Sound — 7
Of course We Are the Fallen sounds like Evanescence. That's because primary songwriter and guitarist Ben Moody is one of WATF's principals. But We Are the Fallen isn't the ex-members of Evanescence and there are three, if you've got a scorecard- trying to recreate their past success without Amy Lee. Tear the World Down is edgier and less neo-goth and nowhere near as ethereal (translation: chilly) as Evanescence. We Are the Fallen rock way harder than Evanescence ever did. So enough with the big "E" references. "Bury Me Alive" will sink its hook into the fleshiest underbelly of your mind and it's epic outro has a horror movie ominousness that will have you looking over your shoulder. "Without You" is swept away by keys and tension and release. "Sleep Well My Angel" is one of the prettiest things we've heard, thanks to its tenderness, which never overarches or misses its mark.
Lyrics — 7
Smithson is the centerpiece of Tear the World Down, and girl can sing. Sure, she boasts a dark mane and ice blue eyes and could be a younger sister of Amy Lee, but got a set of pipes that she can proudly call her own. It makes you wonder if Simon Cowell is kicking himself for letting this one get away without the Idol crown. It's painfully clear that Smithson is most comfortable belting out rock songs. Female-fronted rock music is always a hard sell, but Smith's capabilities, coupled with Moody's, well, moody riffery, are a winning combination. Smithson soars to new heights, vocally speaking, without ever resorting to melodrama. She's Everywoman with her lyrics, yet never alienates a male demographic or audience. Her lyrical approaches are perfectly and deftly hermaphroditic; she appeals to men and women equally and that's certainly no small task and quite the tall order. Her voice is not exactly warm, but it does invite you take a closer look.
Overall Impression — 8
We Are the Fallen are not your average radio rock band. They write hooky songs, with catchy choruses but they make sure to think outside of the box with interesting arrangements and Smithson is the showpiece but she has substance. The songs are so tightly constructed that Smithson never seems like a hired gun or the final piece of the puzzle inserted after all the legwork was done. Even if it wasn't the case, Tear the World Down presents itself as a collaborative effort and Smithson and Moody have impenetrable chemistry. This was a scenario that could have gone either way and it traveled north. There's no ceiling for what We Are the Fallen can, and most likely will, do.