Synthesis: Evanescence Mark Long-Awaited Return with Classical-Crossover Album
ClassicalDance & Electronica...
BMG / Sony Music
It’s been more than six years since we last heard anything from Evanescence; a split from their record label 2014 and a hiatus has certainly left fans eager to hear something new and authentic from the band.
Since then, the band – and lead singer Amy Lee – has been teasing fans with a new project that they’ve been working on for some time, before finally revealing that a new passion project was in the works and would be released in 2017; Synthesis, however is unlike the band has ever done before.
Gone are the days of heavy distorted guitars; in comes a full on Orchestra, while electronica undertones have shifted the band’s style from a gothic metal band to a symphonic classical crossover that might leave some people with a bad taste in their mouth.
With only two original songs – ‘Imperfection’ and ‘Hi-Lo’ – alongside two piano solos, the album is full of re-imaginings of some of their best, work dating way back to their first album Fallen with songs like ‘My Immortal’, ‘Bring Me to Life’ and ‘Lacrymosa’ all redone with a different twist.
The album is, as Amy Lee puts it, “the synthesis, the combination, the contrast, the synergy between the organic and the synthetic, also the past and present,”which is apparent between the organic violin and piano contrasted by the electronic elements that can be heard all over the album.
Amy Lee still shines with her impeccable vocals over the soundtrack-esque album, with string arrangements roaring behind her; however, fans of her older material will miss the electric guitar solos and will feel that there is something overall lacking in the album as a whole. It’s a case of everything seems so different yet still the same.
‘Hi-Lo’, the first new song, is the longest song in the whole album having more than five minutes of run time, and has a more of The Open Door feel to it rather than newer style especially sonic similarities to the song Cloud Nine. The song features YouTube star and violinist, Lindsay Sterling, who delivers a fantastic violin solo.
As for the last song, and the second original song, ‘Imperfection’, it has a Nu Metal feel to it, boasting fast-paced vocals and heavy use of electronic elements, like synthetic drums alongside a prominent piano presence throughout. The song has a message that heavily focuses on not surrendering to depression, suicide and finding help.
Arrangements in the album were composed by David Campbell, who has worked with several A-list stars including Adele, Linkin Park, and Michael Jackson to name a few; he has also worked on composing arrangements for soundtracks on several movies like World War Z and Rocky Balboa, making him a force to be reckoned with. His compositions are put front and center with roaring strings, howling wind instruments and crashing percussions.
Overall the album is an amalgamation of old and new, iconic and modern, and an evolution of the senses when it comes to Evanescence’s material; the band has taken a different turn yet have stayed true to the inspiration behind their music. While musical taste is subjective, if approached with an open mind the album can be truly appreciated for what it really is; a return to form with a twist and a hopeful eye on the future.