18 years of Fallen: The album that made Evanescence superstars
It sold 17 million copies and scooped two GRAMMY awards, but it was the personal impact that Fallen made on the band’s fans that positioned Evanescence above the alt.rock pack, elevating the Arkansas gang to superstardom. On the 18th anniversary of the record’s release, we’ve handed the keys of Kerrang! over to The Noise Cartel publicist Donnay Clancy, to tell just one of those 17 million stories and explain what made Fallen so special…
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I adore Evanescence. From the moment I first heard the ethereal piano intro to Bring Me To Life at the age of 13 years old, I was completely and utterly transfixed. Fifteen years later, that song still incites the same reaction, whether it’s dropped at a ’00s nu-metal club night or pops up on shuffle on my morning commute. As cliche as it sounds, the album from which it is taken, Fallen, quite literally changed my life.
Before I got into Evanescence, I had never really listened to rock music before. Like most of the kids at my school, I was listening to UK Garage, R&B and mainstream chart stuff that dominated music channels. Whilst I enjoyed that music, none of it hit me in the chest or made me feel. With Fallen, I felt like I was truly experiencing music fully for the first time, in a new and exciting way, and it began my lifelong passion and love for heavy music.
I had always been ‘different’ from the other children at school (which was so often and unkindly pointed out to me) and I was relentlessly bullied for pretty much the entirety of my school years. Things were bad at home too, and at times I felt like there was no escape from the misery I was enduring everyday – that was until I had Evanescence. When I’d had an awful day at school I would lock myself away in my room, blare Fallen at full volume and belt out every word, completely immersed in my own little world. It was my emancipation from all the pain and negativity. It gave me an outlet through which to vent my anger and depression, and turn it into something positive.
When I was an impressionable teenage girl, Amy Lee was – and I’ll be honest, still is – my idol. She was a young woman with an incredible voice, fronting a heavy rock band and she was badass. She did not give a single fuck and simply oozed talent and creativity through her band’s songs and her DIY outfits (my god, the outfits). She gave me the impetus to express myself through my aesthetic (out went tracksuits, in came the black velvet, shagbands and eyeliner) and through composing my own music, which I discovered I had a talent for. The songs of Fallen gave me the strength to stand up to the bullies and let them know I was not going to take any of their bullshit.
Although they were not the first to play music in this style, Evanescence paved the way for bands fronted by female vocalists to break into the mainstream. They introduced me to others with powerful frontwomen: Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil, who remain amongst some of my favourite bands and the latter of which I am lucky enough to work with today. Through Evanescence’s music, I also found other people who thought like me and had the same passion. The weird odd-one-out had finally found somewhere I felt I belonged.
Listening to Fallen now, I still see my teenage self singing her heart out in her bedroom. It continues to stir up emotions and makes me tear up because I remember that dark place I was in, but not only that – I can now look back and be proud of my younger self for pulling through and managing to make something of her life. For that I will be forever grateful to Evanescence.
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