Leading you down into my core where I've become so numb.
Without a soul my spirit's sleeping somewhere cold,
Until you find it there and lead it back home.
Evanescence is an American Alternative Rock / Nu Metal / whatever band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by (then teenaged) singer / pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. Since their first big hit "Bring Me to Life" in 2003, the band have won two Grammy Awards so far and experienced various changes in line-up.
Evanescence's melancholic and morbid sound places them firmly in the Goth category. Coupled with accessible and fairly emotional songwriting, this has gained the band Wolverine Publicity among the "goffik" populace of fanfic writers. This emo appeal is perhaps one of the arbitrary reasons why they are associated with Linkin Park by many. For those more familiar with Gothic Metal, Evanescence is also heard being compared with Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation.
The band went on "indefinite hiatus" in 2012, following the release in 2011 of their Self-Titled Album and their being sold to Concord Music Group (CMG) and Lee's statement that the band needed to take a break to "figure things out."
In 2014 it was announced that Lee would be suing Wind Up Records for "$1.5 million in unpaid royalties," and that Evanescence had left CMG and were now independent artists. She also revealed that she would be releasing her first solo album (titled Aftermath), which was released on August 25, 2014. The album is also the soundtrack to the film War Story., and is a collaboration with cellist/composer Dave Eggar. In 2016 Lee released a solo children's album, Dream Too Much.
The band announced that they will be touring in the summer of 2018 to promote Synthesis. The tour will feature a full orchestra, along with solo violin by Lindsey Stirling.
- Evanescence EP (1998; demo)
- Sound Asleep EP (1999; demo)
- Origin (2000; demo album)
- Fallen (2003)
- Anywhere But Home (2004; Live album and DVD)
- The Open Door (2006)
- Evanescence (2011)
- Lost Whispers (B-Side/rarities collection; 2016 vinyl release as part of box set, 2017 digital release)
- Synthesis (2017) note
Band Members, Past and Present:
- Amy Lee - lead vocals, keyboards, harp (1995-present)
- Tim McCord - bass (2006-present)
- Will Hunt - drums (2007, 2010-present)
- Troy McLawhorn - lead guitar, backing vocals (2007, 2011-present)
- Jen Majura - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2015-present)
- Ben Moody - lead guitar (1995-2003)
- Terry Balsamo - lead guitar (2003-2015)
- David Hodges - keyboard, piano, drums, backing vocals (1999-2002)
- Rocky Gray - drums, percussion (2003-2007; live member 2002-2003)
- John Le Compt - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2003-2007; live member 2002-2003)
- Will Boyd - bass (2003-2006)
- Francesco di Cosmo - bass (2003; appears on Fallen)
- Josh Freese - drums, percussion (2003; appears on Fallen)
The band provides examples of:
- Broken Bird: Amy Lee gives off this vibe through most of her musical work.
- Changed for the Video: "My Immortal" is much more guitar centered in the music video version, while the regular album version is more orchestral and doesn't feature multiple Amy Lees in the chorus.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Amy is frequently barefoot on stage, in videos, and in photos.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Amy Lee's signature fashion style is this (she even had a Lolita dress made by h.NAOTO, a renowned Visual Kei designer), though her current style seems to be a mix of this, Ero Loli, and Aristocrat in the same vein as most female Goth Rock singers.
- Five-Man Band:
- Harp of Femininity: Amy learnt this instrument between The Open Door and Evanescence and is used on "Swimming Home," "Secret Door," and "New Way to Bleed."
- I Am the Band: Amy is the only original member left. You can replace just about anyone in a band except for the singer without anyone noticing on a CD. Her aggressive firing of other members (sometimes even on the phone) doesn't help either, resulting in "I Am Not Shazam" in the YMMV tab.
- Lesser Star: Ben Moody, despite being a co-founder and the primary songwriter, has never achieved the level of recognition that Amy Lee has.
- Male Band, Female Singer: Seen since the beginning, with Amy Lee being The Face Of The Band and the only member remaining from the original formation.
- Revolving Door Band: Combines with No Such Thing as Bad Publicity. This started even before the band got big with Fallen. None of Evanescence's three major albums to date have had the same lineup across consecutive albums at the time of respective releases.
