It took about six years for ex-Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody to finally put out his solo work. A lot of people wondered how it would turn out; would it have that hard, gothic rock flavor that Moody's former band did, or would it sound like something else. As it turned out, Ben Moody's solo album, All For This, is far from what was expected, but in a good way. It is strongly emotional and a beautiful expression of the artist that could not be put forth with Evanescence.
This is not hard rock. Only a few bits of electric guitar show themselves here on the album; almost everything else is done by acoustic guitar, piano, orchestral violin, and percussive drums, every once in a while backed by female vocals. Ben Moody sings with a voice very similar to the vocalists from Shinedown or Breaking Benjamin, but only in the easy going, slow ballad sense. Because that's exactly what All For This is: one monster ballad split into twelve tracks.
Since Moody sings clearly and the musical arrangement is quiet, it forces the listener to pay attention to the lyrics, which are the highlight of the album. It is actually ironic because from tracks like "All For This" and "In Time" there is a very strong Christian reference, and yet on tracks like "10:22" and "Nothing Left of Me" the lyrics are angrier, involve swearing, and biting at the heels of subjects like ex girlfriends or people who just give up on life. Not exactly the most Christian way, but it seems to add much stronger quality to the music because it isn't expected. When listeners think of expected swearing, they think of heavy metal or rap or hard rock, not really slow, ballad music. And the fact it isn't over-used is also a plus. Combined, both the meaningful and bitter edge of the lyrics create a very captivating album.
Another highlight of All For This, and perhaps the only real relation to Evanescence that this album holds, is the use of female vocals. They are used more as part of the instrument than a way to convey the lyrics as they chime in every once in a while to amplify Moody's voice. The vocals DO have a strong resemblance to that of Evanescence- just a little more ethereal and operatic. However, the effect is much more different as instead of being in the foreground of the music or alternating in singing verses. The female vocals come in every once in a while in the background, right behind Moody's, just barely above the other instruments. This enhances the symphonic atmosphere of the music, making it even more dark and haunting.
Moody may not have the commercial fame or support that Evanescence does due to the limited ways of accessing his CD- only through his website or amazon.com- but his skill as a musician, songwriter, and performer are 2nd to none. Perhaps leaving Evanescence was the best thing for him to do to find his own musical path to share with the rest of the world.Powered by Sidelines