Rock & roll breakups are rarely as acrimonious as that between Ben Moody and Amy Lee of Evanescence. Just as their 2003 debut, Fallen, was turning into an international sensation, the guitarist left the band, the bad blood between the two spilling into the press, Lee’s post-Moody album The Open Door, and even Moody’s long-delayed post-Evanescence project We Are the Fallen, whose very name defiantly claims Evanescence’s hit album as the property of Moody and his two fellow refugees from the band, guitarist John LeCompt and drummer Rocky Gray. Based on their 2010 debut, Tear the World Down, it's not wrong to say We Are the Fallen were responsible for the sound of that 2003 hit: with former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson as their frontwoman (and metal veteran Marty O’Brien on bass), they sound exactly like Evanescence, lacking only the sour charisma of Lee. Where Lee pushed against Moody’s roiling minor-key melodic dirges, creating a good deal of genuine tension, Smithson eagerly follows along, happy to be part of such a prominent project. Carly’s presence steers Tear the World Down toward pure product, but that was the intention: after dealing with Lee, Moody wanted somebody who would play the game and that’s what he has, somebody who will play the part of goth rock queen without actually being it. And so Moody winds up with the record he would have released in 2006 if he were still part of Evanescence: big, slick, heavy, and melodic, pleasing those who like the sound of Fallen but could do without all the sulkiness. Of course, this makes some sense -- Moody has been waiting so long to release an album of his songs that it’s natural he would pick up where he left off, with the only questions being why he acted like no time elapsed between his Evanescence departure and We Are the Fallen, and why he created a record that could have been released in 2005 instead of one that sounded just a bit like 2010.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine