By Aisha Sharipzhan
Evanescence is back after a six-year hiatus with a nostalgic album that reimagines their old classics with orchestral instrumentation. And it is beautifully goth, as expected from the band.
“Synthesis,” Evanescence’s fourth album, features 16 tracks, two of which are brand new songs. The album starts off with an instrumental “Overture” that seamlessly leads into “Never Go Back,” a song originally from their 2011 self-titled album.
The old tunes may be hard to recognize, stripped of their heavy guitar distortions and intense drumming. Instead, the new introduction for “Never Go Back” is a dark piano passage with emotional string instruments to really lean into the moody feel of the song. On top of these orchestral layers are electronic elements providing that punchy and mysterious metal music sound signature to Evanescence.
Frontwoman Amy Lee’s powerful voice is as strong as ever, shining through in this album with raw clarity. The re-recorded versions of timeless classics such as “Bring Me to Life,” “Lithium” and “My Immortal” have a dramatic resonance that will break your heart harder than the originals did.
“Bring Me to Life” sounds particularly different without the harsh male vocals in the original 2003 song. According to an interview with News.com.au, Amy Lee said the male vocals were part of a sexist “compromise” for not having a male singer in the band. This new version is certainly one to listen to with Lee’s more experienced and grown-up voice, backed by ominous string instruments and electronic tones.
The two new songs, “Imperfection” and “Hi-Lo,” are perfect examples of Evanescence’s work, but with new elements. “Imperfection” came out as the album’s single in September. According to Loudwire, this song was the most important on the album for Lee, as it speaks from the perspective of those “left behind” after losing loved ones to suicide and depression. “Hi-Lo” features popular YouTube violinist Lindsey Sterling, and “Imperfection” has clear electronic music and hip-hop influences that complement Lee’s signature dramatic belting.
While fans may have been hoping for more new music, “Synthesis” is a gorgeous throwback to old songs, sounding even more goth with the emotional orchestral production.
“Synthesis” is true to its name, synthesizing the old with the new. The orchestra is mysterious and somber, yet grandiose and powerful. The electronic embellishments keep the music in line with the metal music genre as Lee impresses with her haunting voice and hair-raising vocal range.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Justin Higuchi’s Flickr.
Aisha Sharipzhan is a senior journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.