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Lacrymosa (song)

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Song by Evanescence
from the album The Open Door
Genre Alternative metal
Length 3:37
Label Wind-up
Producer(s) Dave Fortman

"Lacrymosa" is a song recorded by American rock band Evanescence for their second studio album, The Open Door (2006). The song was composed by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo and produced by Dave Fortman. "Lacrymosa" incorporates the Lacrimosa sequence from Mozart's Requiem (1791) throughout. Lee said that it was inspired by the movie Amadeus. The song contains elements of various genres, including alternative metal, gothic rock, and post-grunge. Set in slow tempo, it was originally written in the key of D minor but Lee and Balsamo transposed it into E minor.

The song garnered polarizing opinions from music critics, with some labeling it as one of the best songs on The Open Door, particularly complimenting the backing choir, while others lamented it one of the worst for the same reasons. According to Lee, "Lacrymosa" was originally written for the soundtrack to the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but was not included because of its dark sound. The producers of the film, however, rebutted her claim, stating this information was "news to them" and that no Evanescence music had been planned for inclusion in the soundtrack. The song was part of the set list during the band's second worldwide tour, The Open Door Tour (2006–2007).

Background and recording[edit]

"Lacrymosa" was written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo and produced by Dave Fortman.[1] David Campbell, who has previously arranged music for the band and worked with them at the Billboard Music Awards, led a 22-piece orchestra for the song. The Millennium Choir performed the Lacrimosa sequence ("Lacrimosa dies illa Qua resurget ex favilla Judicandus homo reus. Huic ergo parce, Deus: Pie Jesu Domine, Dona eis requiem. Amen.") and backing vocals throughout the song.[1] Lee, the orchestra and choir recorded the song at a chapel in Seattle, Washington.[2][3] In a number of interviews, Lee revealed that everyone asked about a collaboration between her and Mozart.[2] She further stated that she always wanted to make Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem a metal song, later adding that The Open Door was "the time for that, for trying things I hadn't been brave enough to try before."[4] In an interview with VH1 News, Lee further explained the inspiration behind the song

"I saw Amadeus when I was nine years old and fell in love with Mozart. The part of Mozart's Requiem called 'Lacyrmosa' [sic] is my favorite piece of music ever. I always wished we could cover it, but with programming and guitars and make it cool. It's our moment to try all the things I wanted to and couldn't, so I started messing with it in Protools. Terry wrote some riffs and turned it into this awesome metal epic."[5]

In a 2004 interview with MTV News, Lee revealed that she was composing music for the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.[6] She also revealed that the producers of the film 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."[6] She later revealed that "Lacrymosa" was originally written for the film, but it was not included due to its dark sound, and because the producers wanted an original song.[7] However, according to producers, neither Lee nor the band were approached to compose music for the film.[8] Another song was also written for the film, but it was ultimately rejected as well.[7] Lee went on to state that it was just "more great stuff [for The Open Door]".[9]

Composition, music and lyrics[edit]

David Campbell led an orchestra for "Lacrymosa"
The band sampled the Lacrimosa sequence from Mozart's Requiem throughout the song.[10]

According to the sheet music published by Alfred Publishing on, "Lacrymosa" is an alternative metal, gothic rock and post-grunge song set in a common time and performed in slow tempo of 48 beats per minute.[11] Although the original Lacrimosa sequence was performed in D-minor, it was transposed into E-minor by Lee and Terry Balsamo.[11] The instrumentation in the song is provided by piano, guitar, violins and drums. Lee's vocal range from the low note of B3 to the high note of E5; the SATB choir vocals range from the low note of B2 to the high note of E4.[11] According to Gauntlet writer Claire Colette, "Lacrymosa" has a "violin intro, synth worth of a Nine Inch Nails album, and Omen-esque choral sections that are very haunting."[12] It then goes on with a pinon-themed melody before the "power guitar section" joins in.[13] Lyrically, the song speaks about a break-up, as illustrated in the verse "And you can blame it on me / Just set your guilt free, honey / I don't want to hold you back now love".[14]

Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone said that "Lacrymosa" features Lee "sobbing hysterically over a grand piano".[15] According to the IGN reviewer, Ed Thompson, the song "takes the trademark Evanescence sound - Lee's celestial voice, and adds her brooding lyrics 'I can't change who I am, not this time, I won't lie to keep you near me and in this short life, there's no time to waste on giving up. My love wasn't enough'.".[16] Danielle Baudhuin from The Oshkosh West Index noted that "Lacrymosa" was musically similar to "Haunted" from the band's debut studio album Fallen, noting how "creepy background choir vocals and violins send listeners into a gothic Cathedral-like setting".[13] Jim Farber from the Daily News said that "Lacrymosa" will remind older listeners of the 1970s art rock horror band Renaissance.[17] Andree Farias from Christianity Today observed that the song had no connection with the movie Narnia whatsoever classifying it as "just another bitter break-up anthem".[14]

Lacrymosa is a corruption of the Latin term lacrimosa, which means "tearful".[18] The track title is also the scientific name for a species of moth known as Catocala lacrymosa, also known as the 'Tearful Underwing'.[19] The species of moth are featured throughout The Open Door's cover booklet and on the cover of the "Sweet Sacrifice" radio promotional CD.[20] A clip of "Lacrymosa" was used in the video teaser for The Open Door.[21][22]

Critical reception[edit]

"Add in electronic backing beats, symphonic string section and heavy guitar and the elements are there. But this time, Evanescence went one step further - they added an ethereal choir backing track, giving the track a contrasting representation of light and dark and making the song just that much more haunting."
-IGN's Ed Thompson talking about "Lacrymosa."[16]

"Lacrymosa" received positive to mixed reviews from music critics. Ed Thompson from IGN called "Lacrymosa" the "most memorable track" in the whole album.[16] Don Kaye of the website said that while the song was an "interesting experiment" it came "across as more of a stab at artsiness with its strings and choirs than a real song."[23] Danielle Baudhuin from The Oshkosh West Index stated that "Lacrymosa" is one of the songs on the album where Lee's "astounding classical vocals are displayed".[13] An editor from The New York Times said that "Lacrymosa" is grandiose "even by the album's standards".[24] Sputnikmusic said that the song is the best on the album and gave it a grade of 4.5 along with "Good Enough", adding that on the last two songs the album stops to be boring because of the musical variation.[25] On Postmedia News it was stated that Lee "achieves stunning notes on 'Lacrymosa', which employs a haunting choir".[26] Jordan Reimer from The Daily Princetonian praised Lee's melodies and said that "Cloud Nine" and "Lacrymosa" were her best two arrangements.[27] John Hood from the Miami New Times made a story, "'Call Me When You're Sober' sent a man away, 'Lacrymosa' kept him there, and 'Cloud Nine' told the clueless dolt why he would no longer ever be welcomed back.[28] Joost Melis from the Dutch website FOK! compared "Lacrymosa" to the music of Within Temptation and Nightwish.[29] A writer of The Independent put the song on his list of "Download This" from The Open Door.[30]

Brendan Butler from Cinema Blend was critical saying that "the worst song on The Open Door, i[t’]s a toss up between 'Lacrymosa' with its abominable choir and the obnoxious 'Lose Control,' which features Amy crying for about five minutes."[31] A reviewer from Altsounds noted that the weakest tracks on the album are "Snow White Queen", "Lacrymosa", "Like You", and "Lose Control" because "the vocal arraignments on those tracks just do not flow with the lyrics and music combined therefore making them annoying because [Lee's] voice gets a bit unsettling and can only be tolerable to a certain extent."[32] Glenn Gamboa from The Providence Journal concluded that "maybe the over-the-top dramatics of 'Lacrymosa' and piano ballad 'Your Star' will be seen as so-bad-they’re-good."[33]

Live performances[edit]

