Evanescence, from Nu Metal to – Pop? An editorial.

RockmusicRaider - Evanescence - Album Collection

Polarization. That’s what comes to mind when the RMR crew starts discussing Evanescence and their career. Some think that Amy Lee can do nothing wrong and everything she and her mates created so far is just dandy. Others, however, feel that the band sorely got on the wrong side of pop over the years. A (not so) happy conversation of groovy chatterboxes but no resolution on the corporate stance the mighty RMR office suite should take. Sounds like those modern and totally wretched politics, doesn’t it?1)

So, what’s it gonna be?

Early Evanescence, and then some.

Since its inception, the RMR webzine forever obsessed about that fascinating band that popped onto the global scene like a jack-in-the-box with Fallen in 2003. Evanescence‘s trademark sound really captivated yours truly straight away. And make no mistake, this was always about the charismatic persona of Amy Lee and her stellar range that comes on confusing vibrations of furious soprano delights. Because without her, this band would not exist.

At first, she still boasted that almost symbiotic relationship with Ben Moody. Together with David Hodges2) as the third force of the budding band. Moody‘s roots – I am told – rather resided in the Nu Metal realm3) than in the projection of gothic delights. And this must have led to pretty severe artistic differences.

And – perhaps – there were some other undercurrents that we will never quite fathom, because – simply put – we weren’t quite there, now, weren’t we? So, going out on a limb, I reckon that this thing did not sit too well with the Nu Metal dude, whose front chick just ran away with the inheritance. And who ever said that the blondes get all the fun, right?

So, we saw a bitter separation during the Fallen tour, with Mr. Moody walking away whilst it was in full swing. And whenever that happens, a band finds itself on Upshit Creek without a paddle.

The Open Door thus inevitably released without Amy Lee‘s copilot some three years later. Now, Evanescence still sported that trademark sound back then. Yet, it already was a strained version of its former self, and first cracks started to appear. A fact that left us with some foreboding on a pretty cloudy future for that once-promising outfit.

The We Are The Fallen Incident.

Now, Ben Moody responded in kind in 2010 with some sort of a metal revenge porn band called We Are The Fallen. Not quite unsurprisingly, their record Tear the World Down sounded like – Evanescence 2.0. The band consisted of the fallen members4) of their former outfit and Carly Smithson as the female front. So, who are we kidding?

Despite their sometimes vehement denials that their band was a clone, the band also – somewhat sheepishly – acknowledged that they actually created that sound. Which – of course – is true, as no band effort only comes from one single person. And besides, their one-and-only record was exceedingly well done. To the point that it made our turntables work overtime for a while.

Oh, and for those who thirst for more information, Ben Moody wrote a wordy statement back in 2010. A clarification and rebuttal of the many thousands of hate posts he received over time. Apparently because he had the gall to create an own project with a similar sound. Not sure where the hating should come from, but hey, it must be in the unfathomable mind of those weirdo commenters.

Unfortunately and again quite foreseeable, the band never made it beyond that debut record. But we never know, of course. Perhaps they will suddenly pop up again with some renewed vigor.

Evanescence – and the pop confusion.

Amy Lee‘s band pretty much stalled after The Open Door‘s hot fire petered out. For some 5 years, nobody heard anything significant from the band, to the point that they were pretty much presumed dead. A bit like the aforementioned outfit of the fallen before their reappearance.

The fans had to wait until 2011 for an encore. And they got a self-titled and confusing jambalaya of pop-infused and self-inflicted style disasters. Not something the RMR crew really took a liking to. And that’s this reviewer being diplomatic.

So, this underwhelming record led us to drop Evanescence and their bunch of studio musicians pretty much from our review pipe. Not that there was much to review over the next 10 years or so. Apart from a few bits and pieces that popped up here and there, yet with nothing really to write to mama about.

Until The Bitter Truth arrived, that is.

Yep, you heard that right. After a decade of silence with a few bits of sound here and there, Evanescence is back with a ton of renewed energy. And a new record that is nobody’s bitch. The Bitter Truth pretty much gets you that energy back that lost itself into pop space back in 2011.

And the band finds itself on a sure footing, with a style that still is recognizable Evanescence. But this is surely no copy of the early ’00s offering. That’s Amy Lee with a message to tell, her very own and forcefully told. A new style without confusion or hesitance. And that’s where we would like this band to be.

In short…

The RMR deck crew was mighty pleased to find this band back on a promising course. Away from those strange meandering pathways to nowhere. A band that finally found a way to get rid of being stuck in the past and not quite alive in the present. But it truly is a pity that it took them 10 years and some serious family action to get to this point. Yet, here we are.

And luckily, the band did not end up in pop’s dark backyard. The place where hardly anybody visits, apart from the indefatigable die-hard fans, that is.

So, let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait for yet another decade to get another piece of Evanescence. It might wear out the abilities of RockmusicRaider, else. And we’re not getting younger.

*****

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