Review Summary: This is what the follow up to Fallen should have sounded like.
When Ben Moody left Evanescence in 2003, there is no denying that the bands sound changed rapidly and it lost a vital part of its creativity. Fallen became one of the most popular rock albums in recent years, and Amy Lee and the rest of her band went on to record The Open Door while Moody fell out of the public eye for a long time. He kept a relatively low profile, working on soundtracks and contributing to several different pop artists songs. After meeting American Idol singer Carly Smithson, the 2 talked about forming a band together after they found they had similar musical interests. They recruited Guitarist John LeCompt (who was fired from Evanescence by Amy Lee), Drummer Rocky Gray (who left Evanescence soon after John was fired), and Bassist Marty O’Brien (session and touring bassist who has toured with several rock and metal bands such as Disturbed and Static-X) to form a brand new project. This project became We Are The Fallen.
For a while now, we have gotten a taste of what this band sounds like with the first single, Bury Me Alive. It combines driving, heavy guitars with the strong vocals of Carly Smithson. The bass is very prominent in the verses and the drumming is very solid, and it proves to be a great song that shows what this band is capable of. However, do not be fooled, for this is merely a tease. The rest of the album has much more to offer.
The songwriting itself is excellent over the span of the 11 tracks. Smithson and Moody prove to be an excellent team and the songs are like Evanescence pushed further. The vocals are stunning, with Carly proving she can hit all the notes that Amy Lee could and throw in a few new twists of her own. She proves herself to be a very talented and capable vocalist, and her performance on this debut album is nothing short of promising. The only thing that might be holding her back is that her vocal style on the album sounds so similar to Lee at times, but in all honesty this is probably supposed to sound like a record Evanescence never made. On songs like 'Don't Leave Me Behind' her vocals soar above everything else and truly show she is capable of a lot. On 'Sleep Well, My Angel' the piano is a major highlight when combined with Smithson's vocals, which recalls 'Hello' from Fallen.
The guitar duo of Ben Moody and John LeCompt is fantastic as well, as the guitar sound on the album goes from heavy to melodic and the occasional solo here and there. Their guitar playing on Burn is an example of how heavy the riffs can get and on songs like the melodic parts of 'Paradigm' and 'Don't Leave Me Behind' prove that they can inject a lot of melody into their playing. Being 2 former guitar players from Evanescence and having toured together and worked together before, they form a very tight and superb set of guitarists that don’t show any lack in the riff department, and it’s very clear that they are comfortable within the bands sound. Bassist Marty O’Brien and Drummer Rocky Gray form a great rhythm section, with O’Brien providing driving bass lines behind the wall of guitars and Gray pounding on and utilizing his kit to help form the bands solid hard rock sound.
Even though this band is not a copy of Evanescence and is its own entity, there is no denying that there are in fact some serious comparisons to this album and the Evanescence debut, Fallen. This is quite obviously due to Ben Moody’s presence. The guitars sound a lot like they did on Fallen in certain songs, the piano and string sections are ever present, and the choir in the background is present on the title track, which closes the album (much like there was a choir in the background on 'Whisper', the closing track on Fallen). However, before you judge the band, take this into consideration – this is not the Amy Lee Show. Every band member has equal input and shows their talent on this record. Nothing is overlooked and all aspects of their sound are present. On future releases, they can expand on this.
All things considered, this band has a very promising sound that does not disappoint. Within these 11 tracks you will find powerful and solid guitar work, soaring and beautiful vocals, epic string and piano sections, and excellent production overall. We Are The Fallen took everything that was wrong with the Evanescence sound post-Fallen and re-configured it into a powerhouse that truly is a force to be reckoned with here. From this point, they can only evolve and grow as a band. In many ways, this is what the follow up to Fallen should have sounded like. Beware Amy Lee, for Evanescence really has a rival now.