Evanescence’s sound is hard to define. Over the years, those trying to describe their music have used everything from “heavy metal” to “chamber pop. “ Another word Evanescence’s sound conjures up is “gothic.”
When looking to buy their albums, or Evanescence tickets, you might want to look in the category “nu metal.” Perhaps the best description of the band’s music comes from its founder and creative leader, Amy Lee. She describes Evanescence as a rock band whose music is “dark,” “dramatic,” and “epic.”
It may surprise some fans that the band was originally marketed as Christian rock and their albums were once available in Christian music stores. The band quickly had their albums removed from such retailers, and in 2006, Lee claimed she was always against being branded a “Christian rock band.”
Evanescence currently consists of lead vocalist Amy Lee, lead guitarist Terry Balsamo, bassist Tim McCord, guitarist Troy McLawhorn, and drummer Will Hunt. Lee is the only original member left and the only current member who’s performed on Evanescence’s debut album.
Evanescence was formed in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by Lee and Ben Moody. Moody left the band in 2003. He left after creative differences arose between him and Lee. Moody was interested in making music people wanted to hear while Lee was more interested in being artistic.
The band released their first album, Fallen, on March 4, 2003. It was an unmitigated success. Built on the singles “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal,” Fallen went on to sell seven million copies in the United States and 17 million worldwide.
Amazingly, and as a sign of how much the music business has changed in such a short period of time, Fallen never reached number one on the Billboard 200. It debuted at number seven with 141,000 copies sold and later peaked at number three.
Fallen earned the band two Grammy Awards—Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance. They were also nominated for Album of the Year.
Evanescence’s sophomore effort is The Open Door. The opus hit store shelves on Sept. 25, 2006. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went on to sell five million copies. It received mixed reviews from critics.
An exciting live act, Evanescence has performed all over the world and has toured with a number of major artists including Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, System of a Down, Korn, Chevelle and Finger Eleven.