The song was played live by the band during their tour for the promotion of The Open Door. On the concert which took place on November 17, 2007, in Orem the band played "Lacrymosa". During the performance Lee was wearing a purple tank, black skirt and black boots.[34] They also performed the song at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York in 2006.[35] Evanescence played the song live at their secret New York City gig which took place on November 4, 2009.[36][37] The band played the song during a concert in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on October 4, 2012.[38]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from The Open Door liner notes.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Open Door (liner notes). Evanescence. Wind-up Records. 2006. 
  2. ^ a b Harrington, Richard (October 6, 2006). "Another 'Door' Opens for Amy Lee". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Listen To Two New Tracks From Evanescence's Album 'The Open Door'". September 19, 2006. Archived from the original on September 7, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Amy Lee gets it off her chest". The Sydney Morning Herald. October 16, 2006. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
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  6. ^ a b D'Angelo, Joe; Moss, Corey (November 18, 2004). "Evanescence's New Sound Is Reminiscent Of ... Evanescence". MTV News. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Reesman, Bryan (November 2006). "The Essence of Evanescence". Metal Edge. Vol. 52 no. 11. pp. 5–10. ISSN 1068-2872. Archived from the original on April 9, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Wardrobe closed to Evanescence singer". The New Zealand Herald. November 27, 2004. Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  9. ^ Lee, Amy (December 2, 2005). "A Bunch Of Stuff!!!". Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Evanescence Feeling No Pressure On New Album". Billboard. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c "Evanescence - Lacrymosa Sheet Music (Digital Download)". Retrieved January 3, 2008. 
  12. ^ Claire, Colette. "Evanescence Album Review". The Gauntlet. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c Baudhuin, Danielle (October 19, 2006). "Evanescence walks through The Open Door to melodic success". The Oshkosh West Index. Archived from the original on October 4, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Farias, Andree (January 1, 2006). "The Open Door". Christianity Today. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  15. ^ Sheffield, Rob (October 5, 2006). "The Open Door by Evanescence". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 16, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b c Thompson, Ed (October 3, 2006). "The Open Door (Evanescence)". IGN. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  17. ^ Farber, Jim (October 1, 2006). "Blasting Into 'Town'". Daily News. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  18. ^ Cawley, Kevin (ed.). "Lacrimosus". Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid. University of Notre Dame. Retrieved 17 April 2013. [permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Oehlke, Bill. "Catocala lacrymosa". Catocala silkmoths. Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved February 7, 2007. 
  20. ^ Sweet Sacrifice (liner notes). Evanescence. Wind-up Records. 2007. 
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  22. ^ "Evanescence: 'The Open Door' Trailer Available". July 17, 2006. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  23. ^ Kaye, Don. "Evanescence - The Open Door". Retrieved August 24, 2011. 
  24. ^ "New CD's". The New York Times. October 2, 2006. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  25. ^ "Evanescence - The Open Door (album review)". Sputnikmusic. September 24, 2006. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  26. ^ "'Open Door' to likeable return of Evanescence". November 11, 2006. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Bare-boned Evanescence album lacks heart". The Daily Princetonian. November 9, 2006. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  28. ^ Hood, John (October 18, 2007). "Through the Open Door". Miami New Times. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  29. ^ Melis, Joost (October 13, 2006). "CD: Evanescence - The Open Door". FOK! (in Dutch). Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  30. ^ Gill, Andy (October 6, 2006). "Album: Evanescence". The Independent. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  31. ^ Butler, Brendan (October 3, 2006). "CD Review: Evanescence's The Open Door". Cinema Blend. Archived from the original on January 3, 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  32. ^ "Evanescence - The Open Door". October 22, 2006. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  33. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (October 15, 2006). "Sting doing real oldies; Evanescence repeating itself". The Providence Journal. Retrieved June 19, 2011. 
  34. ^ Reavy, Pat (November 20, 2007). "Evanescence rocks Orem". Deseret News. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  35. ^ Harris, Chris (October 10, 2006). "Evanescence Live In NYC: Amy Lee Headbangs. Serenades Her 'New Hometown'". MTV News. Retrieved June 17, 2011. 
  36. ^ Harris, Chris (November 5, 2009). "Evanescence Return to the Stage at "Secret" New York Gig". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  37. ^ "Evanescence Returns To Live Stage, Taps Finger Eleven Guitarist". November 5, 2009. Retrieved November 21, 2009. 
  38. ^ Finatto, Paulo, Jr. (October 10, 2012). "Resenha - Evanescence (Pepsi on Stage, Porto Alegre, 04/10/12)". (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 June 2013. 

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