It’s been five years since Evanescence has released an album. Usually that long of a delay would see fans moving on and an artist left behind, forgotten, abandoned. Evanescence defied that trend and are now back with their third album, Evanescence. The question is if the album is a return that shocks and awes or one that falls flat. Check after the jump for my take on the self-titled album!
The album kicks off with the current single What You Want, a driving, hard hitting anthem complete with chunky guitars and Amy Lee’s signature harmonies and call-and-response lyrics. The drums are solid and hit hard while the bass pops into the front of the mix at just the right points before settling back into holding the foundation.
The production and mix is a bit lopsided. The symphonic elements take the front stage more often than providing a lush background, resulting in an album that loses the rock emphasis. Amy Lee’s vocals are also drenched in reverb and delay. With a voice so strong and powerful, I was hoping to hear it a bit more naturally. However my biggest complaint is the guitar tone: with an album like this that has a singer who is so fierce and powerful, I wanted a guitar sound that grabbed me by the throat and threatened to rip my face off. Instead, I got a guitar tone that is generic and often sounds muted, as though a blanket was placed between the guitar cabinet and the microphone. The songs lose a lot of “oomph” as a result of this.
The album could have ended strongly with Never Go Back had it not been for the last track, Swimming. The former is a strong, heavy track that ends with the guitar droning before an abrupt end. This would have been a perfect way for the album to end. Strong, vicious and a suggestion of what is to come with, hopefully, a next album. However, the album continues with the latter, Swimming, a mellow track that kills the energy of Never Go Back. Don’t get me wrong as it’s a beautiful track with some extremely interesting sounds and melodies. However, it would’ve been better had it been placed earlier in the album.
Check out: The Other Side and Erase This.
The Final Word: I wanted to love this album, I really did. The songs are solid and structured well but a lopsided mix and lack of an engaging guitar tone hold Evanescence back from achieving what could have been a stunning return.