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Artist: Evanescence
Label: Wind-up Records
Length: 11 tracks / 44:14 min.

Just when you thought nu-metal and the Linkin Parks of the world were but a faux pas in the current musical landscape, Evanescence distances itself from the shadows of its humble indie days with Fallen, their déjà vu-ish Wind-up debut.

Like most rapcore hopefuls before them, this set treads the generic hard-riff and stop/start rhythmic trails already blazed by its predictable predecessors, with a distinct proclivity towards big choruses and the life-sucking conventions of Pro-Tools pseudo beautification. But what sets Fallen distinctly apart from the flavor-of-last-month conventions of its peers is the one thing that this album is not: a rapcore effort.

Though the riffy distortion and slick oomph may make one think otherwise, it's really the industrial, Downward Spiral-inspired undertones ("Going Under"), the Sineadesque vocal versatility of Amy Lee ("Hello"), and the timely orchestral arrangements and chilling Gregorian chants ("Whisper") which ultimately leave no room for naysayers to conveniently agglutinate Fallen with the nauseating mounds of mediocrity governing rock radio's airwaves. Add to that the band's penchant for pretty piano-based ballads, dark subject matters and spiritual imagery, and you have a band that is both unpeggable and commercially appealing at the same time, which should allow it to rise above the bleak status quo of the current modern rock scene.

Straddling the fine line between formulaic walls-of-sound and sonic innovation, Evanescence's first project is satisfying, and an early harbinger of the things this group could accomplish, were it to distance itself from sonic marketability and exploit the hints of raw youthful exuberance and the goth-rock freshness they possess.

By Andree Farias 5/5/2003

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