The Open Door

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This article is about the Evanescence album. For the Death Cab for Cutie EP, see The Open Door EP. For the 2008 film, see The Open Door (film).
The Open Door
Studio album by Evanescence
Released September 25, 2006
Recorded September 2005–March 2006
Genre Alternative metal
Length 54:15
Label Wind-up
Producer Dave Fortman
Evanescence chronology
Anywhere but Home
(2004)
The Open Door
(2006)
Evanescence
(2011)
Singles from The Open Door
  1. "Call Me When You're Sober"
    Released: September 25, 2006
  2. "Lithium"
    Released: January 8, 2007
  3. "Sweet Sacrifice"
    Released: May 25, 2007
  4. "Good Enough"
    Released: December 14, 2007

The Open Door is the second studio album by the American rock band Evanescence. It was first released in Poland on September 25, 2006, through Wind-up Records and subsequently in more than 20 other countries worldwide. Originally intended to be released in March 2006, the release date of The Open Door was changed due to guitarist Terry Balsamo's stroke, the loss of the band's former manager and Will Boyd's and Ben Moody's departure from the band. The album symbolizes a new beginning for the band, incorporating new elements in their old music such as gothic rock, symphonic rock and pop music as well as choirs on several songs. The writing process for the album took a period of over 18 months and the majority of the songs were written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo, while being produced by Dave Fortman.

The album received mixed reviews from music critics who generally praised its lyrical content and the instrumentation accompanied by Lee's vocals. However, some critics gave a negative review towards the different sound from the band's last album Fallen (2003). The album earned a nomination at the 50th Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance with "Sweet Sacrifice". The band also won in the category Album of the Year at the 2007 MTV Australia Video Music Awards. The Open Door debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 selling more than 447.000 copies in its first week. It topped the charts in Australia, Europe, Germany, Greece and Switzerland and charted in top five in over fifteen countries. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) just over a month after its release, and has since sold more than five million copies worldwide. It was also certified in over fifteen worldwide markets.

"Call Me When You're Sober" was digitally released as the first single from the album on September 4, 2006 and it was later released as a CD single on September 27. It peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it charted within the top 20 in several more charts internationally. "Lithium" was released as the second single on January 1, 2007 while "Sweet Sacrifice" was released as the third international single from the album on May 5, 2007. "Good Enough" was released as the fourth single from the album and it failed to chart on the music charts. The Open Door had been supported by two worldwide tours, including The Open Door Tour and later the Evanescence Tour.

Background, titling and artwork[edit]

"I feel like with Fallen, a lot of those songs sound like I was trying to prove myself and establish what we were and our sound. I was trapped having to feel a certain way. But with the new record, I sort of went with everything. I am not afraid to feel happy sometimes, and I think there's moments on the album with sensuality, which is really fun and beautiful, instead of the last time, where I felt like I was only getting out part of me. This record embraces the whole me."

— Amy Lee talking about The Open Door with MTV News.[1]

During an interview with MTV News, Lee said that the band will begin the writing for the album in March 2004 after they finish their tour for Fallen. She revealed that it was impossible to write on tour and added that "everybody's going to go to their house and write material."[2] She further said that the band was going to get together just for the recording of the new material.[2] Amy Lee originally broke the news about the new album to the fans in a post on an unofficial Evanescence site, EvBoard.com.[3] However, the album progressed slowly for several reasons, including Amy Lee's desire to maximize the creative process and not rush production, other band members' side projects, guitarist Terry Balsamo's stroke, Will Boyd's and Ben Moody's departure and the loss of their former manager.[1][4] Although Lee stated on the fan forum that Evanescence's new album would be completed in March 2006, the release was pushed back allegedly because "Wind-up Records...wanted to make a few changes to the upcoming single "Call Me When You're Sober."[5] Talking about the development and inspiration of the album, Lee stated:

