By Jamie Deliz
Published: November 22nd, 2017
Close your eyes and let Amy Lee lure you into “Synthesis,” a refurbished, yet, chilling album, compiling of orchestrated renditions of Evanescence’s old material, along with the works of two new original songs.
Each track on “Synthesis” is perfectly coated with rock and classical music. Although symphonic rock, or symphonic metal, isn’t something new, Evanescence introduces the genre to this generation in a way that is so profound, yet effortlessly executed. “Synthesis” clings onto the memories of your teenage years, but the band’s new, mature sound allows room for appreciation.
The genius of the album lies in the production—all thanks to Lee and Will Hunt—as well the creativity behind the track-list, which allows listeners to play the role of an audience in this theatrical performance. While the flawless piano playing in “Overture,””Unraveling (Interlude),” and “The In-Between (Piano Solo)” is compelling, and absolutely beautiful, it’s front-woman Lee’s dramatic vocals that enhances the album even further.
Popular songs like the rap-rock anthem “Bring Me To Life” and the devastatingly heart-wrenching songs “My Immortal” (“Fallen,” 2003) and “Lithium” (“The Open Door,” 2006) are given the operatic treatment. Although this new take on “Bring Me To Life” is missing that epic factor that the guitar and drums provide, as well as the background vocals of Paul McCoy—“Wake me up/I can’t wake up”— the orchestra allows this twisted element to come alive, and it totally works.
Lee is portrayed in her most natural state. The album is dark and eerie, much like the band’s style, but this time around, her emotions seem to be coming from a different place.
The rest of “Synthesis” follows suit. Yet, it’s songs like “Never Go Back,” which follows “Overture,” “Lost in Paradise,” and “Secret Door,” all from their 2011 self-titled album, that reap the benefits of this musical transformation. “The End of the Dream,” “Secret Door” and “Lacyrmosa” (“The Open Door”), however, mostly highlight the album’s Gothic theme, while “My Heart Is Broken” actually takes an electronic turn, compared to its initial hard rock approach.
The violins in the very beginning of “Imaginary” don’t sound much different from the original; in fact, it’s the same. However, Lee’s buildup of the lyrics “I lie inside myself for hours/ and watch my purple sky fly over me” fit accordingly with the string arrangements, which is actually more so preferable, if we’re comparing both old and new tracks.
Original songs “Imperfection,” which incorporates some hip-hop, and “Hi-Lo” are reminiscent of early 2000s-Evanescene. Lee’s vocals and style have not changed one bit, and that’s something to commend. “Imperfection” closes the album, and it comes right after the piano solo. It’s not so much a closing song per say, but an introduction to what’s to, possibly, come from them someday in the future.
However, it’s surprising that “Call Me When You’re Sober,” also off of “The Open Door,” wasn’t selected for this album. Considering it’s one of their more ‘upbeat’ songs, it would’ve been awesome to hear that contrast between the other songs they’ve chosen for “Synthesis.”
Either way, there’s no denying that Evanescence’s consistent uniqueness shines in their latest album. It’s not often we get to listen to this style of music, especially when it’s done so well.
Sometimes it’s good to keep an open mind when it comes to certain genres, especially ones that stay outside the lines, and sometimes it’s ok to relive that rock phase you had growing up, too.