- The Smurfette Principle: Amy was the only female member until 2015.
- Two Girls to a Team: As mentioned above, the band now has two female members with frontwoman Amy Lee and rhythm guitarist Jen Majura.
- The Band Minus the Face: Three former Evanescence members (including co-founder Ben Moody) and a new female lead singer (former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson) founded We Are the Fallen, a band that sounds not unlike Evanescence. And if you compare the current and former faces of Moody's bands, it's practically a case of Replacement Goldfish.
- Moody also wrote "Don't Tell Me" for Avril Lavigne, which included the Take That! section: "You wiped my tears, got rid of all my fears, why did you have to go? Guess it wasn't enough to take up some of my love / Guys are so hard to trust / Did I not tell you that I'm not like that girl? / The one who gives it all away, yeah."
The music of Evanescence provides examples of:
- Album Title Drop: The line "lock the last open door" from "All That I'm Living For."
- The line "forsaken all I've fallen for I rise to meet the end" in "Whisper."
- Altum Videtur: In "Field of Innocence," "Lacrymosa," and "Whisper."
- Audience Participation Song: The Anywhere But Home performance of "My Immortal."
- Also at their shows "Going Under" and "Bring Me to Life" really get the crowd into it.
- Arc Words: Oceans, Dreams, Drowning, and Beneath the Waves on Evanescence.
- Break-Up Song: "Call Me When You're Sober," "Cloud Nine," "Made of Stone," "Oceans," "Sweet Sacrifice," "The Change," and "If You Don't Mind."
- Careful with That Axe: "Tourniquet" — "I LONG TO DIEEEEEE!!!"
- Cover Version: What they did to Korn's "Thoughtless" and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box." Also, "Tourniquet" is technically a cover of a song by Christian Metal band Soul Embraced, whom former Evanescence drummer Rocky Gray was the lead guitarist for. Hence him getting co-writing credit on Evanescence's version.
- Concept Album:
- Fallen is That we are all fallen, but we can get up again.
- The Open Door is to consider locking the last open door behind you (in negative situations) before moving on with your life and hopefully happiness.
- Evanescence is follow your instincts / heart, dreams, oceans, and the other side of death.
- Driven to Suicide: The subject of "Tourniquet."
- Implied in "Missing." The lyrics sound a lot like a suicide note.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: "Good Enough" at the end of The Open Door and to a degree "Secret Door" at the end of Self-Titled Album deluxe edition.
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The opening to "Good Enough" is like waking up with the modulation between chords. Explained as, An instrumental segment on the front of the song. The first 60 seconds have an entirely different composition, with a slower tempo, before jumping to what's more obviously the preamble to the regular song, which goes for around 15 seconds before vocals begin.
- The 2002 version of "Whisper" has a 1-and-a-half minute long intro (a combination of two score pieces from William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet) before the song proper. Also, the version of "Bring Me to Life" played live at Cologne served as this trope.
- Ethereal Choir: "Understanding," "Solitude," "Field of Innocence," and "Lacrymosa."
- Fading into the Next Song:
- On Fallen: "Tourniquet" to "Imaginary."
- On The Open Door: "Like You" to "Lose Control" and "The Only One" to "Your Star."
- On Evanescence: "The Change" to "My Heart is Broken."
- On Anywhere But Home and other live shows: "Bring Me to Life" to "Tourniquet."
- Follow Your Heart: "Whisper," "Lose Control," "The Only One," "All That I'm Living For," "What You Want," "Erase This," "Lost in Paradise," "Sick," and "End of the Dream."
- Aesop of "All That I'm Living For" and "Lost in Paradise."
- "All That I'm Living For" is for other creative types particularly noted.
- "The Change," except in a relationship context.
- Grief Song: "My Immortal," "Even in Death," "Hello," "Like You," "The Other Side," "My Heart is Broken," "Never Go Back" ...And more.
- Growing Up Sucks:
- "Field of Innocence" is about this; The line "I still remember the sun, always warm on my back/Somehow it seems colder now" in particular.