"Life happens. We were writing for more than a year, and even during the recording process, there were all kinds of stuff like relationship problems, and then there were all kinds of drama with [Rider], which was really stressful and straining. Terry's stroke was the most difficult part. All the things that happened were really inspiring, because it was frustrating. But for me at least, every time we get really frustrated and you're hitting a wall and everything is chaos, it just makes the music that much better, because you have passion — even if it's negative. That's sometimes better, actually. At the end of it, we all felt like we could take a new breath and start anew. We wrote great songs, and I love them. But at the same time, you need the trials to really be able to put something out there that's genuine and real."[1]

When asked is the album thematically different from the band's previous album, Fallen, Lee replied, "What music is for me and what Evanescence has been is me purging all of the negative and hard, difficult experiences that I've had in my life. Naturally, that's still coming across; I'm still purging the trials. I feel like this album comes from a place that's not so hopeless. The first album, I was talking about the hard stuff, but I was also wallowing in it. But I've grown so much now... The lyrics on the new album are looking for the answers, looking for solutions looking for happiness. It's not 'I'm miserable, end of the song.' It's more, 'I'm miserable, and what do I have to do to work this out and get out of this bad situation.'"[6]

In an interview with MTV News, Lee revealed the inspiration behind the title of the album: "I feel like I have the ability to do a lot of things I couldn't do before, for a number of reasons.[...] As a musician, I feel like I can just do whatever. This album is completely the way I wanted it to be on every level, and it's more of me and it's more of my writing. A lot of doors have kind of been opened in my life — not just since everything has happened for us. But lately, I have kind of just learned to go, 'OK, that's it,' and cut a few ties and move away — learn how to say 'No' and look for happiness."[7] Lee also stated that the band "broke the doors" and tried doing different things which was also an inspiration for the title.[8] The artwork for the album shows Lee in front of an open door.[8] Simon Cosyns of The Sun concluded that the artwork "keeps the dark Evanescence image intact, with sinister fairytale scenes, elaborate Victorian gothic arches, illuminated typography and elaborate flowing dresses."[8] Dane Prokofiev of PopMatters praised the artwork calling it "gother-looking piece."[9]

Writing and recording[edit]

"The music comes from all these feelings that I need to purge myself of, things that I don’t understand. [...] I’m trying to figure out the meaning of life, the big picture. What are we doing here, what’s my purpose? [...] I’m a very passionate person. The music is all over the place, up and down, because that’s how I am."

– Amy Lee talking about The Open Door with The Sun.[8]

The writing process for The Open Door took a period of 18 months. The new songs on the album were written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo who shared credits for thirteen songs.[10] However, Lee wrote "Like You", "Lithium" and "Good Enough" alone while she co-wrote "All That I'm Living For" with guitarist John LeCompt.[11] Lee stated that after Moody's departure she didn't have somebody to hold her back in the writing process. Instead, Balsamo was "lifting" her up and pushing her to do something she wouldn't have done with Moody. Lee said: "He's a great writer, and it was just like we were just having fun with it for a change. It was like, 'Let's stop taking everything so seriously and have fun,' and we wrote a lot of songs that I'm just totally in love with."[1][12] Lee described Balsamo's writing process during an interview with The Sun, "He's got this sort of spooky, surreal element to his guitar writing. [...] It’s really cool because it just works perfectly with what we do. He was really trying to create something so we were both discovering this new sound together and branching out. [...] Writing with Terry was a unique experience in my life because I’ve never been able to just sit and write music with somebody and not be afraid of what they would say."[8] In a statement she said that the making of the album was "really intense" and that she came out "feeling purified" while her writing partner, Balsamo, lifted her "to a whole new level of inspiration and possibilities."[13] She said that it was only about "writing great music".[6]

The album was recorded at Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California.[11] It was produced and mixed by Dave Fortman at Ocean Way Studios. Jeremy Parker done the audio engineering with Mike Houge and Wesley Seidman as an additional engineers while Ted Jensen mastered the album at Sterling Sound, New York.[11] The choral arrangements were finished by Amy Lee and recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, California. The choir and the string were recorded in an old chapel near Seattle, Washington.[11][14] DJ Lethal programmed every song on the album although John LeCompt was an additional programmer on "Call Me When You're Sober" and on "All That I'm Living For" which was also programmed by Bon Harris. David Campbell finished the orchestral arrangements which were performed by Seattlemusic.[11]

Music[edit]

Musical style[edit]

Amy Lee cited Björk, Portishead and its lead singer Beth Gibbons as influences on The Open Door.

