Sound — 10
I am sure that all of you had one question in mind as soon as you heard of Ben Moody's departure, where does the band go from here? With the loss of Ben, the band lost a key songwriter as well as a key guitarist who helped define and shape their sound. With all of that said, it may have looked as though a Moody-free Evanescence would turn out to be nothing more than a flop, a one hit wonder if you will. Luckily for us, the departre of Moody caused the exact opposite effect. To say that the sound of Evanescence is different on their new album would be quite the understatement, the change in sound is so drastic that it is almost as if they are an entirely new band(which in this case is a good thing)One of the key factors that can be credited for this sound makeover is none other than Terry Balsamo, who brought his Cold-influenced guitar style to the band, creating a heavier, darker atmosphere, which serves as a perfect counter balance to Amy Lee's unrelenting high-pitched ensemble. Evanescence has always found a way to balance both darkness and beauty within their songs, however, the addittion of Terry helps to further exploit that contrast and use it to it's full potential. Another key element in the remaking process was the fact that on the new album, Amy experiments with her vocal style in ways that were entirely absent from Fallen. She fully embraces her lower register on this album, which helps to add an entirely different dimension to the music. This type of experimentation serves as evidence to show us that she has fully embraced herself as an artist and as such is not afraid to take risks, a quality that is truly admirable in my book. Another aspect that truly defines the sound of this album is the employment of many different musical styles with elements of both flamenco/egyptian style guitar(ie Weight of the World), as well as classical masterpieces with a modern twist(ie Lacrymosa) icorporated within the album. These additions help to broaden the listening experience and make it more pleasing to the ear. While you may think after reading this that the Evanescence of old is entirely absent from the new album, that is nowhere near the truth. While their sound and Amy's vocal style did change, the album itself has many of the key elements which made the band such a success to begin with. Amy Lee still delivers the signature Evanescence sound as only she can, finding the delicate balance between high powered yet elegant vocals. And if songs like My Immortal are more to your liking, the band delivers a generous helping of this in the form of Lithium, Like You, and Good Enough. So, in retrospect, the departure of Ben Moody looks as if it was a blessing in disguise for Evanescence, for not only did they come out with an album to rival that of Fallen, but one that could indeed surpass it. This album is a testament to the bands hardwork and dedication and their drive to overcome personal setbacks and adversity. It is a celebration of their independence and musical freedom, and the evidence of this can be heard throughout.
Lyrics — 10
What can be said about the lyrics? The lyrics themselves are what you might expect from Evanescence, covering such topics as personal demons, loss, tradgedy, and struggle, however it is evident that on this album, there is a level of self-acceptance and self-awareness that was not present on Fallen. There is a overall feeling of independence rather than helplessness which could no doubt be attributed to the departure of Moody, which left Amy free to further explore her own writing ability without boundary or limitation. This freedom translates to endless possibility and variation throughout the album. The songs themselves are so entirely different yet all somehow the same, held together by Lee's signature sound, making for quite the lyrical Tour de Force. As far as vocal ability goes, there is not a singer alive that has the vocal prowess to match that of Amy Lee. She has such a wide range of vocal ability as to appear almost inhuman. She has the elegance to deliver a heartfelt ballad, as well as to deliver hard-hitting, heavy rock n roll all within the same song, something that few artists today are capable of. And with the release of the new album, she can add another dimension to her already multi-dimensional vocal ability, the ability to use her lower register, a technique which she fully embraced with this album.
Overall Impression — 10
My overall impression is that it would not do the album justice to be put in a class along with it's predecessors, simply because it in a class entirely it's own. It is an album that truly surpasses both the likes of Fallen and Origin respectively, for none of these previous albums have as much dimension and depth as is present in The Open Door. It is nearly impossible to single out any of the songs on this album as the most impressive simply because each song is so unique and unlike any other on the album, however, if I were forced to choose favorites, I would have to go with Lithium, Weight of the World, Snow White Queen, and Sweet Sacrifice. There are so many things that I absolutely love about this album, from the change in sound, to the change in Amy's vocal style, to the overall growth of the band as a whole, both musically and personally, this album makes a loud and clear statement, which is that they have all grown both individually and collectively and that they are a band built for longevity and not just a one hit wonder or a passing fad. This album solidifies their place in rock n roll and proves to all skeptics that they truly belong there. If this album were stolen or lost, I would most defintely buy it again, in fact I am contemplating buying an extra copy in the event that that may actually occur.