* Prices may differ from that shown
Members At The Time Of The Release
Amy Lee - Lead vocalist (Founding Member)
Ben Moody - guitar & drums (Founding Member, but left in 2003)
David Hodges - Keyboard & backing vocalist (Joined in 1999 and left in 2002)
Before They Were Famous
Before Evanescence's huge break in 2003 with their debut single Bring Me To Life, they were a well praised local band in Little Rock. Their demo album Origin came out in 2000, Amy Lee and Ben Moody had been in the band for five years and signed to Bigwig Enterprises. Only 2500 copies where made of the album because the band switched to rock label Wind Up Records to whom they are still signed to today. It was never rereleased and there has only ever been one official tracklist even though several bootlegs are sold as a re-release of Origin such as the fake EU edition with 19 tracks.
I am of course reviewing the official album which has eleven tracks. Whisper, My Immortal and Imaginary where refurbished for their first studio album release, Fallen. To be honest, I like Origin a lot more than Fallen. Origin isn't as dramatic or have the grander use of sounds Fallen, but it does offer it's own quirks. The backing vocals from David for example, he's not as fantastic as Amy, but I think he offers an edge that helps give Origin a rougher sound.
This demo is very different to a lot of CDs out there because your average album wouldn't include a track 0! Nothing that special as it's just an outtake of Anywhere where Amy and David are holding notes. You can hear that David begging not to save it and then the outtake ends with a quote from the movie My Boyfriend's Back, "There's a lot of prejudice against the undead." Not worth the fuss it caused back in the day.
So the real introduction of the album we get a short track called Origin that I would describe as a clash between electronic and ethereal sounds with an audio clip: "Death in it's most hideous form!" standing out. Origin is then completely forgotten as it flows straight into Whisper. Origin's Whisper has a very low tone and is driven by industrial beats and distorted guitars. It's quite raw and sounds unpolished and that's why I like it because it makes it more quirky.
My Immortal on Origin is similar to the album version. The Origin version of My Immortal only has the piano while in other versions there are strings and the epic guitars. All versions are super awesome which comes to the conclusion that My Immortal is a beautiful song whatever the arrangement. It's deep, and powerful and a song that touches my heart. I love this song just as much as I used to, and I do get a bit teary eyed when I hear it because it's drenched in emotion. It still remains a favourite.
Where Will You Go is a creepy track. The chorus is really cheesy. The aggression in the musical arrangements and the soft vocals and the mood changes that makes the song go really quick. The vocals aren't really sharp on this one which is a shame as it would have made it a lot more memorable.
Field Of Innocence is one my favourites on the album. It's a fascinating ballad with a gloomy rhythm. The subtle use of choirs, the acoustic nature and the reminisce of childhood makes the song sound convincing. This song reminds me of Finnish composer Tuomas Holopainen, the man behind Nightwish as it reminds me of their third album Century Child.
Even In Death is catchy because it's disturbing. It's a very emotional love song to listen to and I think for what it is, it's a fantastic song. The riffs aren't very original and the production is eerie but I think the grungy guitar solos kept my interest. The song tries to be sensitive but it's just so naturally aggressive.
"I will stay forever here with you, my love. The softly spoken words you gave me, even in death our love goes on." - Chorus to Even In Death.
Anywhere could also be interpreted as a love song, but a friendship song works too. This is one of the most happiest songs of the album. It's quite uplifting and I think Amy sounds awesome on this track. I love everything about this song. Even though it's a gloomy album, they manage to make Anywhere sound in place because its translucent. I'm glad it's really under produced because they just let their raw quirks shine. The acoustic setting really suits them.
Lies turns the tables with intense lyrics and feisty arrangements. It's still mid-paced and again it sounds raw. I also like the additional growling by Bruce Fitzhugh because it shows the danger in the song. Whilst Away From Me is classic Evanescence, mysterious and emotional. Away From Me puts that piano into good use but I find it really weak and forgettable because I think it's inconsistent. The middle eight and verses are very raw but the chorus is really weak especially compared to other songs they have.
The album concludes with an instrumental Eternal which picks off where Away From Me left off. I would describe it as another clash of distorted guitars and electronic music with a piano thumping. The piano is a lot more dominant in the second half because somewhere in the middle of the track they use storm effects which kill of the industrial sounds so it's left with rain and then another change. There is a lot going on in Eternal. I think it's a superb track because the sudden changes keep me interested.
Like I said before, I prefer the album to Fallen. I like the raw vibes and the mild electronic uses which show nice industrial sounds. I think it's a lot darker less melancholic than Fallen, but it's just as gloomy. In Origin they've got good ideas and they've been brushing up from other work they've done before as well as adding fresher material at the time.
So where can you buy this album? You could try Ebay or Amazon US but in my opinion those 2500 original copies are long gone. I doubt those lucky 2500 fans who do have those original copies would even dream of selling it. Maybe someday you may find an original copy of Origin, but all I know is that it's not going to be on iTunes anytime soon.
Amy Lee and Ben Moody were disgusted that people where trying to flog fake versions of Origin and previous EPs on ebay. Origin was once reported being on sale for 300$ (around £186) . If you look at some of the reviews on Amazon US or comments on YouTube you may notice that they'll mention how much they paid for their copy. So in honour of this tradition, let me just say that I didn't.
Why pay for a fake when the artists say you can download it for free? In an interview, Amy and Ben gave everyone permission to download anything from the pre-Fallen era like Origin and their first EPs for free. It shows they think of the fans and that they don't want them to waste their money on a pirated copy. Amy also said if we like it we can buy their studio albums. Fallen went on to sell 15 million copies worldwide.
No wonder they're so successful. They're talented musicians and their music is drenched in emotion. I would recommend Origin. If it does unlikely get re-released or remastered, I would buy it. If I had the chance to buy the CD, I would. If you fancy some melodic rock with some Gothic influences or already an Evanescence fan then you should give it a try. If you fancy downloading the demo album, I'd recommend using http://evanescencereference.info