|Single by Evanescence|
|from the album The Open Door|
|Released||May 25, 2007|
|Format||CD single, maxi single, digital download|
|Recorded||2006 (Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles)|
|Songwriter(s)||Amy Lee, Terry Balsamo|
|Evanescence singles chronology|
"Sweet Sacrifice" is a song by American rock band Evanescence. It was released on May 25, 2007, as the third single from their second studio album, The Open Door. It was written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo while the production was handled by Dave Fortman. "All That I'm Living For" was initially planned to be the third single, as announced at live concerts and online. However, due to requests from the band and fan reaction, Wind-up reconsidered its release and announced that "Sweet Sacrifice" would be the band's third single from The Open Door. Evanescence's lead singer Amy Lee wrote the song about the abusive relationship that inspired all of the songs on the group's debut record Fallen (2003).
"Sweet Sacrifice" is a rock song written in a moderate tempo. Several critics found a metaphor to Evanescence's former guitarist Ben Moody in the song. Upon its release, "Sweet Sacrifice" received mostly positive reviews by critics; many deemed the song as a highlight on the album and praised Lee's vocals, which some described as "haunting". Although the song failed to chart as highly as the band's previous singles, it appeared on the charts in Turkey and Germany, as well as the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. "Sweet Sacrifice" was nominated in the category for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards. A music video for the song, directed by Paul R. Brown, was filmed in California between March 9 and March 10, 2007; It contained mostly live performances. "Sweet Sacrifice" was also added on the set-list on Evanescence's The Open Door Tour.
Background and release
"Sweet Sacrifice" was written by Amy Lee and Terry Balsamo while the production was handled by Dave Fortman. It was recorded in Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, mixed by Dave Fortman at Ocean Way Studios, Los Angeles and mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, New York. The programming was done by DJ Lethal. Talking about The Open Door, Lee said that lot of people expected the new songs on the album to be similar with "My Immortal" (2003) before adding that "'Weight of the World', 'Sweet Sacrifice' and 'All That I'm Living For' are so amazing to me because of the adrenaline. Especially when we play them live." She further revealed the inspiration behind the song,
It's the one song on The Open Door that's about the same abusive relationship which was the source of all the songs on Fallen. It was appropriate to put this song at the beginning, but it comes from a much stronger standpoint than Fallen. It's not saying, "I'm trapped in fear and somebody save me." It's saying, "Fear is only in our minds ... I'm not afraid anymore."
The band announced at live concerts and online that their upcoming third single from The Open Door would be "All That I'm Living For," however, due to requests from the band and fan reaction, Wind-up announced that "Sweet Sacrifice" would be the band's third single from The Open Door. The original single was released in Germany on May 25, 2007, featuring a basic and premium version. Elsewhere, it was scheduled for a release on May 8, 2007 through Amazon.com but it was later canceled.
According to the sheet music published on the website Musicnotes.com by Alfred Music Publishing, "Sweet Sacrifice" is an alternative metal and gothic metal song, set in common time and performed in moderate tempo of 96 beats per minute. It is written in the key of F# minor and Lee's vocals for the song range from the musical note of A#3 to G5. According to IGN's Ed Thompson, Lee sings the lines "It's true we're all a little insane/But it's so clear now that I'm unchained", with her "haunting vocals". Some critics found dark lyrics like "I dream in darkness, I sleep to die, erase the silence, erase my life, our burning ashes darken the day, a world of nothingness, blow me away" accompanied with "rumbling guitars" and a string section. A writer for the website Sputnikmusic found similarities between the songs on Fallen and "Sweet Sacrifice". The main theme for the song is getting over from an abusive relationship. Jordan Reimer of The Daily Princetonian concluded that Lee sings the lines "You know you live to break me" and "Are you still too weak to survive your mistakes?" to Evanescence's past guitarist Ben Moody. That sentiment was echoed by Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone, who said that the lyrics "One day I'm gonna forget your name/And one sweet day, you're gonna drown in my lost pain" are aimed at Moody.
