Like many bands born of the late-’90s nu-metal boom, Evanescence built their empire atop a foundation of grinding riffage and anguished lyrics. But the Little Rock, Arkansas, group had something none of their peers had: the voice of Amy Lee. Not only was the singer/pianist a rare female presence in a genre dominated by dudes, her chandelier-rattling vocals infused their aggressive attack with a breathtaking gothic grandeur. After Lee first bonded with guitarist Ben Moody at a Christian summer camp in 1994, Evanescence’s early indie releases were marketed to the religious-rock market, until the band conquered the world at large with their 2003 big-league debut, Fallen. But while they identified as a secular band by that point, themes of salvation and resurrection permeated “Bring Me to Life,” the dramatic blockbuster single that staked the untapped middle ground between Linkin Park and Kate Bush. And though power ballads were not uncommon in the nu-metal pantheon, few displayed the candelabra-dimmed elegance of Fallen’s emotional centerpiece, “My Immortal.” After Fallen moved more than 15 million copies worldwide, Moody left the group, portending a stretch marked by perpetual personnel changes and extended hiatuses, with just three proper albums materializing in the band’s first two decades. But those long waits between records ensure that every Evanescence album is a major event, and whether she’s investing metallic crunch with soul-diva sass (2006’s “Call Me When You're Sober”) or hiding monster riffs inside slick digital-R&B arrangements (2020’s “Wasted on You”), Lee remains the eye of Evanescence's ever-shifting storm.
ORIGINLittle Rock, AR