By now, we�ve all probably heard of Evanescence. After the release of their first major label album Fallen
in 2003, the band achieved extreme popularity in an extremely short amount of time. Anywhere But Home
, the band�s second effort on Wind-Up Records, is a double disc live album/ DVD jam packed with live footage, music videos, and a very entertaining documentary of the band on tour. Evanescence are now currently recording their new album which is expected some time in August 2006.
Brief Band History... Ben Moody�s Departure
The story behind Ben Moody�s departure from the band has been somewhat of a mix story. On one hand, several people believed it was due to Ben Moody�s breakup with vocalist Amy Lee. On the other hand, Ben Moody claims his departure was more or less for the band�s sake, saying he had a bipolar disorder and even started both drugs and alcohol on his strife with Evanescence. After his departure, the band replaced Ben Moody with Terry Balsamo of the band Cold on guitars. Strangely enough, neither of these theories, much less Ben Moody himself (aside from his appearances in the music videos) are mentioned in the DVD.
Amy Lee, the beautiful and gothic vocalist for Evanescence, has a very haunting voice, specifically when she sings in a low key. Her vocals have a very noticeable presence, but can come off as whiny when she reaches though higher notes (which occur often). Amy Lee has, however, established herself to be a very fitting vocalist for a goth rock band and even proved to be a very naughty girl in the documentary. Terry Balsamo and John LeCompt, the guitarists, both show beyond amazing skill in their live performances. Their guitar chords are nothing of extreme difficulty, but their abilities to extend their guitar playing to extreme heights while performing some pretty awesome stunts on stage is talent enough. Bassist William Boyd is also a very exceptional musician. Although he does not display as much live skill as Terry and John, he is a vital member to the band�s music and gothic sound. Finally, the Cannibal Corpse loving drummer, Rocky Gray, shows off some of his drum skills and even enjoys some major pranking on his fellow band mates. All in all, Evanescence, like the or not, delivers exceptional live performances for their fans.
The New Songs
The first of the four tracks featured on Anywhere But Home
but not featured on Fallen
is the Korn cover, Thoughtless
. Although the song may be more intriguing if it wasn�t live, the band did do a pretty good job of remaking the song, and even made a pretty decent piano intro for the song. The song sounds promising, at least until Amy Lee comes in on vocals. Although it is a treat to hear Amy Lee drop the f-bomb, her vocals are not for doing a nu-metal, especially the nasal voice of Jonathan Davis. The next new track is Farther Away
, which is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. The track sounds really good live, with heavy riffs and high piano notes playing with Amy Lee following along with the crushing guitars. The live version of Breathe No More
, which is originally featured off the Elektra
movie soundtrack, is also featured on the CD. The song is rather good ballad song that sounds similar to that of a less powerful My Immortal
and less dark Hello
. The final new track is the previously unreleased (not live) track Missing
. The song starts with haunting, ghost like female chants later followed by Amy Lee singing in her less then whiny voice. The only music in the song aside from the female chants are the occasional drum percussions and the steady piano notes that pop up here and there. The track is very vocal emphasized and is definitely a standout on the album.
The DVD is the real treat of this double disc packaged. Packed with a live concert by the band while on their tour promoting Fallen
, an extensive documentary broken into several different and hilarious parts, and 4 music videos of the bands hit singles Going Under
, Everybody�s Fool
, Bring Me To Life
, and of course, My Immortal
. I am not a personal fan of watching a live show on a DVD, but I will admit that Evanescence�s live performance is way above that of an average concert. The documentary is my favorite part of the DVD, featuring the band in the preparation of their first live show, to their on-the-road tour with Seether, to their final blowout before everyone goes home. There is even a special Bloopers section showing the band when they were not at their prime live. Finally, the music videos are all extremely good in both production and story. All the videos also feature the band members that were apart of the recording session (including Ben Moody) and do not include the members in their current lineup featured in the documentary and the lives shows.
-- Excellent live recordings on the CD.
-- Excellent live footage on the DVD.
-- Bonus track Missing
is a double thumbs up.
-- Excellent production.
-- Terrific documentary for any fan of the band.
-- The Thoughtless
cover is somewhat of an insult to Korn.
-- The fact of only live versions of Thoughtless
and Farther Away
is rather annoying.
-- It�s really more of a treat for fans then a official second release for the band.
1. Haunted [live] (4/5)
2. Going Under [live] (4/5)
3. Taking Over Me [live] (4.5/5)
4. Everybody's Fool [live] (4/5)
5. Thoughtless [live] (3/5)
6. My Last Breath [live] (4/5)
7. Farther Away [live] (5/5)
8. Breathe No More [live] (4/5)
9. My Immortal [live] (4.5/5)
10. Bring Me To Life [live] (4.5/5)
11. Tourniquet [live] (3.5/5)
12. Imaginary [live] (4/5)
13. Whisper [live] (3.5/5)
14. Missing [previously unreleased track] (5/5)