Evanescence
The Bitter Truth


2.5
average

Review

by Toondude USER (74 Reviews)
March 26th, 2021 | 68 replies


Release Date: 03/26/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Exactly what you would expect from an Evanescence album in 2021

I remember back in 2004 when I was nothing but an 8-year-old first discovering the world of rock and metal, I had come across Evanescence when my older brother was watching the music video for “Going Under”. Since then, I’ve had a real soft spot for their debut Fallen and to this day, it still holds up in my mind as one of the albums that helped shaped my musical tastes. (Depressing, I know). However, the band’s future releases, The Open Door and their self-titled album pretty much failed to recapture that same love I had for Fallen. They weren’t awful albums by all means, but they didn’t have that same bombast or operatic approach, and it left me more disappointed than anything. Needless to say, the announcement of The Bitter Truth, the band’s first album featuring new material in almost 10 years, had me with mixed emotions. I wasn’t sure if they were going to continue that disappointing trend, or if they were going to change it up and release something that was worth my time.

In terms of its style, The Bitter Truth still has Evanescence in that early-to-mid-2000s mindset of rock and alternative metal. That’s a problem due to the fact that this sound is over twenty years old now, and most of the bands that were dominating the airwaves with this genre of music have pretty much moved on. A lot of the groups that more or less inspired Evanescence: Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, Linkin Park, etc., have reached onto different styles and different sounds, and sometimes even different genres altogether. The Bitter Truth on the other hand probably would’ve done well had it been released during the mid-2000s, but now it’s 2021, where this style of alt-nu-metal is practically laughed at. But here they decided to stick to their guns and continue the style as if it’s really the only genre they know how to play.

It doesn’t help the fact that the most frustrating aspect of this album is just how awful the production is. Nick Raskulinecz, who worked on the band’s self-titled record back in 2011, pretty much compressed the entire record that everything feels muddy. The potential power that the instrumentation is trying to convey is completely washed out by the just how horrible everything is mixed together. Even vocalist Amy Lee, by far the most unique aspect of Evanescence to begin with, is mixed so poorly within the music that her voice feels underpowered at times. Had there been a cleaner and more careful approach to the production, the album probably could’ve had a more powerful impact.

It’s a real shame, because there is some good songwriting to be found on The Bitter Truth. The intro track “Artifact/The Turn” and the following track “Broken Pieces Shine” start the album off pretty well by attempting to recapture that same bombast that their previous records had. Meanwhile, “The Game is Over”, “Feeding the Dark” and “Better Without You” showcase Amy Lee’s strongest moments within the album. The guitar performances from Troy McLawhorn and Jen Majura, while not really inventive or complex, are good enough to carry these songs. The addition to Majura’s vocal harmonies is also an added plus as it helps give support to Amy Lee who, let’s face it, had been carrying Evanescence since the very beginning. However, it’s tracks like “Yeah Right” and “Take Cover” that remind us that Evanescence are still stuck in the mid-2000s, with bouncy rhythms, and awful lyrics. Even the instrumental performances on tracks like “Wasted On You”, “Use My Voice” and “Far From Heaven” feel really lackluster and end up feeling like filler more than anything. “Far From Heaven” in particular is a lame attempt at recapturing the same feeling that “My Immortal” had during the band’s heyday.

In the end, The Bitter Truth is nothing short of another average release from Evanescence. Had the band attempted to tweak their style a bit, and had the production been better, it’s likely that this record could’ve helped them recapture the love that a lot of their fanbase had for them all those years ago. Yet, the lack of experimentation mixed with poor mixing are what truly drag the album down. If Amy Lee and co. want to stay relevant in the near future, there needs to be a change of direction for the band. At this point in time, trying to make another Fallen is no longer an option for them. We’ve all moved on from that sound a long time ago, and it’s time for Evanescence to do the same.



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user ratings (60)
2.8
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sup bitches

zelenichajnik
March 26th 2021


618 Comments


Sounds like the single most mediocre album released this year then. Hardly shocked. Nice write-up :]

Nick Raskulinecz is pretty much a production death sentence at this point

Pheromone
Contributing Reviewer
March 26th 2021


14234 Comments


that album art has to have been ripped right out of 2002

Digging: The Rational Academy - Winter Haunts

SteakByrnes
March 26th 2021


23525 Comments


Just a dumber version of the Dying Is Your Latest Fashion album cover really

zelenichajnik
March 26th 2021


618 Comments


I know what I'd rather listen to

Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Nick Raskulinecz is pretty much a production death sentence at this point"



Eeh, not really, he has done some great albums within recent years, but he really dropped the ball with this one

Get Low
March 26th 2021


10126 Comments


quite the erotic album cover

Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

indeed

William21
March 26th 2021


628 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't blame Raskulinecz for the mixing on this, normally he's actually one of my favorites. I think the pandemic was to blame for that. They were all recording separately and I'm not sure they really even got into a studio to finish. This sounds underproduced, and normally the worst thing you could say about Raskulinecz is overproduction



Anyways, this was definitely a mess. A few bangers, but easily their worst album (unless you count Synthesis--and even the band doesn't, apparently)

Tundra
March 26th 2021


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Even the album cover is half assed, jeez

Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"I don't blame Raskulinecz for the mixing on this, normally he's actually one of my favorites. I think the pandemic was to blame for that."



Even so the album was delayed for several months because of the pandemic, so you'd think that he'd have the time to fix a lot of the mistakes here

cloakanddagger
March 26th 2021


461 Comments


Raskulinecz is a real hit and miss when it comes to production, some of his work like Koi No Yokan and the more recent Korn albums he's worked on have been pretty good but then on the other hand stuff like this and the most recent Halestorm album felt pretty sub-par by comparison.
There are some decent songs on this album but everything feels pretty dated, especially the corny "woahs" on Use My Voice.

Supercoolguy64
March 26th 2021


10499 Comments


There was an ad for this album on this site earlier lol

Digging: Mobb Deep - The Infamous

XyphDryne
March 26th 2021


124 Comments


It should not really matter what is trendy and what is not. Why not stick to their guns? Who complains about Salyer not changing in the slightest? I am really no big fan, but why should the band change the genre when this is what they wanna play?

Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

because keeping to the same style over and over again can only remain relevant for so long, at some point people are gonna want to listen to something else



and in the end, it's not really about following a trend as it's more about delivering something that's different in comparison to the previous albums

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 26th 2021


37568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Think you meant to say soft spot for their debut. Good review though, nice to see you writing again. I've never been big on Evanescence outside of the singles everyone knows, but I'm okay with that.

Digging: St. Vincent - Daddy's Home

Toondude10
March 26th 2021


14484 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll be back in like 2 years, just watch lmao



not sure why I wanted to write this, probably just wanted to contribute more to the site other than just posting news articles

Emim
March 26th 2021


30179 Comments


This one isn't going to bring them back to life.

Shuyin
March 26th 2021


14385 Comments


Yea, it's just going under

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 26th 2021


37568 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not just any news articles, but the only ones on the site that I never have to doctor up!



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