RCA UK (label)
10 November 2017 (released)
10 November 2017
After a six-year break from the studio, Evanescence return with a new twist on some old favourites, on fourth album Synthesis.
The hard- rock group switch things up for an orchestral experience, but Amy Lee’s near operatic vocals are the best thing about the project. The 10 reworks, two new offerings, and four musical interludes come imbued with a sense of melodrama.
The lead singer’s sweet operatic range meshes well with the unusual combination of the orchestra and computerised instrumentation. Nowhere, is this more apparent than on one of the new creations, ‘Imperfection’.
Described, by Lee as the album’s “most important song”,‘Imperfection’ serves as a rallying cry for those facing depression or thought of suicide, to battle through despite perceived imperfections.
Electronic beats take hold of the ear in the early going, propelling things forward. Backing singers melodically drone in combination with mysterious sounding violins. The track, which sounds like something out of Gary Numan’s playbook, builds the atmosphere well and supports its vocalist’s emotional energy.
Whether by design or happenstance Synthesis, serves as a vehicle for its multitalented bandleader. Not only does Lee command every track, but she also takes the opportunity to showcase her talents as a pianist throughout.
At the album’s best it maintains, the fire, tension, and angst of the original compositions. Songs like ‘Never Go Back’ and, ‘My Heart Is Broken’ benefit from their refurb. A vibrant orchestra replaces the rough and ready hard-rock ascetic, allowing Lee’s voice to soar, and to take on fresh melodic quality.
Unfortunately, songs like ‘Lost in Paradise’ and ‘Secret Door’, feel all too like their original forms. ‘Bring Me To Life’ also doesn’t quite hit the mark. With the removal of the rap verse, it feels as if there’s a gaping hole where a vital cog once sat.
Nevertheless, it’s a welcome return for Evanescence, who breathe new life into old refrains. For the most part the orchestral arrangement coupled with the computerised effects moulds well to the band's style.