After a five-year break from recording, Evanescence returns with a well-structured collection that stays true to the band’s original goth sound.
Despite singer Amy Lee being the only original member in the group, Evanescence’s attention-grabbing drum track and Lee’s powerful vocals on the album’s first track, “What You Want,” reconstructs the dark rock the band is known for.
The first few songs on the self-titled album are topped with Lee’s crooning vocals, but the album transitions to a softer mood with the seventh and eighth tracks, “Lost in Paradise” and “Sick.” The quieter songs provide a needed balance after the album’s hard-rock beginning and give the collection a more nuanced and tolerable intensity.
Lee showcases her vocal talents as she belts out lyrics in the rock-heavy tracks and harmonizes with the other singers to give the softer tunes a more comforting feel. Despite this musical success, Terry Balsamo’s guitar and Will Hunt’s drums are too loud to complement the otherwise smooth sound. While strong vocals and heavy instrumentals are common elements in the band’s previous work, as seen in “Everybody’s Fool” and “Whisper” from the band’s debut album, the overbearing music in this new release detracts from Lee’s vocal skill.
Unlike past efforts like “The Open Door,” which featured the 2005 hit single “Call Me When You’re Sober,” “Evanescence” doesn’t provide a clear-cut hit. “My Heart is Broken,” released as the album’s promotional single, is simply a pleasant track, but lacks the instant appeal seen in past songs like “Bring Me to Life.”
Recovering from an almost total loss of its founding members, Evanescence’s new album shows the band is refusing to fade away.