Talking with Rolling Stone, Lee revealed that the album will be "a complete spectrum of darkness and scary stuff and emotion."[15] During an interview with The Washington Post, Lee described the sound of the album, "I just wanted to create and do something different and branch out. At the heart of it I know it's still Evanescence and it's still me, but structurally it's a lot more fun. We went a lot of different ways with it instead of constantly sticking to the same structure and the same pop formula. I think it's more mature and more brave all around; it's like the instruments actually go together, the piano and guitar and vocals, since they're written together -- they intertwine. It's definitely even more personal. At least for me, because I was there, it sounds more fun because I was having so much more fun."[10] Talking about the album with MTV News, Lee stated: "It's very new for us, and it's fun, actually. This album, I sort of pushed all my limits and did all the things maybe I wasn't brave enough to do the last time or just that I'm older now and more mature and — I don't know — a better writer. I worked a lot harder and I think that the songs are better and I'm excited."[7] In another interview with The Sun, she said that the main theme behind The Open Door was freedom and her personal life.[8] The lyrics were mostly talking about "what was going on at the time" in her life and about "the experimenting and fun stuff" the band tried in The Open Door.[16] Lee described the songs on the album as "very dark", but added that they showed how to pass the tough moments in life.[8] In comparison with Fallen she said "They're very different. The chords are still there but it's just a more mature version."[8] She further stated: "Fallen is a great record [but] I don't think you can match the success of another body of work. I think that's only going to frustrate you. My only goal making this one was making something that I love even more and that I think is an even better record, and we've definitely done that."[16] Incorporating classical influences and several new elements in the music,[4][17] she further drew inspiration from Portishead and Björk.[18]

"Lacrymosa" and "Your Star" contain background vocals provided by The Millennium Choir, a choir which worked with the band on several songs on Fallen.[11] Richard Harrington of The Washington Post noted that the album consists of gothic rock songs with brooding lyrics and Lee's vocals while pianos, strings and choirs provide the music.[19] Other genres present in the songs on The Open Door are heavy metal, opera and pop music.[20] Jim Farber of Daily News concluded "Evanescence's ­music again isn't quite metal (unless you think Creed qualifies). Neither is it exactly pop (at least not in the current R&B-leaning sense of the term). But the resulting hybrid offers a genuine alternative to everything else that's out there."[20] Farber found similarities between the songs on The Open Door with artists like Mariah Carey, Sarah Brightman, Nickelback and Annie Haslam.[20] A writer of The Sydney Morning Herald concluded that "the band's symphonic metal tunes and dark-hearted lyrics are gloomier than ever" on The Open Door.[21] Ann Powers of Los Angeles Times called the music on the album "too pop for some and too hard for others" further describing the lyrics as "youthfully earnest and sometimes obvious."[22] In his review of The Open Door, Jon Dolan of Entertainment Weekly concludes: "The music is still the same crush of chunka-chunka riffs, moody electronic churn, and Valhalla-bound metal slam, all in service of Lee's strikingly operatic singing."[23] Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe wrote that the songs on the album are similar to the band's other songs "Bring Me to Life" and "Going Under", with the "mix of Lee's ethereal soprano, piano interludes, and layers of serrated guitar crunch that conjure visions of Sarah McLachlan fronting Godsmack."[24] Rolling Stone '​s Rob Sheffield compared Lee's vocals with 1980s "shoulder-pad belters" like Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson from the band Heart.[25] Christianity Today '​s Andree Farias called the album "an extension of what the band has done before. Industrial backbeats give way to thick metal riffs, orchestrated grandeur, and ghoulish choral elements, all complemented by Lee's operatic soprano."[26] A writer for Billboard magazine wrote that the band has "translated her [Lee's] heartache into another successful set of melodramatic goth/industrial anthems with touches of prog[ressive] and even classical [music]".[27]

Songs and lyrics[edit]

Evanescence performing at a concert of the first leg of The Open Door world tour.

