departure (considering he and Lee were a team for so many years.) Replacement guitarist Terry Balsamo (formerly of Cold) helped co-write the lyrics to many of the songs this time around as well. However, the main focus here is Amy Lee's stunning voice. Her range is simply amazing. The emotion she exudes is breathtaking, putting every ounce of her soul on the line for the listener. You are swept up in her pain, her love, her sadness and her joy in each and every track. This is Evanescence's real strength. Not to say the rest of the band aren't important, far from it. However, I think any good set of musicians could stand behind Amy and come out shining. Her presence leads the rest of the members like a beacon, giving them direction and guiding them strong and true through her emotional, musical tapestry. I was hard pressed to find a song on this album that I thought was mediocre. And you know what? I couldn't. "The Open Door" is a solid, beautiful album that is a perfect combination of power, elegance and beauty. A winner in my book from beginning to end.
- Craig Harvey