Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Evanescence, those chart-topping goth-metal favorites led by powerhouse singer-pianist-songwriter Amy Lee. The band are prepping their first album of original material in nine years, The Bitter Truth; until that’s out and invalidates this list, these classic cuts are our picks for their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.
“BRING ME TO LIFE”
It’s the Evanescence song, its music video topping 750 million views on YouTube! Infectious, powerful and objectively massive, how could it not make this list?
Sample lyrics: “How can you see into my eyes like open doors?/Leading you down, into my core.”
A poignant piano-led ballad, this fan favorite still cuts to the core.
Sample lyrics: “These wounds won’t seem to heal, this pain is just too real/There’s just too much that time cannot erase.”
ALBUM: THE OPEN DOOR
A haunting song about the real-life loneliness of life on the road, “Your Star” builds to heavy power-groove riffery inspired by none other than Texas metal greats Pantera.
Sample lyrics: “I can’t see your star/Though I patiently waited bedside for the death of today/I can’t see your star/The mechanical lights of Lisbon frightened it away.”
ALBUM: THE OPEN DOOR
On The Open Door’s second single, Lee showcases the full range of her operatic vocals to heartbreaking effect.
Sample lyrics: “Don’t want to let it lay me down this time/Drown my will to fly/Here in the darkness I know myself/Can’t break free until I let it go.”
“LOST IN PARADISE”
Inspired in part by Björk’s alternative classic “Jóga,” this standout cut off Evanescence’s long-delayed self-titled offering sees Lee contemplating the hole left in her life when away from the band. The singer was reportedly brought to tears during the song’s making and her moving performance suggests as much.
Sample lyrics: “As much as I’d like the past not to exist it still does/And as much as I’d like to feel like I belong here/I’m just as scared as you.”