Evanescence
Evanescence


4.0
excellent

Review

by SlimJim USER (1 Reviews)
October 9th, 2011 | 39 replies | 6,427 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After a 5-year hiatus, Evanescence churn out their most musically interesting and technically impressive album yet.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Metal-elitists have trouble taking Evanescence seriously, and understandably so. Many songs off of their debut album, "Fallen," were conceived in Amy Lee's teens and are likely the product of overly-dramaticized high school girly-girl angst. Much of that album certainly isn't the most convincing expression of pain, and skeptics are likely to have thought to themselves at some point, "are you really that miserable?" While a mild taste of heaviness is present on Fallen, the riffage is far from brutal, and the songs were structured in a conventional format with poppy chord progressions and catchy choruses that integrated metal with mainstream rock. Stack that against a band with a lineup straight out of hell with guitars tuned below the brown noise and a larynx-mutilating frontman, and you know who true metalheads are going to prefer, but Evanescence doesn't write songs for them. No, Amy Lee is not a tortured soul, but that doesn't mean her music is uninspired. She's not the most gifted lyricist out there, but the subject matter has matured on each album along with her, and whether you're a purist or a freshly pubescent fangirl, you can't argue with the fact that this chick has one ridiculous set of pipes. After the five year hiatus betweeen "The Open Door" and the 2011 eponymous LP, it turns out she wasn't afraid to use them.

"Evanescence" kicks off pretty strong with "What You Want," a definite departure from earlier material, and easily the most cheerful and optimistic song in the band's short catalogue. It has everything you'd expect in a lead single, from a dance-friendly beat to stuck-in-your-head-for-a-week sing-along sections. Lyrically, it's similar to "Lithium" from "The Open Door," dealing with embracing happiness and positivity in the midst of bad times, instead of the darker themes you might expect from Evanescence. "What You Want" leads into the beefy "Made of Stone," my favorite track off of the album. It opens with a tasty downtuned riff courtesy of lead guitarist Terry Balsamo, later accompanied by a few well-placed reverbed piano notes, immediately creating the big-sounding atmosphere common on their previous albums. Heavy hitting triplets decorate the verses, and Lee's voice proves to be as powerful as ever in the chorus; the song's cohesive arrangment leads effortlessly into a bridge with chilling vocals, and a short guitar solo to usher in the final chorus.

Mid-way through, it becomes apparent that this album is less of an Amy Lee Show than the Evanescence of the past. The rest of the bands efforts are more impressive and interesting than before, after only a slight tweak of The Open Door's lineup. The riffs pack more of a punch, the drums use more difficult and complex rhythms, and there's an unpredictable element that wasn't there before. Awesome moments are scattered all over the album, like the head-bangable riff (dread-whipable in Balsamo's case) midway through "The Other Side," introduced each time by a key all the way on the left side of Amy Lee's piano, the distorted "Sick-of-it-all's" near the end of "Sick," and the eerie string conclusion of "Oceans." While the music has evolved over the five years of inactivity, it still retains the qualities that make up the band's sound, and is very much an Evanescence album.

If anything, I wish they would have experimented even more. I expected something a little bit more different from "Fallen" and "The Open Door," and would have loved to hear more of the heavily electronic sound used on the soothing album closer, "Swimming Home," which conveys the sense that you're floating peacefully underwater. Amy Lee cited La Roux and Bjork as big influences, so I was really hoping for something way out in left field compared to before, but the only songs that would be completely out of place on the previous albums are "What You Want" and "Swimming Home." Furthermore, despite the album being very consistent, there isn't really a massive song that completely stood out and blew me away.

Overall, "Evanescence" surpassed "Fallen" and "The Open Door," as well as my expectations. Lee's voice is even stronger than it was in the past, which is really saying something considering how impressive she's been throughout her career. The album is Evanescence's most musically interesting effort so far, and while it's still painted with moments of darkness at times, it's clear how the music has matured from the "Fallen" days. But don't get me wrong, you're still gonna hate it if you're an elitist.

Standout Tracks:

Made of Stone
The Other Side
Lost in Paradise
Sick
Swimming Home
What You Want
The Change


user ratings (317)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SlimJim
October 9th 2011



3 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My first review, tell me what you think.

AtavanHalen
October 9th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album didn't suck nearly as much as I thought it was going to.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2011



28375 Comments


the single sounds like a lady gaga song

except for some reason i dont like it

Digging: Kimbra - The Golden Echo

Gyromania
October 9th 2011



15460 Comments


Great first review, man. I might still write a review for this to offer a different perspective (my rating is considerably lower than yours).

AsoTamaki
October 9th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review and the score is probably what I will end up rating this as. The guitar-work is much improved from The Open Door and you can definitely tell this album was more of a band effort.

The only weak points to me are the lyrics not being particularly strong and the ballads not being quite up to par. "Secret Door" is fantastic though. That should've been on the regular album. I appreciate experimentation, but "Swimming Home" just doesn't fit.

AsoTamaki
October 9th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Overrated as a female rock singer? Overrated as a lyricist? Overrated as a songwriter/pianist? Overrated in looks? Be more specific.

Gyromania
October 9th 2011



15460 Comments


Overrated as a female rock singer? Overrated as a lyricist? Overrated as a songwriter/pianist? Overrated in looks? Be more specific.


Wow.

AsoTamaki
October 9th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alright, cool. Just trying to understand your perspective.

Ire
October 9th 2011



41753 Comments


Overrated in looks?

yah so hard

BassDemon333
October 9th 2011



3358 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Album is alright but nothing more. At least its better than the last one. By the way, Fallen didn't suck, it ruled.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2011



28375 Comments


why would anybody listen to new evanescence when they could listen to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y25snz83ms


BassDemon333
October 9th 2011



3358 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I love how everyone was saying how We Are The Fallen's debut was trying too hard to copy Fallen when its so much better than this album.

AsoTamaki
October 9th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The thing is, this album sounds nothing like Fallen.

BassDemon333
October 9th 2011



3358 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Yeah but that doesnt matter, it still isnt nearly as good as Fallen, its just a bit better than The Open Door. If Moody was still with Evanescence they could be making some great stuff; if theres one thing this album and the one before it prove its that Amy can't do it all by herself Moody contributed too much to the songwriting.

AsoTamaki
October 10th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Or maybe the music Evanescence makes now is better than rehashing the same idea over and over (aka Ben Moody in We Are The Fallen). It's cool that you seem to prefer that style of music over than anything else they do, but I'd rather have some development. I loved Fallen, but that was 8 years ago.


Gyromania
October 10th 2011



15460 Comments


After further listens I think I may rate this 3.5, I've come around to it.

AtavanHalen
October 10th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

WATF suck.

This is good. The riffs are fucking mammoth in parts, more balls than anything old mate Moody ever came up with.

themetalpig
October 10th 2011



37 Comments


Balsamo is no Moody when it comes to the guitar, esp the solos...evidenced by the Anywhere But Home live dvd where Balsamo doesn't pull off the solo in Going Under, he instead does his own slower solo which adds nothing to the song at all and just sounds lame. Moody and Lee had good songwriting chemistry.

AtavanHalen
October 10th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Solos don't mean dick. This isn't Satriani.

AsoTamaki
October 10th 2011



2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Lol. Pretty much.

Second of all, the person who played that solo on the DVD was the other guitarist, John LeCompt.



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