Debut album shows progression of alternative band
Published: Thursday, July 3, 2003
Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2011 14:05
Anyone who can not get enough of the break-out metal band Evanescence should know there is another album out there, but its rare and it's going to cost you. Copies of their indie label debut, "Origin," which was released in 2000 and is currently out of print, are fetching anywhere from $150 to $300 on eBay. In an interview with USA Today, lead singer Amy Lee urged fans not to pay that much money for the album and to just download it.
Anyone who can do a Google search and knows how to download mp3s should have no trouble obtaining a copy. Simultaneously searching for keywords Evanescence and "Origin" should yield links to multiple sites that will detail the track listing for the album. It will take some patience though, as some of the songs are hard to find.
The album as a whole features a total of 11 tracks. Like the first track on Linkin Park's "Meteora," the first track on "Origin" is also an instrumental intro that in no way ties in with any of the other songs. For all intents and purposes, it is nothing more than a 37-second throwaway track.
Of the remaining 10 tracks, three are featured on Evanescence's current major label debut, "Fallen," while the other seven are not.
"Whisper," which is the closing track on "Fallen," sounds exactly the same on both albums, but "Imaginary" and "My Immortal," take on slightly different sounds. With it's soaring choir vocals and orchestration, "Imaginary" is one of the highlights on "Fallen," but it can not hold a candle to the solitary piano and alternate lyrics that help make the "Origin" version far superior.
Ditto for "My Immortal," which is one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs in years. But once again, the "Origin" version blows the current version away. Minus the post-production orchestration, which fuels the new version, the solitary piano and Lee's angelic vocals make the older version the true vocal showcase it deserves to be. It's not often a song is so simultaneously aching and uplifting, but when Lee opens up her voice and lets go with a blistering swell of emotional despair in the middle of the song, you might just feel a rush of goose bumps run up and down your body.
The band has been accused of being "manufactured" by their record label as a marketing gimmick to sell records. But, once you listen to the remaining seven tracks, which didn't make the cut for "Fallen," you'll see that the band's sound was heading in its current direction long before the single "Bring Me to Life" took popular radio by storm a few months ago.
Look no further than the edgy, "Lies," which starts off with Lee's a cappella chanting before a bombastic mix of swirling guitars and pounding drums break in and a distorted male voice growls through the opening verse before Lee joins back in for a twisted Nine Inch Nails-inspired duet.
Some of the songs on "Fallen" are so dreary that you have to wonder whether or not Lee suffers from depression. However, her band mates help to sway the mood by creating an orchestra of heavy metal-inspired guitar riffs spliced in with the occasional synthesizer tightly wound around the whole package to make them easier to digest.
The same kind of situation arises several times on "Origin" as well. Take for example "Away From Me," a song about not liking the person you have become while trying to conform to society and then struggling to find yourself again.
"Crawling through this world as disease flows through my veins/I look into myself, but my own heart has been changed/I can't go on like this/I loathe all I've become."
Similarly, "Field of Innocence" is just as likely to strike a chord with anyone who has ever had difficulty dealing with being an adult and wishing they could just go back to the simpler times of childhood.
"Where has my heart gone/An uneven trade for the real world/I want to go back to/Believing in everything and knowing nothing at all."
They may have many critics at the moment, but in my opinion, Evanescence is the best new band out there and by far the most promising. Many bands today make a fortune on songs that are cluttered with generic lyrics, but get radio play because of catchy guitar riffs (i.e. Third Eye Blind) or saccharine-laced choruses (i.e. Fuel). Thankfully none of them have been able to translate their minuscule musical talents into a lasting career.
The state of current rock music is in dire straits, but thanks to the unique voice of Lee and the masterful production of guitarist/producer Ben Moody, Evanescence has managed to breath fresh life into a genre that has been stale for too long.
Call Ryan McCabe at (330) 941-3523.