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Music Review: We Are The Fallen – Tear The World Down

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When it was announced last summer that former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson had joined forces with three former Evanescence band members, Ben Moody, John Lecompt, and Rocky Gray, along with their studio bassist, Marty O'Brien, many skeptics raised an eyebrow about this new band called We Are The Fallen.

We Are The FallenThe comparisons to Evanescence happened immediately. I was waiting to hear the music. Yes, they kind of look like Evanescence, but would their debut album, Tear The World Down, sound like Evanescence? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.

The main issue with the album and the band is that they don't seem to have developed an identity of their own yet. They are continually compared to Evanescence, because simply that's who they sound like.

We Are The Fallen definitely needs to take a step back and re-examine their sound. They are a talented band, and Smithson's voice is fantastic, but I don't get a sense of identity or authenticity with their music. Being a new band, I was hoping to hear a sound that would set them apart.

Speaking of the music, I found that "Paradigm" and "Don't Leave Me Behind" would make fantastic follow-up singles to "Bury Me Alive." They are less of the hard rock sound that the majority of the album is made up of, and sound more radio friendly.

I felt that the ballads on the album really stand out. "I Will Stay" actually sounds like the music that I was expecting from Smithson during her post-Idol career. "Sleep Well, My Angel" is piano-driven, which made for a current sounding power ballad. In my opinion, the best song on the whole album is "I Am Only One." Add it to your "must download" list!

The album as a whole doesn't tell me as a listener who this band is. Luckily with songs like "St. John" and title track, "Tear The World Down," there is potential for this band to set itself apart and stand on its own.

I feel that for We Are The Fallen to be able to succeed, they are going to have to move away from the sound that is very much "Evanescence" and come into a sound that is uniquely  their own.

Tear The World Down debuted at number 33 on the Billboard album charts. For more information and tour dates for We Are The Fallen, check out their website.

A Definite Download: "I Am Only One"

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman
  • Media Archive

    First of all, excuse my English. I’m Indonesian.

    In my opinion, WATF didn’t have to sound like Evanescence, but they chose to do so – financial reasons I guess.

    John LeCompt’s and Rocky Gray’s band, Machina, doesn’t sound like Evanescence.

    Soul Embraced & Living Sacrifice(Rocky Gray) doesn’t sound like Evanescence.

    Now, the members of Evanescence used to have / still have their own bands, but Evanescence still doesn’t sound like any of them.

    For example:

    Troy McLawhorn & Will Hunt (They also wrote songs for the latest EV album): Dark New Day – Doesn’t sound like EV.

    In my opinion, WATF is a joke.

  • name

    its really annoying to see dumbass people comparing two bands of the same founder and than ranting bullshit over it.
    Evanescence now consists of no one but Amy and Amy Lee alone with some newbies. Their new album sux. Lyrics sux.
    It took her 5 years to release another album without the original members.

    I love Amy and her beautiful voice but ever wondered why all of yhe former band members left the band.

  • Heather

    I adore WAtF. I was a fan(ish) of Evanescence when it first came out, though I can’t say I was EVER fond of Amy Lee. I’m not going to get into the AmyvsMoody crap because that’s never been important to me. I just never got a good vibe from watching her. I also like that this is more true to the original Ev, where as Ev seems to have “evolved” to generic, forgettable music. St. John and Sleep Well, My Angel are two of my new favorite songs. I can’t even name any of the songs off of Ev’s new album, which is bad because I own a copy and have listened to it on occasion since Christmas.

  • sarah

    i dont see how they could be copying ev this album is different then the fallen or the open door record

    also ev’s new sound is different from this

  • Azurite

    As Ben Moody and Amy Lee parted over creative differences, what is wrong with continuing to make music in the style he obviously likes, namely, the Fallen era, which Amy Lee doesn’t want to sound like anymore anyway?

  • John

    Well I just spent the last few hours listening to WATF and also the new Evanescence self titled (2011) release and honestly I don’t see what the debate is about. The WATF cd isn’t bad at all but the new one from Evanescence in my opinion is much, much better. To my ears, it’s not even close.

  • trevor

    If WATF don’t want to be compared to Evanescence, they should not have sang Evanescence songs at their first huge press release. It’s quite clear that Ben Moody is an arrogant asshat and is trying to recreate Fallen-era Evanescence with Carly, while simulatenously trying to put down Amy/Evanescence in any way he can.

    Clearly it blew up in his face, because WATF has gone nowhere while the SNIPPET of a new Evanescence song has garnered more attention in the past few days than WATF has had in the past year.

  • Siculari

    My goodness, why some people are so stupid comparing the two. Of course there are similarities, 3 of them came from Ev. They are/were the song writers. DOH. Now I have 2 bands instead of one. More power to me! PS – Carly’s voice is clearly superior, but they are both talented.