"Sweet Sacrifice", the first song of the album contains "rumbling guitars" and a string section as stated by IGN '​s Ed Thompson.[28] The main theme for the song is getting over from an abusive relationship which was also an inspiration to all the songs on Fallen.[29][30] Both Jordan Reimer of The Daily Princetonian and Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone speculated that the song was written for Evanescence's former guitarist Ben Moody.[25][31] "Call Me When You're Sober" is a rock song that starts as a piano ballad before quickly turning into an alternative metal song that uses elements of nu-metal, symphonic rock, and pop music.[32][33] Lee openly revealed that she wrote the song for her ex-boyfriend Shaun Morgan of the South African alternative metal band Seether.[29] With no effort to hide her still-raw emotions, Lee accuses her lover, "Don't cry to me/ If you loved me/ You would be here with me/ Don't lie to me/ Just get your things/ I've made up your mind."[34] Described as a "chick anthem",[35] the protagonist in the song explains why the relationship between the pair won't work[36] through the lyrics "Don't cry to me … If you loved me, you would be here with me / … How could I have burned paradise? How could I … you were never mine."[26] "Weight of the World" is a mixture of pop and metal as stated by a writer of Stornoway Gazette.[36] Inspired by the pressures of fame the protagonist has,[25] it contains "Eastern motifs" and "distorted vocals"[29] in the opening lines "Feels like the weight of the world / Like God in heaven gave me a turn / Don't cling to me, I swear I can't fix you" and in the chorus lines, "If you love me, then let go of me / I won't be held down by who I used to be."[26]

"Lithium" is a slow-tempo rock song where the protagonist sings about the fear of lithium in a lower register while "embrac[ing] feeling over numbness."[29] Its chorus was originally written on a guitar when Lee was 16 years old but the guitar was later changed to piano when the verses were written.[29] Written about the choice between the comfort of sorrow and the possibility of happiness, the song shows the protagonist's sadness as an excuse to make music.[21] Critics noted similarities between the "tinkling" piano intro in the song and the band's previous material, most notably their song "My Immortal" (2003).[37][38][39] MTV News' Chris Harris compared "Lithium" with Tori Amos' songs.[40] Rolling Stone '​s Rob Sheffield noted that the song was Lee's ode to Kurt Cobain and Nirvana's song of the same name.[25] "Cloud Nine" was inspired by a break-up which is present in the lines "If you want to live, let live/ If you want to go, let go/ What are we doing here?/ Because I can live without you."[29] It uses strings, studio effects and Lee's "layered moaning."[29] "Snow White Queen", the first song written for The Open Door,[41] was inspired by experiences Lee had with stalkers.[21][29] She stated, "My privacy had been completely invaded and there were a couple of nights where I couldn't stay at my house. So I wrote a song about it through the eyes of the stalker, and with my perspective, too."[29] Entertainment Weekly '​s Jon Dolan found similarities between the song and Tori Amos '​ "Me and a Gun".[23] It uses several industrial beats into its composition.[29]

"Lacrymosa" incorporates the Lacrimosa sequence from Mozart's Requiem (1791).[29] It includes a 22-orchestra led by Dave Campbell and background vocals by The Millennium Choir.[11] Inspired by the film Amadeus,[29] the song contains electronic backing beats, symphonic string section, heavy guitar and a haunting choir.[28] The choir backing track in the song makes a contrasting representation of light and dark.[28] Jim Farber of Daily News compared the song with materials by English progressive rock band Renaissance.[20] "Like You" is written in memory of Amy Lee's deceased sister, as was "Hello" on Fallen.[19][29] Lee stated: "I can't help but be affected by that, and if it's my place to express myself and all the things that have been most deep and the most painful and have just touched me, I feel like it does honor her."[19] One of the most personal songs on the album,[29] "Like You" contains sad lyrics "I long to be like you/Lie cold in the ground like you"[32] which are accompanied by heavy riffing guitars.[42] Rolling Stone '​s Rob Sheffield found similarities between "Like You" and a song called "Helena"[25] while other critics compared the song with Evanescence's earlier material on Fallen.[29] "Lose Control" was inspired by Balsamo's loud guitar and it contains Portishead influences. The protagonist shows his anger through the lines "You don't remember my name, I don't really care."[29] According to Lee, the song is about wanting to be less apprehensive and more loose.[43]

