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Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by 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 suffered 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 rather 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.
Band Members, past and present
- Amy Lee – lead vocals, keyboards, harp (1995–present)
- Terry Balsamo – lead guitar (2003–present)
- Troy Mc Lawhorn – rhythm guitar (2007, 2011–present)
- Tim Mc Cord – bass (2006–present)
- Will Hunt – drums (2007, 2010–present)
- Ben Moody – lead guitar (1995–2003)
- 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")
- Origin (2000; demo album)
- Fallen (2003)
- Anywhere But Home (2004; Live album and DVD)
- The Open Door (2006)
- Evanescence (2011)
- Adorkable/Mean Character, Nice Actor: Amy has stated despite how angry, mad and pissed off her (and her band's) music, stage persona, and photo shoots are she is actually quite nice and calm, sweet and according to all the behind the scenes of the music video features she's done, she is really secretly a dork who loves to laugh and make silly jokes...
- There is obviously debates about her habit of firing band members, and vibe of music.
- Broken Bird: Amy Lee gives off this vibe through most of her musical work.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Amy. See Shiny Midnight Black below.
- Face of the Band: Amy Lee.
- Fanwork Ban: The result of an incident in the early 2000s (now infamous among anime fans) where a clueless individual wrote to the band to rave about their "new video" for "Bring Me to Life", which was actually an Anime Music Video for Revolutionary Girl Utena. Lawyers reportedly got involved, and one immediate effect was that Evanescence's music was no longer permitted on animemusicvideos.org.
- Garfunkel: Ben Moody has stayed obscure since quitting the project, despite being a co-founder.
- Happily Married: Lee.
- The Maiden Name Debate: She calls herself Mrs Hartzler now.
- 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.
- Perky Goth: In interviews, Amy Lee comes off as very chirpy and energetic.
- 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.
- Shiny Midnight Black: Amy Lee's hair, whether natural or dyed, is a good example.
Tropes found in their music:
- 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, Beneath The Waves on Evanescence.
- Black Sheep Hit: Arguably Bring Me To Life, with its Linkin Park-esque duet not found in other songs.
- Break Up Song: Call Me When You're Sober, Cloud Nine, Made Of Stone, Oceans, Sweet Sacrifice, The Change.
- Careful with That Axe: Tourniquet - "I LONG TO DIEEEEEE!!!"
- Christian Rock: Subverted. The co-founders are both Christian, but they opposed the "Christian" label after their breakthrough album Fallen was stocked under this category. Resulting in Not Christian Rock below.
- This interpretation is debated. A prefame quote has the band stating the mission of the band was to show "God is Love", they played specifically Christian Festivals, and included boilerplate Christian notes in the liners of their first album (which is now Canon Discontinuity). The quick removal of Ben Moody lead some to interpret the controversy as an issue of Amy Lee riding the Christian subculture (as well as the band) till she didn't need it anymore, and then making a powerplay.
- Cover Version: What they did to Korn's "Thoughtless" and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box".
- 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.
- Ethereal Choir: Understanding, Solitude, Field Of Innocence, Lacrymosa.
- 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 from the Romeo and Juliet movie before the song proper.
- Evolving Music: Imaginary
- 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.
- Fading Into the Next Song:
- On Fallen: Tourniquet-Imaginary.
- On The Open Door: Like You-Lose Control, The Only One-Your Star.
- On Evanescence: The Change-My Heart is Broken.
- Follow Your Heart: Whisper, Lose Control, The Only One, All That I'm Living For, What You Want, Erase This, Lost In Paradise, Sick, 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.
- Word of God says "My Heart Is Broken" is about growing up and losing innocence at an extremely young age.
- Happy Place: Imaginary.
- Harsh Vocals: Lies.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Used in "The Only One"
- Hidden Track / Rearrange the Song: My Immortal (Band Version) not noted on re pressings of their debut major release.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: In "Lose Control":
Mary had a lamb,
- Incredibly Long Note: End Of the Dream, Bring Me To Life, Cloud Nine, Oceans, Going Under, Sweet Sacrifice, Lose Control, The Change, Whisper, The Only One, Never Go Back
- Kill It with Fire: In "Erase This":
Not enough to say goodbye
- Loudness War: The self-titled album, right from the opening drums. This troper couldn't believe the music volume was higher than the actual stereo volume.
- Long Title: "The Last Song I'm Wasting On You".
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- 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.
Unlock your heart
- The Other Side, off Evanescence, a desperate grief song with a determined sexy riff.
I'm so lost without my place inside your heart
- 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.
- 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 prechorus of "End Of The Dream"
- 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 alone.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Generally 5-6. "My Immortal" is about 1.
- 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, Gothic Rock, Gothic Metal, Symphonic Rock, Pop, Nu-metal, Emo (which is a ridiculous accusation), 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.
- 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", 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: "Snow White Queen", "Taking Over Me", "Surrender", "Anything For You", "Away From Me", "Farther Away", "The Other Side", "Haunted", "Even In Death", "Lithium"...
- Subverted with "Haunted", as the lyrics seem to be from the mind of a the victim of a Stalker with a Crush.
- To be fair, "Snow White Queen" is both the stalker and the stalkee.
- "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:
Come to bed, don't make me sleep alone.
- 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".
- 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.
- Refrain From Assuming: Bring Me to Life is not "Wake Me Up Inside", Bleed is not "I Must Be Dreaming", Imaginary is not "Paper Flowers".
- Although, the first demo version (there were at least two) of Bring Me to Life actually is called "Wake Me Up Inside".
- 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: In "Everybody's Fool": Look, here she comes now, bow down and stare in wonder. Oh, how we love you...
- "Lacrymosa" minus the middle 8, in some interpretations.
- "Taking Over Me" can also be interpreted as such, vocally.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: On practically every song, especially noticeable in "What You Want", "Bring Me To Life", and "Haunted".
- 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", "Taking Over Me".
- Subdued Section: Taking Over Me, Sick, Imaginary, My Heart Is Broken, The Other Side.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "My Immortal", "Hello" (on Fallen), "Good Enough" (The Open Door) and "Swimming Home" (on 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/Erase This could be even at their ex-former band mates.
- Sick is about the ahem.."issues" they had with their recording company
- 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: "Snow White Queen".
- Sort of.
- Woman Scorned: "Call Me When You're Sober", "Lacrymosa", "The Last Song I'm Wasting On You", "Oceans", "Sick", "Made Of Stone".
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The "y" in Lacrymosa.
- Yandere: "Taking Over Me", "Away From Me", "The Other Side", "Surrender", "Anything For You".
- You Are Not Alone: Part of the lyrics for "Like You".
No matter what they told you
Tropes found in their videos:
- All Just a Dream: Bring Me To Life.
- Deliberately Monochrome: My Immortal.
- Dramatic Wind: Bring Me To Life.
- Fairy Tale 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 seriously or even critically injured, if not dead.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Going Under, Call Me When Your Sober.
- The Ophelia: How many times has Amy drowned or symbolically is lost underwater, in her videos, usually after an emotional downturn, revelation...Everybody's Fool, Going Under, Lithium, What You Want, 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.
- 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.