For the music video for this song, see: Sweet Sacrifice (music video)
"Sweet Sacrifice" is a song on the second studio album, The Open Door. It is the last song about "an abusive relationship from the past", which, according to Amy Lee, was the main topic on almost the whole first studio album Fallen.
Background and Development Edit
"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,
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 was somehow 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.
Music video Edit
The music video for "Sweet Sacrifice" was filmed March 9 and 10 in 2007 at Burbank, California. The video drew inspiration from various psychological thrillers. Lee described is as "a video inside a video". The video was initally released by Yahoo! Digital on April 5, 2007.
Critical reception Edit
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.