International Writers Magazine: Review
The Open Door
a void, a strange nothingness and in this silence excited whispers
begin to form. You reach ahead blindly for a handle or some way
in. You grasp the cover imagining yourself to be drawn through
the open door into a world of gothic sensuality. You yearn to
be stroked by the unknown. Where does this doorway lead? Where
will this journey take you?
Open this door
and unfortunately you are doomed to travel upon a very familiar pathway,
winding your way through the collaborative thoughts of Amy Lee and Terry
Balsamo. Your guardian is the haunting but potentially tiresome voice
of Amy accompanied by a tirade of portent thunderous music which at
times creates an inseparable musical fantasy and other times gives an
impression of ferocious battling dragons.
All is not lost however; on investigating your new world a little more
closely you may at least find it aesthetically pleasing if not aurally
so. Take your time and stroll through the exquisitely decadent lyric
booklet. Let your eyes feast upon the darkly seductive pictures for
this is the closest experience you will have to dining with Angela Carter
and Tim Burton. Then wander slowly through the lyrics as Amy who makes
a fine travelling companion dressed in her red riding hood cape or corpse
bride gown drags you into her intimate world of pain. Look closely and
you may find phrases that softly glow amongst the dark shadowy words,
lines such as its true we are all a little insane but its
clear now Im unchained and titles such as Lacrymosa
(a hybrid of lachrymose meaning tearful or mournful) which
make this a truly worthwhile visual experience.
But how long can you go on stroking the perfectly smooth cover? Inevitably
the fateful time must come when the C.D is laid to rest inside the confines
of your stereo in order for you to complete this impending journey.
This is the point you should turn back, find your way back through the
open door and run as fast as you can, imagine grotesquely salivating
wolves at your heels if it helps. The music itself works and provides
an interesting and varied assault on the ears but to listen to the whole
album in one sitting seems to result in its transformation into
one long and indefinable song.
When Amys voice is in harmony with the music, when it does finally
come together then the results can be breathtaking. Snow White Queen
for instance manages to stand alone it seems to be the only song that
resists the bland merging that occurs when listening to the album as
a whole. There is a definite upgrade of emotion and an almost chilling
sense of desperation in Amys voice perhaps emphasized by the somewhat
predatory lyrics of this song which among others contain the ironic
dont scream anymore my love. If you like your metal
highly polished then this is the album for you, it is born out of the
slick genre which includes the likes of Him. Even if you
are glad when the journey ends and you are able to retreat back through
the open door, it is arguably a journey worth embarking upon.
© Claire Murray October 2006
clairelouisemurray at fsmail.net
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