The time has come to take a look at the Evanescence Synthesis album. First released in 2017, it is their first album in six years. As fans of the band, we are excited and ready to hear what they have in store for us. We hope it’s as good as other albums they’ve released before.
I have enjoyed all of their old albums and each one had its own little quirks and uniqueness to it, but everything changes and now we have this album, Synthesis. Let’s dive into what this album is like, the sound that’s been captured on it and if it will be a hit or miss with us!
Evanescence Synthesis Review Overview
The album offers new interpretations in both instrumentation and vocals of the prior three studio albums from Evanescence. As opposed to doing a regular 'greatest hits' type album, Synthesis is a totally re-imagined version of the songs from the previous albums. This offers their fans a unique take on the classic tracks. The main feature of the album is the addition of a full symphony orchestra along with accompanying singers. Amy Lee, lead vocals, stated “I think one of the things I was really excited about is to be able to present this music in a new way, but also to do it with old songs…it’s a big deal for us to revisit these old songs”
Album Flow and Tracks
The album is masterful and very dynamic and flows like a big soundtrack. It is truly a re imagined Evanescence greatest hits album featuring songs from their first three albums (Fallen (2003), The Open Door (2006) and Evanescence (2011)
The opening track “Never Go Back” sets the tone, with Amy Lee's lush vocals accompanied by piano. It's a far cry from the band's debut album whose opening tracks include "Going Under" and "Bring Me To Life." If you're wondering what's different, the absence of the forward, gritty electric guitars is a good place to start. “The new record was actually surprisingly easy and nice because I love playing piano and singing more than screaming” – Amy Lee
The album's standout track “Hi-Lo” takes an ethereal turn with its dreamy layered vocals over piano and strings. The track is a collaboration with violinist Lindsey Stirling who is known for her choreographed violin performances. This version sounds like it could have been lifted straight out of a movie soundtrack, particularly one from Tarantino or even Netflix's The OA. In addition to the music, the video is simply amazing and included on the video tab.
Evanescence - Synthesis Review of Packaging
Paul R. Brown was in charge of the album art and knocked it out of the park. I fell in love with the cover the moment I saw it. The inside art is just as imaginative as the cover and honestly the release is worth buying just for the artwork.
The Evanescence Synthesis vinyl comes in a Gatefold cover and is pressed on 2 180 gram vinyl discs. It has printed inner sleeves featuring artwork and pictures. The Evanescence Synthesis Limited Deluxe CD Box (no longer available) includes Scorebook, Cd and behind the scenes DVD.
Also available is Evanescence Synthesis Live vinyl, CD and Blu-ray which features live tracks from the '17 - '18 Synthesis tour. Check below for items still available on Amazon.
Sound / Mastering / Pressing Quality
Amy was recorded at at the Dark Horse Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. The orchestra was recorded separately at Ocean Way Recording Studios, also located in Nashville. Finally, the band recorded their part at Spaceway Studios, in Forth Worth, Texas. Mastering was done by Emily Lazar.
On "My Heart is Broken," one of the lyrically heaviest tracks on the album, rock drums are replaced by a subtle rhythm while the vocal is given more body, with the distorted guitar chords that accompany it providing a nice contrast.
The new version of "Bring Me to Life" is different than the original one. It is stripped-down and does not have drums or guitars. Instead, it has a string arrangement with crashing cymbals, timpani drums and other electronic sounds. It also excludes the rap lines from the original song. Several critics believe that this new arrangement makes it more dramatic. Lee described the transformation of the song as "new" to her again. With the inclusion of the new musical elements and vocals it matches what she had "heard in [her] head" since the song was first released.
The album sounds absolutely fantastic and Amy Lee's voice shines like never before. With that in mind, this is not a classical piece and although the orchestra is done well with lots of separation, the focus is more on the lead singer.
Evanescence - Synthesis Album Review of Lyrics / Music
With the exception of the new track, "Hi-Lo" featuring violinist Lindsey Stirling and the new "Imperfection", the album features re-imagined versions of the songs from the first 3 albums by Evanescence. I thought the concept was brilliant for outputting a greatest hits type album while at the same time giving fans new takes on some of their favorite songs.
One exception to the classic lyrics is on "Imaginary". The lyrics have been reworked to suit a dreamy, piano-led track. Amy provides works perfect for the song as she has a very emotive voice that doesn't need any help from technology! Amy Lee stated about the track, “I wanted it to be organic, I didn't want it to sound too electronic”
Progressive rock fans will definitely appreciate the epic re-imagining of the entire Synthesis album.The instrumentation that accompanies the rendition of the classic songs is far more varied, with plenty of vocals and samples to compliment the piano and strings.
For more album reviews, check out our Album Reviews page.
Evanescence - Hi-Lo Video
Evanescence Synthesis Live - Bring Me to Life Video
Evanescence Synthesis Song / Track List
2. "Never Go Back"
3. "Hi-Lo" (featuring Lindsey Stirling)
4. "My Heart Is Broken"
6. "The End of the Dream"
7. "Bring Me to Life"
10. "Secret Door"
12. "Lost in Paradise"
13. "Your Star"
14. "My Immortal"
15. "The In-Between" (piano solo)
Genre: Orchestral, Rock
Release Date: Nov. 10, 2017
Studio: Dark Horse Recording Studio and Ocean Way Recording Studios in Nashville, TN, Spaceway Studios, in Forth Worth, TX
Producer: Will Hunt, Amy Lee
Mastered By: Emily Lazar
Amy Lee – vocals, piano
Troy McLawhorn – guitar
Jen Majura – guitar, theremin
Tim McCord – guitar, synths
Will Hunt – drums