Major success is a tough act to follow. Selling 6 million copies of its first major label studio album, Fallen, and delivering the mega hits “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal”, Evanescence and front-woman Amy Lee return with the hard charging new album, The Open Door. Despite Ben Moody’s acrimonious departure, Terry Balsamo has made a great songwriting pair with Lee. Drawing its strength from hard guitar riffs and Lee’s soaring voice, the record offers quite a few nuggets of pure rock bliss, enough to get your head banging and your stereo blasting.
Opening track “Sweet Sacrifice” flat out rocks, its thundering guitars matching perfectly with Amy Lee’s towering voice. “Call Me When You’re Sober” is an wonderfully angry song with dual guitars trading rhythm and melody lines. “Weight of the World” is a fast paced rocker that isn’t too distinctive. “Lithium” is a nice piano ballad with strings showcasing Amy Lee’s vocal and lyrical range. “Snow White Queen” is chaotic and disorganized, but the classically influenced “Lachrymosa” is fantastic, a bizarrly fascinating mix of strings, guitar, piano, and choir that just flat out soars. This song would be a perfect addition to any soundtrack.
“Like You”, a mid-tempo piano-based track, smartly keeps the guitars in the back of the mix until the crescendo. “Weight of the World” and “Cloud Nine” are solid up-tempo rockers laced with grinding guitar work while “All That I’m Living For” and “Good Enough” are more piano-based emotional tracks. “Lose Control” has a dark piano melody that bursts into crunching guitar on the chorus. “The Only One” is a dark ode that is one of the strongest songs on the album emotionally.
Strongly produced to take full advantage of Lee’s towering voice, The Open Door is full of growling guitar riffs and emotive piano melodies. The songwriting is solid, and in some cases, exceptional. The loss of Ben Moody is more than made up by the songwriting team of Lee and Balsaro, and this album is one sure to please Evanescence fans and make some converts with some of the singles. Recommended.