"The Only One" was originally called "Tuna Afternoon" and it talks about Lee's experiences with close-mindedness and people around her which seemed lost in a world they didn't belong in.[29] It starts with a piano intro similar to the band's Fallen era and songs by Sarah McLachlan.[29][37] In the song, Lee "decries human guidance" with the chorus lines "All our lives / We've been waiting / For someone to call our leader / All your lies / I'm not believing / Heaven shine a light down on me."[44] "Your Star" was inspired by Lee's loneliness during the band's tour in support of Fallen. She was inspired to write the chorus in Lisbon when she looked at the sky and she couldn't see the stars at night. Other inspiration came from the band Pantera.[29] Guitars and piano provide its instrumentation,[24] while Lee sings about "Lord Himself" as stated by Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone.[25] "All That I'm Living For" was co-written by guitarist John LeCompt and it describes Lee's writing process at night which is present on the first line "I can feel the night beginning / Separate me from the living."[29] It contains "power chords", elements of electronica, abrasive guitars and Lee's vocals.[37][40] "Good Enough" was solely written by Amy Lee and it was put as the last song on the album because it symbolized a theme of the album and a theme in Lee's life.[21] It features a string section and resemblance to Tori Amos' and Sarah McLachlan's songs.[25][40][45] Inspired by her long-time friend and future husband Josh Hartzler,[11] "Good Enough" has a similar composition to "My Immortal" because of their piano sound.[29]

Release and promotion[edit]

The Open Door was released worldwide beginning with Poland on September 25, 2006, Japan on September 27, Ireland and Germany on September 29, Australia on September 30, the rest of Europe on October 2, 2006, and was released to North America and Argentina on October 3. The digital version of the album was made available for pre-order on August 15, 2006 on iTunes and Walmart.com. The pre-order, if bought before October 3, 2006, contained an interview with Amy Lee and a bonus track titled "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You", which later appeared as a B-side track on the "Lithium" single.[46] On September 24, the album became available for full streaming at AOL Music.[47]

Singles[edit]

The first single from the album was "Call Me When You're Sober", which had a limited radio release on July 31, 2006, going into wide release over the next week.[48] The full version of "Call Me When You're Sober" had been leaked to the Internet a couple of days before it was due to be officially released to radio airplay; after this occurred, the record label allowed radio stations to begin playing the song. Later, it was available for digital download on September 4, 2006 and an official release as a single followed on September 25.[14] For the week ending September 9, 2006, the song peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[49] It managed to peak at number 3 on the New Zealand Singles Chart,[50] number 5 on the Australian Singles Chart,[51] and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.[52] It also charted within the top 20 of several more charts internationally and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 17, 2009, and Gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).[53][54]

The second single from The Open Door, "Lithium" was released in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2007.[38][55] It appeared on several international charts peaking at number 26 on the Australian Singles Chart,[56] number 32 on the UK Singles Chart[57] and at number 16 on the New Zealand Singles Chart.[58] The third single was originally planned to be "All That I'm Living For"; however, after considering the wishes of both the fans and the band itself, the label decided to change the release, and "Sweet Sacrifice" was released as the next single from the album.[59] It charted in Germany, Turkey and on Billboard '​s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.[60][61][62] Though "Lithium" and "Sweet Sacrifice" charted in the top 40 at rock radio, neither appeared on the Hot 100. Bill Richards, Wind-up senior VP of marketing and sales, attributed the reduced airplay of the album due to not having "the hard rock [tracks] to solidify the base, and it wasn't melodic and poppy enough with big hooks to go to pop."[63] "Good Enough" was released as the fourth single from the album,[64][65] but failed to appear on charts.