Bill Lamb of the website About.com, put the song on his list of Top Tracks on The Open Door alongside "Lacrymosa", "Call Me When You're Sober", "Your Star" and "Good Enough". In his review of The Open Door, Ed Thompson of IGN, highlighted the song as the "best track" on the album and put it on his list "Definitely Download". The Washington Post's Richard Harrington wrote that "There's no shortage of soaring, dynamic rockers on 'The Open Door,' including 'Sweet Sacrifice,'" among others. Brendan Butler of Cinema Blend concluded that "Call Me When You're Sober and "Sweet Sacrifice" were the only "radio-friendly" songs on the album before adding that "those are the only songs that don't excruciatingly wane after a minute."
Sara Berry of St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote "the CD's opening track, 'Sweet Sacrifice,' features disquieting lines like 'I dream in darkness/I sleep to die/Erase the silence/Erase my life.' The lyrics are par for the course on this lineup of overwhelmingly melancholy compositions. Still, it's well-executed music, and it's an ideal soundtrack for life's moodier moments." Jon Dolan of the magazine Entertainment Weekly found the song to be a "bruising breakup lament that turns into an anthem of freedom." Giving the song a negative review, Alex Nun of musicOMH wrote that "Sweet Sacrifice" was "a turgid attempt to recapture past glories, the heard-before riffs and shockingly average vocals act as a slap from the proverbial wet fish." The song was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 50th Grammy Awards.
A music video directed by Paul R. Brown was filmed in Burbank, California between March 9 and March 10, 2007. The music video leaked onto the Internet on April 4, 2007, after briefly being available for digital download on iTunes Store. It initially premiered on Yahoo! Music on April 5. The video was compared with the psychological thriller film directed by Tarsem Singh, The Cell (2000). Lee said that the main inspiration is "like we're in the walls of our minds, sort of". During an interview with MTV News, she further revealed the concept of the video, "It's mostly live performance. It's not so much fluff and flying and tricks and wolves and stuff. It's more really just about the song, and that is unique for us. We usually do crazy stuff. It's gonna be sort of like a video within the video. Since the song is our heaviest single, we really wanted to focus on mostly performance but still have something about it that's really unique. And I think [Paul] really hit the nail on the head." The video starts with Lee laying on a couch and as the song progresses, she starts singing the lyrics "It's true, we're all a little insane, but it's so clear now that I am unchained" while getting up from it. She wears a red dress and red make-up on her face. Later another scenes, show her singing in a room similar to The Cell, while the band is performing in another room.
Live performances and usage in media
"Sweet Sacrifice" was part of the set list during the band's second worldwide The Open Door Tour (2006). Some of the performances included those in The Great Saltair in Saltair, Utah on October 25, 2006, and on April 4, 2007 in Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island. It was later played live at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Sydney, Australia on March 29, 2012. The song is used in the direct-to-video film Smokin' Aces 2: Assassins' Ball.
There are two versions of the single that have been released, they have different photos by Amy V. Cooper.
- "Sweet Sacrifice" (Album version) - 3:05
- "Weight of the World" (Live from Tokyo) - 3:44
- "Sweet Sacrifice" (Album version) - 3:05
- "Weight of the World" (Live from Tokyo) - 3:44
- "Sweet Sacrifice" (Radio mix) - 3:03
- Interview with Amy Lee and John LeCompt* - 5:07
(*)The interview was filmed for AOL Music at SonyBMG Studios in New York on August 3, 2006. It touches on the creative process of recording The Open Door as well as Lee and LeCompt's musical opinions.
Credits and personnel
On the German Singles Chart, "Sweet Sacrifice" peaked at number 75, where it stayed one week. However, the song fell out of the chart on July 8, 2007, spending a total of 4 weeks on the chart. It also peaked at number 11 on the Turkish Singles Chart, and number 24 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.
|Turkey (Türkiye Top 20)||11|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||75|
|Greece (IFPI Greece)||13|
|US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)||24|
|Austria||May 25, 2007||Digital download||Sony|
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