Evanescence is the band who truly began my love affair with both music and writing. At the innocent, young age of only seven, I was taught innocence would get me nowhere. On March 4th, 2003 an album was released that would introduce me to the hardships of the world but would also help me to discover the beauty that can be found within them. Fallen was the album that kick-started Evanescence’s career and played a huge part in the person I grew up to be.
Rock and heavy metal have always been at the forefront of my family, both my parents being old school rockers who haven’t let parenthood dampen their free spirits. My childhood was filled with amp bursting noise playing as a background to some of the most inspiring lyrics any genre has ever produced. But it wasn’t until Evanescence that music stopped being something I heard and began to be something I felt, the dark fairy tale of Fallen seeping into my bloodstream and changing my view on music forever. From the first sharp chord of ‘Going Under’ to the haunting operatic end of ‘Whisper’, Fallen captured both my heart and imagination.
‘Bring Me To Life’
Everybody has heard ‘Bring Me To Life,’ one of the most iconic songs of the 21st century but not everyone understands the sheer power the song can fill you with. It’s only fitting that it became the face of Fallen, embodying the explosive sound and hypnotic otherworldly beauty of the album. The entire song feels like wandering through a dream, lost and seeking guidance – the epitomes of life. Evanescence never tried to hide the truth of feeling lost in the world but proved to a whole generation that those feelings could be generated into something positive.
Fallen also preached the truth of the celebrity world, that not everything is as amazing as we are led to believe. ‘Everybody’s Fool’ made the band relatable to so many fans for calling out fake Hollywood and expressing feelings of losing yourself. The message of the song brought the band down to our level and showed they were not here to feed us lies. ‘Everybody’s Fool’ made me feel comfortable in my own skin and it is always the song I go back to when things start to become surreal again, allowing me to remember who I am and accept that.
‘My Immortal’ addressed things in life I wouldn’t have to think about for a fair few years but eventually the reality of life began to creep up on me, people started to leave, and I wondered what I was still doing here. To hear someone like Amy Lee singing about the exact same feelings was a comfort I cannot even express. The contrast of ‘My Immortal’ to the rest of the album is a testament to the band’s versatility and was one of the reasons I wanted to pursue playing the piano. It is a song that has brought me great comfort during a recent dark time and reminds me that these feelings do not last forever.
‘Imaginary’ created a world for me to escape to and inspired me to create my own worlds. The strange and abstract lyrics became a base for many of my early pieces of writing, simply putting words to the images inside my mind. ‘Imaginary’ taught me that not everything has to make sense and that the world is what I damn well make it.
Every song on Fallen is unrelenting, unforgiving and utterly drenched in dark charm. The album doesn’t dress up emotions of betrayal, pain and loneliness to be something easy but shouts the raw truth of it in your face. Fallen is possibly one of the most honest and open albums I have ever heard and is the reason I think so many people connected with it. There were times during my childhood when I would just sit in my room and listen to the album on repeat, writing the lyrics over and over again until I had learnt them all in a week. Up until Fallen, nearly all of the bands I listened to were fronted by men, all insanely talented men but there was still something missing. Amy Lee opened the door for so many female artists in the rock genre as well as making it clear rock belonged just as much to women as it did to men. She was (and still is) an idol to me, and I can’t thank her or the band enough for introducing me to the healing power of music.
By Skye W. Winwood