Why “Fallen” Is An Iconic 2000s Album And Where Is Evanescence Now?
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Celeste MacMurray. Find her on Instagram at @clsmsanchezx. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
Regardless of whether or not you follow the rock scene, you know the name Evanescence with no introduction. You also know the song “Bring Me to Life” as it has effortlessly solidified its presence within pop culture for the past two decades. While used commonly within memes, when you put away any memories of any funny ones you’ve seen, you can’t help but be hit by a sense of awe by the song. This is the inherent bombshell quality of Evanescence’s presence on the scene when they began releasing singles for the release of Fallen.
The 90s and 2000’s rock scene was an ever-changing one. From the development of classic rock and 80’s metal to the rising alternative scene of the 90s and genres like nu-metal and industrial music, there were lots of changes going on. Keeping this in mind, one of the most important things to note was just exactly how male-dominated the rock scene—and especially the nu-metal scene—was during this decade. Most bands were led and fronted by men, which is part of what made Evanescence’s emergence onto the scene so groundbreaking. There were hardly any groups with insane levels of commercial success that were led by women, especially not really popular ones. After Evanescence’s popularity skyrocketed, Amy Lee became a bit of a figure who was greatly admired by other women in the scene and hailed as an icon by communities such as the mall goths of the 2000’s.
What particularly made Evanescence stand out the most was Amy Lee because of her beautifully haunting vocals. Her voice had a quality to it that drew you in and put you in a trance. Most nu-metal music at the time experimented with rapping and vocal fry, but there was no band that sounded like Evanescence. Lee’s voice was capable of such strength and dealing punches in songs like “Going Under” and “Bring Me to Life,” but also heart-aching ballads such as “My Immortal.” The gothic-rock quality of Evanescence’s music and Lee’s vocals is what made them so different from anything being released at the time as it sure knew how to catch the attention of anyone listening.
The Origins of Evanescence
The band Evanescence was formed by members Amy Lee and Ben Moody in the mid-90s when the two met at a youth camp. The two released a series of EP’s together, but it wasn’t until the late 90s that the band became the one we know today. The band was also originally known as a Christian-rock band when Lee and Moody were the only members, but by the release of Fallen, that was no longer the case. Specifically, the band wanted to be known as a secular one and did not want to appeal to the Christian music market.
By the release of Fallen, the band’s line-up consisted of Amy Lee, Ben Moody, formerly David Hodges, John LeCompt and Rocky Gray. David Hodges had been a part of the band for a few years, but he left the group just a few months before the release of Fallen at the end of 2002.
The Making of Fallen And Its Successes
The album, Fallen, is the band’s debut album and was produced by Dave Fortman and spearheaded by none other than Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges who is credited for many contributions to the album’s production even after his departure.
There were four songs released as singles for the album’s release, and with just their releases alone the band started to draw attention and pull in success. “Bring Me to Life” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained on the charts for 32 weeks. The album sales for Fallen also peaked at number three on Billboard and was on the charts for 116 weeks—that’s well over two years. Following the release of “Bring Me to Life,” songs “Going Under,” “My Immortal” and “Everybody’s Fool” were released later as singles. “My Immortal” reached similar success as “Bring Me to Life” and peaked at number seven on the charts, and remained for 32 weeks as well.
These weren’t the only successes the album achieved, as it was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rock Album for the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004. The band then took home two Grammy’s that year: Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance. Then, again in 2005 at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, “My Immortal” was nominated for Best Group Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.
Evanescence’s Line-Up Changes
It can be argued that Evanescence’s career history has been highly shaped by the departures and additions of band members throughout the years.
The band’s line-up has changed multiple times throughout their career. As we discussed earlier and are familiar with, the band was originally formed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody. When the band’s career first started, its line-up consisted of Amy Lee, Ben Moody, David Hodges, John LeCompt and Rocky Gray. However, in 2002 right before the release of Fallen, David Hodges left the group, and in 2003 during the Fallen tour, Ben Moody left as well. His position was later filled in by guitarist Terry Balsamo—who remained in the band for many years to come.
Later, in 2006, William Boyd left the band and his role was eventually taken over by guitarist Tim McCord. The band’s line-up changed once more in 2007 when members John LeCompy and Rocky Gray left the band. In anticipation for the upcoming tours, guitarist Troy McLawhorn and drummer Will Hunt filled the roles and continued to play for the band even through their The Open Door tour.
The band would then experience a change in its line-up once more when member Terry Balsamo had to leave the band in 2015 due to health reasons. Due to his health he could not travel with the band on tour, a decision the whole group supported him in making. The band would then invite Jen Majura to play in his absence for the upcoming tour.
Currently, the band’s line-up includes members Amy Lee, Tim McCord, William Hunt, Troy McLawhorn and Emma Anzai.
If you’re not an avid listener of Evanescence, you may be wondering, “Well, where is Evanescence now?” They are very much a still active band still touring and releasing music.
Where Is Evanescence Now?
The album roll-out following the release of Fallen has been a slow one, but that is definitely not a bad thing. The band seems to prefer to take their time when developing their albums and often take a few years in between each release. It is possible that the changing nature of the band’s line-up did influence this, as the releases have been sparse in the years following Fallen. Albums like The Open Door was released in 2006, and it wasn’t until five years later that Evanescence was released in 2011. The band’s most recent album, The Bitter Truth, was actually released in 2021. If you can’t get enough of Evanescence, Amy Lee has also released solo albums such as Aftermath in 2014 and Dream Too Much in 2016. She also has an EP called Recover, Vol. 1. The band is currently doing a South American tour and has been touring with other bands such as Muse and ONE OK ROCK earlier this year.
That being said, Evanescence is still very much an active band and continues to make claim to their status as a pillar within the nu-metal and rock community.