Reviews \

Evanescence Members, ‘American Idol’ Smithson Debut New Band

We Are the Fallen premiere new songs in Los Angeles with singer Carly Smithson. Click here for more!

America, meet your new goth rock queen: pale and plangent-voiced ex-American Idol star Carly Smithson, who has joined with three former members of Evanescence — including co-founder/principal songwriter Ben Moody — to form a new band, We Are the Fallen. Hey, say what you want about Moody, at least he has a type — when it comes to frontwomen.

After a 2003 falling out with Evanescence’s raven-haired, iron-fisted singer Amy Lee, Moody, the chief songwriter behind the band’s 15 million-selling Fallen, spent half the decade working with high-profile collaborators including Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, and American Idol stars Kelly Clarkson and Chris Daughtry. So it’s no surprise that Moody has recruited the hard-rocking Idol fan fave Smithson to front the band.

On Monday, before an invite-only audience of 100 friends and family, press, and record executives, the newly formed outfit played two songs: a cover of Evanescence’s ” Going Under” and new original tune “Bury Me Alive,” which is currently available as a free download at wearethefallen.com.

Evanescence fans will find much to like in the new song, with Moody and company relying on bone-chipping power chords, Cro-Magnon drums, and huge hooks. And Smithson — dressed like a guest at a funeral for a character from Twilight in black boots, lace tights, skirt, jacket, and midnight blue eye shadow — neatly fit the aesthetic, belting gloomy lyrics about self-destruction on “Bury Me Alive,” a heavy, atmospheric rocker spiked with Moody’s deafening guitar pyrotechnics.

Ex-Evanescence axeman John Lecompt and drummer Rocky Gray joined with new bassist Marty O’Brien in a rumbling rhythm section that surged to a chaotic chorus as Smithson lamented a lover and the “nightmare you’ve become.” “I’ve watched you die / It’s too late to save you this time / You’ve buried me alive,” she howled.

Hot Topic stores should place their t-shirt orders now.

Before the performance, Moody explained how Smithson joined the band: “We didn’t want a singer to just hit the high notes, we wanted someoneto be part of our family. From watching her sing, I knew she had charisma…. even if I’venever seen American Idol. She’s friends with my roommate, andone night we spent four and a half hours in the middle of the nighttalking about music and shows. Afterwards, I called up the guys and wemade some changes.”

Visibly flattered, the 2008 sixth place Idol finisher added: “I thought it was rad!”

The group is currently label-less and has no idea when the debut will drop. But they plan to release one song per month for digital purchase, while touring.