  • Bovers

    I would just like to say that Evanescence A.K.A. Amy Lee is just taking too damn long to come out with a new album. I have been an Ev fan since day one that bring me to life came out and still listen to the the two albums and watch the DVD from anywhere but home and will still be a fan til the day that I die because the music has gotten me through so much stuff. But WATF debut album is just amazing! I know that they do sound similar (of course they would because 3 original member are in it and they are the ones who came up with the sound and style that it is today, in my opinion anyway.)but I do have to agree that Carly’s voice is more phenomenal than Amy’s. No disrespect to Amy as she is a talented, beautiful and creative individual herself, it is too bad that the original Evanescence members had their differences and had to part ways, but I am happy because now I have a new band to add to my collection. I am just here to say that I am an official WATF fan and can’t wait for their tour.Keep rocking you guys! F@CK the Critics!

  • Amanda

    I’m so sick of people comparing WATF to Ev. People, they are one and the same people. There is nothing to compare. When you have the same individuals writing the music in both bands, of course it’s going to sound similar. It’s their style. Their music is moody and beautiful. The album is great.

  • Anya

    I actually happen to really love this band. I’ve loved Carly since Idol and her going into the genre of music completely floored me. In a great way! Im also a huge Ev fan and yes they do sound similar, but with 3 ex Ev band members they are going to! I can totally see how different the bands are though. Ben’s arrogance ism the only thing I really dont like. Hes a talented writer but his ego may just ruin the likability of this band. In all, I love both WATF and Ev, and I hope they continue to make beautiful music.

  • You know what?

    This band won’t last 10 years.

  • Real Truth

    Simply awful. What a bunch of fudge packers.



  • JVal

    In the interviews with WATF a few months back before the album release Ben was asked about Ev, and their experience. He made the comment “I’ve never been in a real band before…” and that if they sound similiar it’s because “..we created this genre.” along with some other arrogant comments about his roots. Sorry Ben, don’t flatter yourself. You didn’t create a genre, Ev created a unique sound that WATF has tried to emulate, and try to be successful by hoping to attract Ev fans. If not for Ev, Moody wouldn’t have a music career now. Ev has inproved with every album, improving their sound and writing abilities. Ben has shown that he hasn’t. All his work post Ev has been the same as the Fallen and even the Origin album, and Tear the World Down is amateur at best. I wish WATF the best with their career, but stop trying to be something you all aren’t. Carly has a great voice that needs maturing and she needs to develop her own image & sound, rather than trying to be what Ben wanted Ev to be before he left. I still don’t know if I will buy the album or download it, because Ben’s arrogance towards his former best friend makes me sick, and I don’t support that.

    I hear a lot of rumors about Amy’s supposed DIVA complex, which Ben started when he worked on the Fantastic Four album. Having met Amy at a small show in DC a couple years ago, she in genuine, and respects her fan base and supporters of her band. She is smart, has developed a close network of music greats that allows her to pursue what ever she wants to do in music. Listen to her work on the Nightmare Before Christmas Album and some of her work on film scoring. She knows how to create music, and her writing ability has increased dramatically with the addition of Terry Balsamo from Cold.

  • Maya

    Evanescence will always sounds better! “The Open Door” (second Evanescence album, first without Ben Moody) is so much better than “Fallen”… Ben’s departure was the best thing happened in Evanescence (sorry my bad english, I’m italian).

  • Lexi

    Honestly, when I heard about them, I was infuriated due to how much bullshit Ben Moody’s said in past interviews about his experience in Evanescence, (who just happen to be my favorite band). I was most upset about them at first compairing themselves to Ev then going and saying, (after Amy said they had nothing to do with Ev, mind you), that they were a completely different band, even though they’ve covered multiple songs of Ev’s. Carly pretends over and over not to have known a thing about Evanescence but she performed I think it was 2 of their songs on American Idol. On a moral level, I can’t say I like these people one bit. But I admit, I bit the bullet and bought their album to see if they’d prove me wrong.
    The only things I didn’t like about their album was 1) the lyrics suck. Carly can’t write for shit. She attempts to sound deep without making ANY sense and sometimes, (example: Bury Me Alive’s chorus), being grammatically incorrect. 2) Carly’s voice on her Idol audition was amazing, but if you listen to her now, she’s CLEARLY pushing to sound more like Amy. She uses Amy’s signature dynamics all the time, which bugs me because it leaves her sounding really cold and not as emotional as she could. Ultimately, I guess my biggest issue here is Carly. Not that I don’t find these people talented in some way, I just didn’t like this album and I don’t like their personalities. =/

  • Stephen

    I agree with Ryan in that I fully expected WATF to sound very similar to Evanescence. However, Carly doesn’t sound that good live. I saw them a couple of months back in San Fran and Carly just didn’t look, act, or sound comfortable on stage. It really was a surprise for me, especially since she did so well on American Idol. perhaps it’s just me, but I prefer Amy’s voice. Now, if we could just do something about that Axl Rose sized diva complex she has!!!!!

  • Ryan

    I think it’s unfair to hold it against the band that they have a similar sound to Evanescence when three members of the band were part of the Evanescence line-up when they found their biggest success (Ben Moody in fact co-created the band with Amy Lee). While I can see the similarities at times, Smithson’s voice is way more powerful and aggressive than Lee’s, who at times tends to have a moan or whine like quality to her vocals. Both are incredibly talented, and I think people will be surprised at how the next Evanescence album doesn’t sound like, well, Evanescence. There is room in the rock world for both bands.