Review Summary: Absolutely no effort was made to do more than cash in on Evanescence fans' nostalgia for a seven year old album.
The anticipation for We Are the Fallen’s debut album started swelling well before any music was ever even released. The hype around this band centered on the fact that it contained ex-members of Evanescence (including Ben Moody) as well as Carly Smithson of American Idol fame. Once the first single was posted online it became obvious that the band was planning on remaining very close to Evanescence’s debut album – a fact that thrilled some and bored others. The problem is that We Are The Fallen have stuck so close to Evanescence’s debut album that Tear The World Down
sounds old and tired well before it ever ends for the first time.
The most efficient way to describe this album is to simply state that this is Fallen
without the strong songwriting, Linkin Park
influence, and novelty. Quite simply, since the release of that album, a ton of other bands have copied its sound and most of them have executed it better than this and with a bit more originality. The riffs on this album are the same generic nu-metal chugs broken up by occasional clean guitar melodies that anyone would expect, and the symphonic elements feel as if their inclusion was an afterthought. It seems safe to say that the band didn’t put a lot of work into this album and were content with simply trying to cash in on name recognition and past successes. In case the band name isn’t a blatant enough admission of this focus, tracks such as “Sleep Well, My Angel” with its obvious emulation of “My Immortal” should make it completely clear that the band is banking entirely on nostalgia. Of course, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal if the music was any good, but it’s really not.
Instead, this album feels like the same bad Fallen
outtake played on a loop with minor subtle changes made between each track. The problem begins with the band’s insistence on playing nearly every song at the same moderate pace and with the same generic beat, but it doesn’t end there. The riffs also lack any real identity or true variation, and the melodic sections that are meant to provide a break from the monotonous riffs are either too weak or too brief to make a real impact. The symphonic elements, on the other hand, are tastefully done but are undermined by the fact that they sound very cheap and outdated. Bands such as Within Temptation
and even Red
have both utilized symphonic elements on recent releases and they sound infinitely better than what is presented here. This leaves the vocals of Carly Smithson with the task of pulling the music out of the ***. While she does have a great voice, she just isn’t given enough to work with and ends up utilizing the same vocal melodies over and over again (with a few exceptions).
For some reason, there was a bit of backlash against Evanescence’s second album, The Open Door
, and We Are the Fallen could have capitalized on it – but they’ve failed. They’ve failed because they didn’t make any attempt to do more than copy Fallen
’s sound, and they couldn’t even pull that off. It’s a shame because if they had been able to accomplish even one of those two things this could have won over every last fan that is tired of waiting for a third Evanescence release. Instead we’ve been left with a blatant emulation of a tired sound by a band that seems so uninspired that they couldn’t even be bothered to make enough effort to differentiate their own songs from one another. When this is combined with a production that neuters any power that the songs can occasionally muster, what we have left is a total waste of time.