- Word of God says "My Heart is Broken" is about growing up and losing innocence at an extremely young age. Knowing Amy's personal experiences (and the line "Sweet sleep, my dark angel"), it's probably inspired, at least in part, by her deceased younger sister, as "Hello" and "Like You" were on Fallen and The Open Door before it.
- Happy Place: "Imaginary" is about Amy's old room, viewed through the lens of a Broken Bird/possibly formerly abused child.
- Harsh Vocals: "Lies" features the lead singer of Christian metal band Living Sacrifice giving both spoken prose and death growls.
- Heart Beat Soundtrack: "The Only One" features a pounding pulse underneath the song.
- Hidden Track: "My Immortal (Band Version)" is not noted on re pressings of Music/Fallen.
- I Reject Your Reality: "Imaginary:""Don't say I'm out of touch, with this rampant chaos, your reality.I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge:The nightmare I built my own world to escape..."
- Incredibly Long Note: In "End Of the Dream," "Bring Me to Life," "Cloud Nine," "Oceans," "Going Under," "Sweet Sacrifice," "Lose Control," "New Way to Bleed," "The Change," "Whisper," "The Only One," and "Never Go Back."
- Ironic Nursery Tune: In "Lose Control, implying a possible Your Cheating Heart scenario:"Mary had a lamb,
His eyes black as coals.
If we play very quiet, my lamb,
Mary never has to know.
- Kill It with Fire: In "Erase This:"Not enough to say goodbye
Burn it until there's nothing left...
- The Last Title: "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You", a Hodgepodge of lyrical bits and pieces over a simple piano track. The "you" is almost certainly Ben Moody.
- Loudness War: The self-titled album, right from the opening drums. The music volume was higher than the actual stereo volume.
- Long Title: "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You."
- "Call Me When You're Sober" as well.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
Unlock your heartDrop your guardNo one's left to stop you.
- "Imaginary" is about a dreamworld filled with "paper flowers" and not wanting to be part of the scary real world. Not that you would know that from the minor key and 'epic' guitar riffs on both songs. In the Fallen version only, the Origin version is more soft and dreamy.
- "Anywhere" from their Origin album has a distinctly hopeful (if melancholy) sound. At first blush, it's a sweet song about starting a new life with a loved one. And then... That One Line kind of ruins it:
I'm so lost without my place inside your heartI need to know your hear meAwaken and feel my love.
- "The Other Side," off Evanescence, a desperate grief song with a determined sexy riff.
The humming, haunted somewhere out thereI believe our love can see us through...in death.
- "Never Go Back," similar reasoning, sad song about death of a loved one, with blasting guitars and powerful drum sections.
- "The Change," a break up song focusing on the tragedy of leaving a bad situation for your soul and how sad and lost you feel, but it uses the instruments as if they were all weapons, even the Ah Ah Ah bits are for war and not peace.
- "Like You" is dissonant throughout, but features an ironic (and chilling) twist just before the bridge:
- Lyrical Tic: Amy and her band are fond of people "Ah Ah Ah"s in their songs.
- "Lose Control" and "The Change" would be be the best examples...
- Also in the beginning of "Lies."
- And the pre-chorus of "End of the Dream."
- And in "Missing," three times.
- And in "Imaginary."
- Lyrical Cold Open: "Going Under" and "Exodus."
- Love Is a Drug: In the most devastating way possible in "Lithium:"Darling, Come to bed, don't make me sleep aloneAnything is better than to be alone.
- Love Martyr: "Made of Stone," "Lithium," "Imaginary," "Taking Over Me," to name a few.
- Living Emotional Crutch: I have to be with you, (Taking Over Me), Lithium, in the phrase, Anything is better than to be alone, All That I'm Living For has guess I thought I had to change the world to make you see me, Should It hurt to love you in the most memorable. There are more.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally 5-6. "My Immortal" is about 1.
- Some of their faster songs (i.e. "Sweet Sacrifice," "Weight of the World," "Tourniquet") manage to reach 7.
- Melismatic Vocals: "Going Under" and "Made of Stone" have it a lot.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: "Even in Death," which Ben Moody describes as: "...Someone who's in a relationship, they lose their loved one, and they kind of flip out, and they go and dig them up..."
