Arkansas based rockers Evanescence first formed back in 1995, and released their highly acclaimed debut full-length album ‘Fallen’ back in 2003, which, alongside the injection of their lead single ‘Bring Me To Life’ onto mainstream radio catapulted them into supernova stardom. Since this, they’ve become one of the most recognised rock bands to date. Flash forward fourteen years later, and Evanescence are back with their first studio album since 2011, ‘Synthesis’, which also marks the band’s first offering since parting ways with Wind-Up Records.
As the record’s title strongly suggests, it’s less of a new album and more of a reworked amalgamation of all of their classics, plus a couple of newly conjured cuts thrown into the mix for good measure. Evanescence revamp the studio smashes of previous years into electro-orchestral adaptations, including their aforementioned debut breakout hit, and with a new sense of maturity, the album is a huge success.
Beginning with ‘Overture’, a lingering piano followed by strings occurs immediately setting up this new orchestral vibe. Lasting less than a minute, the orchestral sound blends perfectly into first track proper, ‘Never Go Back’. With the songs stripped back completely, Amy Lee‘s vocals are brought into centre stage, showing off her powerful and impeccable range. Songs such as ‘My Heart Is Broken’, ‘Imaginary’, and ‘Lost In Paradise’ demonstrate her talent as well as the impressive lyrical content that the band has produced over the years.
Although a full album’s worth of orchestral lamentations begins to wear a little thin after a while, missing the drum and guitar driven melodies that made Evanescence so compelling over the years, one cannot deny the sense of maturity and sheer talent put into this album. ‘Synthesis’ sounds more like it should belong on a movie soundtrack rather than blaring out of a teenager’s sound system, epitomised by the revamped ‘Bring Me Back To Life’. Hearing this without the male vocal counterparts, originally performed by Paul McCoy of 12 Stones, eludes adulthood and the realisation that bands, as well as their listeners, grow and evolve as the years go by.
Ending the album with brand new track, ‘Imperfection’, makes ‘Synthesis’ less of a look back into the band’s career, but more of a glimpse into the future. From start-to-finish, Evanescence have created a solid record that has an incredible sound. Each track is equally as captivating as the next, with incredible vocals and melodies, proving once again that they can deliver a powerful record. Revamping old tracks with the inclusion of two new ones was the perfect entrance for this new style of music, and proves just how talented Evanescence really are.
Written by Hannah Strong (@hannaah_strong)