Sunday, October 22, 2006

Secular Music With Christian Tendencies ...

I thought I would end this run of Christian music reviews with Evanescence. They have made it perfectly clear that they are NOT a Christian band, but their songs, however, do feature spiritual themes. I thought at first that this was kind of tacky and alienating, but being labeled a Christian band simply because you deal with faith and spirituality in a positive way can be very career limiting in today's music scene. Frankly, that is a shame. Especially when some Christian bands lyrics are so vague it's hard to even tell anymore. Suicidal Tendencies and Soulfly can be quite bold with positive spiritual themes, but no one would ever call them Christian bands. It had to be tough to make such a decision especially one that shouldn't even matter. There are no Athiest metal bands out there, they're just called metal bands. Your personal beliefs shouldn't matter, and they certainly shouldn't get you labeled.

I first discovered Evanescence on some Christian music review sites and downloaded a few tracks on Kazaa and liked what I heard. I was completely unaware of the whole controversy and actually bought the album at the big HMV, thinking it wasn't readily available at many stores. How ignorant was I, I could have saved myself about $4 at Futureshop. They bloody well went triple platinum with "Fallen" .... which is what I'll be reviewing now.

"Fallen" starts off with the powerful "Going Under" which, I'll just say now, is my favourite song. Surprisingly this was like the 3rd or 4th single, but since "Bring Me To Life" was featured in Daredevil it got first dibs. "Going Under" I feel is a far superior tune. It has a cool, hooky riff with their signature piano/heavy guitar riff mix which gives the music a very gothic feel. The chorus is powerful and very catchy and Amy Lee's vocals are haunting and shine with emotional stirrings that we'll be treated to throughout this album.

The music on "Fallen" is power pop metal with gothic/industrial hints added for flavour. "Bring Me To Life", "Haunted" and Imaginary" are heavy, haunting tunes with spooky keyboards and gothic feel. Some industrial stylings here add some spookiness. "Everybody's Fool", "My Last Breath" and "Whisper" all feature catchy riff work and some angelic style keyboards, with the album closer "Whisper" being slighty more darker and ending in full orchestration. I think "My Last Breath" would have made a better more memorable closer, but "Whisper" is more majestic.

Other than my album favourite "Going Under", the other 2 notable tracks are "Tourniquet" and "My Immortal". "Tourniquet" which I think most people are unaware of is a cover of Christian death metal band Soul Embraced's "My Tourniquet". The song introduced to the band by Soul Embraced's (now Evanescence) drummer Rocky Gray. Evanescence version is more gothic and obviously not as heavy, but a very faithful rendition all the same and very haunting thanks to Amy Lee's vocals. The band also added a second verse and really made it their own. "My Immortal" is a piano driven piece that is a very haunting song both chilling and heartfelt. Loads of passion. The band also recorded a "full band" version with added guitars and drums, and though its cool, the bare bones original is far more passionate and heartfelt.

Evanescence have put together a fine catchy album with "Fallen" in which even the filler songs are good. After a couple of years of turmoil they have finally released their follow-up album "The Open Door". But with the departure of major songwriter Ben Moody and label problems is it a move forward from their debut? Well this jury is still out, but will review at a later date. First thoughts though ... no it's not, but I need some more time. Coming up I'll be removing a few Halloween flavoured albums. Sooooo .... Stay tuned!


Anonymous SkeptiC said...

I agree, being labeled a christian band definitely drops your chances at becoming any kind of a financially stable, or at least profitable band or artist.
Its also true, that there is lots of music that is definitely not christian music, that has spiritual overtones, and in many cases, postitive spiritual overtones. But, they do usually leave the lyrical content very vague, so that they dont have to mention any messiahs, LOL. But then again, there is a song from The Accused (I have the cassette,LOL @ cassette), where they mention Christ and the lyrics are definitely a more postitive style. But, they would never be labeled as christian. If anything, I think it should be more of a point to christians to not be so judgemental of those that don't 'appear' to be spiritual all the time.

See ya.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Chana said...

...whoooo-hooo, i'm back!

glad that you were roaring to go today(re:comment on post)..let your wife know i said she is most welcome ;p ...

I love Evanescence. she has a unique sound but it is sooo nice to hear..

just watched her the other day in an interview and i was pleasantly surprise to her candiness.
she did however, looked mighty different without all that professional work i guess..i almost didn't recognize her..

but the important thing is that she has lyrics and a sound worth listening to..

and btw, thanks for the kindness and support..i miss coming here...missed you.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I know of them, but have never heard them. This is because I am a musical dinosaur I guess.

6:44 AM  
Blogger anonymous jones said...

Yeah, Amy looks a whole lot different without the flattering camera angles and lighting. Image- makers at work again.

10:38 PM  

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