Other notable songs[edit]

"Weight of the World" was released as a promotional single in October 2007 to the country of Colombia only.[66] "Together Again", a song created for The Open Door but later cut, was released as a free digital download on January 22, 2010 to benefit the United Nations Foundation for their Haiti earthquake recovery efforts.[67][68][69] During a statement, Lee stated: "I am deeply moved by the tragic loss and devastation in Haiti. We hope to be able to make a positive contribution to the UN's emergency response by teaming with the UN Foundation through our music."[67] The song later received wide release as a digital download on February 23, 2010.[70] It managed to peak at number 86 on the Canadian Hot 100.[71] In a 2004 interview with MTV News, Amy Lee revealed that she was composing music for the film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[12] She also revealed that the producers of the movie offered her a small role: "They were like, 'Do you want to do a cameo?' And I was like, 'Hell yeah! Let me die. I want to be somebody who gets murdered.' So I don't think that's going to happen."[12] She later revealed that "Lacrymosa", a song from the album was originally written for the film, but was mysteriously not included.[30] However, according to producers, neither Lee or the band were approached to compose music for the film.[72] Another song was also written for the movie, but it was rejected because of its dark sound.[30]

Tour[edit]

Amy Lee during a concert in 2007.

The first leg of The Open Door world tour began October 5, 2006, in Toronto, Canada[73] and lasted until December 15, 2006, in New York City. After touring North America during October, the band traveled to Europe during November before returning to the United States to play large arenas.[73] This leg of their tour continued on January 5, 2007, with the band playing locations in Canada, Japan, and Australia.[74] When playing in the United States, the band was supported by Revelation Theory, by the bands Stone Sour and The Black Maria when in Canada, and by Shihad in Australia. The second leg of their world tour began on March 16, 2007, in Fresno, California. The tour ran through the United States, South America, South Africa, back to the U.S.,[75] and finished in Europe. Supporting the band during the opening U.S. part of this leg is Chevelle and Finger Eleven. When in Buenos Aires, Evanescence took part in a rock festival with Aerosmith, Velvet Revolver and Ratones Paranóicos. During part of the European section, the band took part in the Family Values Tour 2007 alongside Korn. After Family Values, the band continued touring through Mexico and the United States. The final leg of the tour kicked off on October 23, 2007, in Coral Gables, Florida. Sick Puppies and Julien-K were the supporting bands while Shiny Toy Guns made a special guest appearance during the December 1, 2007, show in University Park, Pennsylvania. After over a year of touring, the last show was played in Kingston, Rhode Island, and the tour ended on December 9, 2007. New additions to the set list of the final leg of the tour include "Lose Control", "Missing", and "Understanding".[76]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[77]
Blender 3.5/5 stars[78]
Entertainment Weekly B+[23]
The Independent 1/5 stars[42]
Jam! 2/5 stars[79]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[80]
Now 3/5 stars[81]
Postmedia News 3.5/5 stars[39]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[25]
Spin (8/10)[82]

