Getting past the second album slump is a challenge for any band. It defines how history will see you: lasting legend or one-hit-wonder. It seems Evanescence, however, is faring extremely well with its follow-up to their multi-platinum debut, Fallen (2003), which comes as little surprise to fans who are buying up tickets to live shows as fast as Ticketmaster can print them.
Earlier this month, The Open Door hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 200 sales chart and debuted at No. 1 in countries around the world, including Germany, Australia, Japan, and Greece. Guess I wasn’t the only one to have fallen (no pun intended) for Amy Lee’s crisply entrancing voice and the band’s hauntingly gothic feel.
When I first heard “Bring Me to Life,” I was intrigued by the male/female duet accented with crunchy Linkin Park-like guitar – a combination rarely seen in the hard rock/metal/goth genre. I gave brownie points to the band for hooking up with label mates 12 Stones, to create such a uniquely strong sound and debut single with a powerful hook. Double points for landing two songs from their debut effort in a major motion picture (Daredevil).
But The Open Door did not have this “shock-and-awe” type launch, yet still has fans around the globe downloading away on iTunes. I must admit, I was curious why, since the CD’s first single, “Call Me When You’re Sober,” took a while to grow on me. While Lee’s voice is beautiful, it becomes trying after a while, and the changes in the song’s momentum threw me off. After hearing it all over the radio for a few weeks, though, I came around to liking its out-of-the-box design and was interested in hearing the rest of the album.
Haunting, emotional, filled with their signature blend of piano and guitar, The Open Door is a more mature album than Fallen, but still retains that formulaic feel other reviewers have pointed out. For example, “Sweet Sacrifice” and “Weight of the World” are very similar in tone and rhythm, as are “Cloud Nine” and “Snow White Queen.”