Evanescence - The Bitter Truth
(BMG Rights Management / Universal Music Group - 2021)
10 years since their debut album, 'Fallen', the band have returned to a new world both musically and post-pandemic.
Citing this album as introspective, Singer, Amy Lee is quoted as saying, "This whole thing has been very much about facing your fears and facing the things inside myself that aren't easy to admit. On a personal level, the biggest bitter truth is that life is short; we're not going to live forever," Well maybe speeding up the album making would be a good idea then?
Beginning the album in mysterious fashion is 'Artifact/The Turn' where her unmistakable voice swirls around electronic beats like a siren calling out from the fog. Still sounding as mesmerizing as ever, Amy’s voice is captivating when slowed down especially. Electric beats scratch over grinding guitar during 'Game Is over” and the haunting Gothic vocals on 'Feeding The Dark' hark back to old Evanescence.
The lead off single, 'Wasted On You' comes mid album and is first decent melody to be heard, almost lullaby in tone with gentle drums rippling underneath. 'Use My Voice' is another good tune, with multi-tracked bridge and razor sharp riffing but these are few and far between as the album too often plods a familiar path and not really having the tunes of previous albums.
As usual, Amy excels on the piano led ballads, this album it falls to 'Far From Heaven' written about losing her younger Brother a couple of years ago. A beautiful soaring vocal washes over the synths and subtle strings - it has echoes of 'Lost in Paradise' from the previous studio album. Ending with a rousing 'Blind Belief', Amy screams her way through, but all too often failing to rise in the mix since it is difficult to hear the lyrics.
A mixed bag of an album with too much effort to sound modern and not enough on good songs. Too much of the album is average rock that doesn’t impress. Maybe recording it in pandemic without Guitarist, Jen Majura being in the same Country didn’t help or it’s the ever changing line up of band members?
A patchy effort which doesn’t convince in the whole.
By John Mather