- Music Box Intervals: "Bring Me to Life" obviously...
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: A rather hard band to classify. Is it Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Goth Rock, Gothic Metal, Symphonic Rock, Pop, Nu Metal, Emo, or all of the above?
- New Sound Album: The Open Door, compared to Evanescence and Fallen. Has more classical elements and is more about build.
- Synthesis is almost entirely made of electronics and string sections, with the rock instruments pushed to the background.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Take horrific and deadly situations, put a sexy riff behind it... See "The Other Side" and "Tourniquet."
- Non-Appearing Title: "Whisper," "My Immortal," "The Change," "Cloud Nine," "October," "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You," and "Haunted."
- "Lacrymosa" is a variation, it's not in the main Amy Lee written lyrics, but it is said by the choir in the background.
- Not Christian Rock: Evanescence set up a trend of spiritual sounding bands whose members all have Christian background but actively deny any relation between their music and Christianity.
- Obsession Song:
Come to bed, don't make me sleep aloneAnything is better than to be aloneI want to stay in love with my sorrow.
- "Snow White Queen" (both the stalker and the stalkee,) "Taking Over Me," "Surrender," "Anything for You," "Away from Me," "Farther Away," "The Other Side," "Haunted," "Even in Death," and "Lithium."
- Subverted with "Haunted," as the lyrics seem to be from the mind of a the victim of a Stalker with a Crush.
- "Lithium:" Both in the sense of what the songs is about being in love with her own unhappiness and addicted to her own sorrow and the relationship she had with the guy who inspired her to write it. Of the kind of "passive" obsession type:
- The Ophelia: "Erase This," "Swimming Home," and "Never Go Back" make a big deal out of death by drowning and insanity, and the greater theme of the album is drowning to a degree.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "Field of Innocence," "Whisper," "The End," "Lacrymosa."
- Canis Latinicus: Whisper's Latin chanting, "servatis a periculum, servatis a malelficum," is meant to mean: "save us from danger, save us from evil," but conjugated the verb incorrectly, omitted the pronoun, and forgot to decline the nouns. The result is that what they're saying actually translates as near gibberish: "you all save danger from, you all save evil from." The correct phrases in Latin would have been, "serva nos a periculo, serva nos a malefico."
- One Steve Limit: Averted in a major way by the two Will Hunts who provided drums on Evanescence. The second one went by Will "Science" Hunt, presumably to ease the inevitable confusion. Only the "original" Will Hunt remained with the band.
- One-Woman Wail:
- Amy's vocal when the rock is absent, especially on "Lacrymosa."
- "The Change" shows she can do it when the rock is present as well.
- She has a habit of doing this (and frequently does so) in concerts.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Amy in the cover◊ of The Open Door.
- Precision F-Strike: None of their own songs, but their cover of Korn's Thoughtless from the Anywhere But Home live album certainly counts; "You think it's funny/what the fuck you think you're doing to me" This caused some controversy as the album was released without a parental advisory warning, with the track unedited.
- Amy finally busts one out in one of their own songs in "Imperfection".
- Refrain from Assuming: "Bring Me to Life" is not "Wake Me Up Inside," note "Bleed" is not "I Must Be Dreaming," "Imaginary" is not "Paper Flowers," "Understanding" is not "Wash It All Away."
- Rock Me, Amadeus!: "Lacrymosa." Amy herself did study classical piano.
- Rousing Speech: "End of the Dream" and "Whisper" are all about facing your fears, following your heart and showing off a little bit what you can achieve.
- Sanity Slippage Song: "Lose Control," "The Other Side," "Haunted," "Imaginary," and many many many more...
- Sarcasm Mode:
Look, here she comes now, bow down and stare in wonder. Oh, how we love you...
- In "Everybody's Fool:"
And oh, I know you don't believe in me.
- "Lacrymosa" minus the middle 8, in some interpretations.
- "Taking Over Me" can also be interpreted as such, vocally.
- "If You Don't Mind." All of it.
- "Weight of the World:"
- Self-Backing Vocalist: On practically every song, especially noticeable in "What You Want," "Bring Me to Life," "Missing," and "Haunted."
