The enduring appeal of Evanescence

Jean Claude Elias
Jean-Claude Elias (Photo: JNews)
In the overcrowded pop music scene where most bands are mere shooting stars, Evanescence stands out. Even better. They have been continuously at the forefront of the innovation since Fallen, their first album that was released in 2003. We all remember My Immortal and Tourniquet, the two songs that took the music world by storm back then.اضافة اعلان

The band is now back and has brought us a new album, The Bitter Truth, just out last March.

The distinctive voice and style of front singer Amy Lee is, without a doubt, what strikes you first when you play Evanescence music. Along with Jen Majura, who plays the guitar and contributes the backing vocals, they are the two ladies in the 5-member band.

Whereas the 12 songs on the new album sound very new, they remain in the line of the group’s main spirit. High-pitched vocals, mainstream pop-rock oriented distorted electric guitars, as energetic as metal rock but less aggressive, somewhat sweeter, definitely more subtle. Again, the voice of Amy Lee makes all the difference, it carries genuine emotion and is hard to resist. It has often been described as being “Hauntingly beautiful”.

Most of the 12 tracks of the 47-minute album are rather loud. This is pop-rock after all! Your ears are given a little rest with Wasted on You, a magnificent song, purely in the gentle Evanescence style, with Lee’s exquisite, typical voice. Amazingly, she sounds as good in the lows as in the highs; in the soft passages and in the loud ones alike. Besides, one of the songs is aptly titled “Use my Voice”!

Far from Heaven is the most emotional numbers on the album, it truly makes you appreciate and enjoy the superlative quality, the authentic, fine musicality of both Amy Lee’s voice and the band’s particular style.

The Bitter Truth is also a welcome departure from the bulk of the pop music produced today that is heavily built on digital effects, loops, samples, and dance-oriented material, often with sophisticated rhythm patterns, but at the expense of melodic lines. Evanescence on the other hand, brings us lovely melodies.

How does the album compare with Evanescence very best? It may not be a real match for Fallen, their first album, but it remains well above the current crop. A number of the tracks — perhaps three or four out of the total 12 — sound too much the same, which still leaves you with several songs that are unique and that sound really different one from the other. By any measure, this is better than what most bands can achieve today.

Several musicians’ changes took place in the band over the years. Amy Lee is the only member to have stayed with the band since they were established. Along with bass player Tim McCord who joined the group in 2006, the two are the longest “survivors”. 

It is refreshing and reassuring to see that artists are still able to find inspiration and record new material in the current situation where large concerts are essentially not allowed. Public performances and live audience feedback generally stimulate musicians, help to keep the spirit alive, and provide them with new ideas.

Despite that, Evanescence has managed to make new music with The Bitter Truth. An album worth listening to, even if, in the end, you have to make your own selection of the tracks you like best. The album is available on most streaming platforms. On Spotify, it can be enjoyed in excellent audio quality.