The Open Door received generally positive reviews from music critics.[83] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on twelve reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[83] IGN music reviewer Ed Thompson, said that "The Open Door is everything that you could ever want in a follow-up album - and more" and added that despite Ben Moody's exit from the band Lee and Balsamo haven't missed the beat.[28] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five and said that "Amy Lee is still extremely sad about boys, God and much, much more." He concluded that " When the pain takes over her corseted soul, as in practically every song on The Open Door, she just overdubs her big bodice-ripping voice into a choir."[25] He noted that the "best songs on The Open Door are the creepiest."[25] Sheffield finished his review by saying "Obviously, Lee has got a touch of the magnetic and destructive herself. But that's what makes the breakup songs on The Open Door feel mighty real."[25] Jon Dolan of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the album is "[...] more personal and, by accessing a deeper emotional palette, maybe even more universal."[23] A writer of Blender gave a positive review saying: "Denser and more scuzzed-up than Fallen, the album amps everything up to gloriously epic, over-the-top proportions."[78] In a review of the album, a writer for Billboard said that "Those who embraced 'Fallen' will doubtlessly fall even harder into 'The Open Door'."[27] Spin '​s Mellisa Maerz graded the album with four out of five stars and noted, "A post-dysfunctional kiss-off that builds from ethereal Sunday-mass uplift into full-eff-you guitar dirges, revealing an angrier, more self-assured Lee who waxes sardonic... but still misses the comfort in being sad."[82]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic stated that "The Open Door is a muddle of affections. Sonically, however, it captures the Evanescence mythos better and more consistently than the first album - after all, Lee now has no apologies of being the thinking man's nu-metal chick, now that she's a star".[77] Calling the album "less fun", Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times concluded that some of the song on the album are similar between each other.[32] St. Louis Post-Dispatch '​s Sara Berry wrote that the album "their sound remains essentially the same: the strange but amicable marriage of churning guitar riffs to lead singer Amy Lee's silky soprano."[34] Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe called the album a 45-minute "romantic peace" stating that "if Door featured more open-throated crooning and less teeth-gritting anger it would be a much more interesting record."[24] She concluded that the sound of the album gets "black and blacker" and noted "Lyrics tend toward repetition of words like 'darkness,' 'haunting,' and 'rage.'"[24] Christa Titus of Billboard magazine called it a "far more nuanced, moody and richly textured effort" then Fallen.[63] A writer for Postmedia News gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five and noted "While it's similar in style and sound to its predecessor, The Open Door loses the punchy power rifts and instead persuades the listener with piano and airy vocals."[39] Andre Farias of Christianity Today noted: "The sound is loud, yes, but it's almost indistinguishable from its predecessor—a disappointment considering the opus was nearly three-and-a-half years in the making."[26]

Some reviewers gave negative reviews towards the loud sound on the album and criticized the lyrics. A more mixed review was given by Jim Farmer of the Daily News, who commented that the "jerry-built" sound the band used for the album "isn't anything to be admired."[20] MusicOMH reviewer Alex Nunn, gave the album two out of five stars and said, "Seeing Amy Lee's lyrics go as drastically down the pan as this resembles watching a bad car crash."[37] He added, "Musically it's power chords and big riffs-ahoy, generic, mundane, boring stuff. The Open Door is an exercise in how not to make a sophomore album."[37] Darryl Sterdan of Jam! also graded The Open Door with two stars highlighting Lee's voice and criticizing the same instructions used for making the songs on the album. He added that the songs put together make a "monotonous blast of self-indulgent Evanonsense."[79] Sterdan finished his review by concluding that "some door[s] are better off staying closed."[79] Andy Gill of The Independent also criticized The Open Door and wrote that Lee's narrow vocal range was mirrored in the "restricted breadth of the band's musical and emotional range, which never strays outside the short distance from paranoid to apocalyptic, concerns addressed in as bombastic and tune-dodging a manner as possible."[42] At the 2007 NRJ Music Awards, The Open Door received a nomination for Best International Album of the Year.[84] The Open Door won in the category Album of the Year at the 2007 MTV Australia Video Music Awards.[85] "Sweet Sacrifice" received a nominations in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.[86]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Open Door debuted at number one in the United States, Australia, Germany, Greece and Switzerland. It charted in the top five in Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.[87] On the US Billboard 200 chart, The Open Door debuted at number one selling over 447,000 copies in its first week and becoming the 700th album to top the chart.[88][89] It also debuted at number one on the Rock Albums chart and at number two on the Digital Albums.[90][91] In two weeks on the charts in the United States, the album sold approximately 725,000 copies, and on November 8, 2006, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) after more than a month in its wide release. The Open Door became the 38th best-selling album of 2006 in the United States and it was the 52nd best-selling album for 2007.[92][93] Double platinum certification by the Recording Industry Association of America was awarded on June 24, 2009.[94]