- Self Empowerment Anthem: "What You Want," "End of the Dream," and "Whisper."
- Self-Titled Album: Well, EP... AND album.
- Soprano and Gravel: "Lies." "Bring Me to Life" on the other hand is Soprano and Rap.
- Spiritual Successor: "Secret Door" has this vibe that it may be the follow up to "Good Enough."
- Stalker with a Crush: "Snow White Queen," "Surrender," "Anything for You," "Away from Me," "Haunted," "The Other Side," "Farther Away," and "Taking Over Me."
- Subdued Section: "Taking Over Me," "Sick," "Imaginary," "My Heart is Broken," and "The Other Side."
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "My Immortal," "Hello" (Fallen), "Good Enough" (The Open Door), and "Swimming Home" (Evanescence) are these on their respective albums.
- Take That!:
- "Everybody's Fool" to fake artificially perfect people and certain pop stars.
- "Call Me When You're Sober" to Lee's ex-boyfriend Shaun Morgan.
- Some Evanescence fans are taking "What You Want," and possibly even the entire new album, to be this to bands such as Linkin Park, which have changed their style in newer albums to make themselves more marketable, and consequently alienate their original audience.
- "New Way to Bleed" at critics of their music and their... Ahem... "Issues" with their recording company...
- "Oceans," "The Change," and "Erase This" could be even at their ex-former band mates.
- "Sick" is about the... Ahem... "Issues" they had with their recording company.
- On the band's 2016 tour, Lee introduced a new song, "Take Cover," as being "dedicated to every person who ever tried to tear this band apart from the inside out."
- Take That, Audience!: In an affectionate "Don't put me up on a pedestal" sense '"Weight of the World" was Amy Lee's "Plea for perspective from the expectation of young fans." Admitting she does not have all the answers, does not want to be perfect and is not a doctor or therapist, and doesn't appreciate the pressure of being a role model. Just distancing herself from that sort of pressure somewhat.
- Winter Royal Lady: How the stalker sees the stalkee of "Snow White Queen."
- Woman Scorned: "Call Me When You're Sober," "Lacrymosa," "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You," "Oceans," "Sick," "Made of Stone," and "If You Don't Mind."
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The "y" in "Lacrymosa."
- Yandere: "Taking Over Me," "Away from Me," "The Other Side," "Surrender," and "Anything for You."
- You Are Not Alone: Part of "Like You"'s lyrics:No matter what they told youYou're not alone.
Tropes found in their music videos:
- All Just a Dream: "Bring Me to Life."
- Biker Babe: Amy in "Everybody's Fool."
- Death by Falling Over: Amy at the end of "Bring Me to Life," or so it seems.
- Deliberately Monochrome: "My Immortal."
- Dramatic Wind: "Bring Me to Life."
- Fairytale Motifs: "Call Me When You're Sober" features a coldly handsome young man with grey eyes, real wolves, and Amy Lee wearing a red hood.
- Happy Rain: The end of "Good Enough."
- New Powers as the Plot Demands:
- Amy seems to develop telekinesis around the 2:35 mark of "Call Me When You're Sober."
- Also, in "What You Want," Amy jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, and lands in a perfect crouch, even though she should be seriously or even critically injured, if not dead.
- Of Corsets Sexy: "Going Under" and "Call Me When You're Sober."
- The Ophelia: How many times has Amy drowned or symbolically is lost underwater, in her videos, usually after an emotional down turn, revelation... "Everybody's Fool," "Going Under," "Lithium," "What You Want," and "Good Enough."
- Performance Video:
- "What You Want" is mostly this, with a few brief scenes of Amy running, Amy jumping, Amy meeting up with the rest of the band and walking into the ocean... You get the idea.
- "Going Under" is almost entirely this. With zombies.
- Rage Against the Reflection: "Everybody's Fool."
- Shower of Angst: "Everybody's Fool," again.
- Stepford Smiler: "Everybody's Fool," once more.
- Take My Hand: "Bring Me to Life."
- Woman in White: Lee seems to prefer white outfits for shooting the videos.
- Must be exhausting to lose your own game.