My sister said it all. I was listening to this album on my iPod, and she walked into the room. "Listen," I said, "it's this new band called We Are The Fallen." "Oh," she said, "I thought it was Evanescence."
Subtle differences between the two? Creative evolution? Sure, there's some of that, but really, listen to the sound clips, and essentially you hear "Evanescence Part Two." The good news is that if you adore the old "Fallen" sound, and if you're not holding an artistic grudge against the Ben Moody/Amy Lee split (of which I know no details, so I can't comment), you're going to enjoy this album. This is not just hard rock, but the hard rock that Ben Moody makes beautiful, magnified by strings and softened by piano. The lyrics haven't changed much, either, still dramatizing the darker side of relationships ("The nightmares I find here/All my tears pull me through hell again," "When the moonlight sings the darkness brings me back to die with you," etc.). Eh, whatever. I always listened to them for their music, anyway.
The one real drawback for me is something I almost hate to say, but here it is: Carly Smithson is not Amy Lee. I don't dislike her voice; in fact, she's quite good. But her style feels like an attempt to *be* Amy, so of course she falls short just as anyone else would. (Particularly, Carly's highest notes sometimes sound a bit shrill, more hollered than belted.) Even when striving to emulate someone else, though, her talent shines through. I hope that, in the future, she will emerge with her own vocal identity.
Personal favorite moments: the sweetly loyal, power-ballad-esque "I Will Stay," the pop-style percussion in the verses of "Without You," the lovely strings-laden outro of "Bury Me Alive," and the simplicity and tender vocal harmonies of "Sleep Well, My Angel." Personal creepiest moment: the perfectly rendered, chaotic mood of "St. John."
All in all, if you're an Evanescence fan and know what you're buying, you won't be disappointed. Probably a more accurate band name would be Still Fallen. This "new" band of Ben Moody's doesn't sound all that new, but I liked the old band just fine, so I have no trouble enjoying "Tear The World Down."