Beautiful Orchestral Rock
Evanescence is back, this time taking some of their best songs and revamping them in an orchestral electronic style in Synthesis. This is the fourth album by the group, and each revamped song is a great tribute to the band’s extensive history. In a Facebook video about the album’s release, singer Amy Lee discusses the symbolic title of the album, saying “it is the synthesis, the combination, the contrast, the synergy between the organic and synthetic, also the past and present.” Synthesis is the perfect title for the album, as it does both combine and contrast the orchestral and electronic sounds of the band while changing the older songs and making them new.
Two of the first songs on the album are “Never Go Back” and “My Heart is Broken,” both originally from the group’s self-titled album Evanescence. At first, both of these songs are almost unrecognizable from the original versions. The orchestral score instead of the typical rock guitar and drums take a moment to get used to. However, the new style serves both of these songs beautifully, especially in “My Heart is Broken,” which was a slower song to begin with. Lee’s voice suits the new style of these songs well, as her powerful vocals are able to rise above the music, highlighting them beautifully.
A special treat on this album is the band’s remake of arguably one of their most recognizable songs, “Bring Me To Life.” Unlike some of the other songs, even with the new orchestral electronic style, it’s immediately apparent what song it is. It’s also one of the best redone songs on the album. Lee’s voice carries the same amount of emotion as it did 15 years ago, and the orchestral music in the background makes the song even more impactful and powerful. Though nothing can ever beat the original version of a song, “Bring Me To Life” is redone beautifully, and should become a classic in its own right.
Though each song in this album is done beautifully, some other notable ones are “Lithium” (originally from The Open Door), “Lost in Paradise” (from Evanescence) and “My Immortal” (from Fallen). An already rather creepy song in its original version, “Lithium” is served greatly on Synthesis, with the orchestral background giving it a more haunted feeling. “Lost in Paradise” feels like something out of a musical, the beautiful background music and her incredible vocals evoking an image of Lee singing in the middle of an empty stage to a large crowd. Finally, “My Immortal,” an already slower song, also works perfectly with the new style. Though beautiful in the more traditional rock form, with the quieter instruments on Synthesis, the lyrics to the song almost carry more meaning, “When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears / when you’d scream / I’d fight away all of your fears.”
Synthesis is a beautiful album that shows the talents of Evanescence in a new light. Each song is just as good (some maybe even better) than the originals, and each exemplifies how the band has grown throughout the years. A rock band going orchestral might sound strange, but Evanescence has done so beautifully, creating a true masterpiece.