On the UK Albums Chart, The Open Door debuted at number two on October 14, 2011 selling 94,409 copies in its first week.[95][96] That position later became its peak position. The album later became the 81st best-selling for 2006.[97] As of October 2011, it has sold more than 347,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[96] In Canada, the album debuted at number 2, selling over 43,000 copies in its first week.[98] It was later certified double platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA).[99] In Australia and New Zealand, the album peaked at numbers 1 and 2 respectively.[87] It was later certified 2× Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).[100][101] As of June 10, 2008, The Open Door had sold nearly two million copies in the United States and as of October 11, 2011 it sold over 2.1 million copies in the same country and additional two million copies worldwide.[63][102]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Sweet Sacrifice"   Lee, Balsamo 3:05
2. "Call Me When You're Sober"   Lee, Balsamo 3:34
3. "Weight of the World"   Lee, Balsamo 3:37
4. "Lithium"   Lee 3:44
5. "Cloud Nine"   Lee, Balsamo 4:22
6. "Snow White Queen"   Lee, Balsamo 4:22
7. "Lacrymosa"   Lee, Balsamo 3:37
8. "Like You"   Lee 4:16
9. "Lose Control"   Lee, Balsamo 4:50
10. "The Only One"   Lee, Balsamo 4:40
11. "Your Star"   Lee, Balsamo 4:43
12. "All That I'm Living For"   Lee, LeCompt 3:48
13. "Good Enough"   Lee 5:32
Total length:
54:15
Notes
  • During an interview with Metal Edge Lee confirmed that several outtakes including "The Last Song I'm Wasting on You" (which appeared as a B-side to "Lithium"), "If You Don't Mind" and "Together Again" were made for the album.[30]
  • The two-disc Japanese limited edition was released September 27, 2006, and includes the music video for "Call Me When You're Sober" and behind the scenes footage. The music CD also contains an additional bonus track.[103]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are taken from Allmusic[104] and The Open Door '​s liner notes.[11]

  • Terry Balsamo – composer, guitar
  • Tamara Berard – choir
  • Will Boyd – bass
  • Melanie Bruno – choir
  • Alyssa Campbell – choir
  • David Campbell – orchestral arrangements
  • Marcella Carmona – choir
  • Kevin Dalbey – choir
  • Rory Faciane – drum technician
  • Dave Fortman – audio production, mixing, producer
  • Mary Gaffney – choir
  • Rocky Gray – drums
  • Bon Harris – programming
  • Leor Dimant – programming
  • Mike Hogue – assistant engineer
  • Simon James – concert master
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • John LeCompt – composer, guitar, programming
  • Amy Lee – choir arrangement, composer, piano, programming, vocals
  • DJ Lethal – programming
  • Carrie Lee – vocals (background)
  • Lori Lee – vocals (background)
  • Andrew Lurie – management
  • Darren Majewski – A&R
  • Gail Marowitz – art direction
  • Diana Meltzer – A&R
  • Millennium Choir – choir
  • Mike Mongillo – product manager
  • Frank Ockenfels – photography
  • Joanne Paratore – choir
  • Jeremy Parker – engineer
  • Darryl Phinnessee – choir
  • David Sabee – contractor
  • Seattlemusic Group – group
  • Wesley Seidman – assistant engineer
  • Ed Sherman – package design
  • Dwight Stone – choir
  • Tania Themmen – choir
  • Talaya Trigueros – choir
  • Lisa Wall Urgero – choir
  • Gregg Wattenberg – A&R
  • Susan Youngblood – choir

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Release date Format Label
Poland[154] September 25, 2006 CD, digital download Wind-up
Japan[103][155] September 27, 2006 EMI Music Japan
Germany[156] September 29, 2006 Wind-up
Ireland
Australia[157] September 30, 2006
Canada[158] October 3, 2006
United States[159][160]

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Footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]