Terry Balsamo

Terry Philip Balsamo II (born October 8, 1972) is an American guitarist and songwriter who is best known as the former guitarist of the American rock bands Cold and Evanescence. Balsamo is noted for his onstage expression of his fondness for Michael Myers of the Halloween film franchise.

Early projects and Cold

After a quick run with the early line-up of Limp Bizkit in 1995, Terry joined up with fellow Jacksonville rockers Scooter Ward, Sam McCandless, Jeremy Marshall and Kelly Hayes, of the band Cold in 1999.

Terry remained with Cold writing and recording with them for their albums 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage (2000) and Year of the Spider (2003). Terry also appeared alongside Staind, in Staind’s MTV Unplugged performance in 2001. Near the end of his stint with Cold, the band joined Evanescence as an opening act on the 2003 Nintendo Fusion Tour.

Balsamo briefly re-joined Cold for their early 2009 reunion tour. According to a post on Cold’s Facebook page on July 8, 2016, Terry has returned to the band, and they will begin recording their next album in August 2016. He eventually departed the group once again.


When Evanescence’s guitarist Ben Moody left the band during their European tour, Balsamo filled in for Moody on stage. When Cold’s future suddenly came into question, Balsamo jumped ship, signing on for good with Evanescence. He has also become a songwriter with lead singer and songwriter of Evanescence, Amy Lee.

Balsamo can be seen and heard most prominently in Evanescence’s live album, Anywhere but Home (2004) and on the band’s studio album The Open Door (2006). He has become Amy Lee’s main collaborator for Evanescence and co-wrote most of Evanescence’s second album The Open Door including the album’s first single, “Call Me When You’re Sober”, and third single “Sweet Sacrifice”. He also appeared on Evanescence’s self-titled third album that was released in October 2011.

On August 7, 2015, it was announced on the band’s Facebook page that Terry had parted ways with Evanescence, to be replaced by Jen Majura. He also returned in one of the performances as part of the Evanescence 2019 concert tours during Sweet Sacrifice.

Health issues

In November of 2005, Balsamo suddenly suffered a thrombotic stroke. The doctors showed him that it was caused by a blood clot in his neck, possibly a result of headbanging on-stage and likely formation of an aneurysm, allowing for pooling of static blood and a thrombus.