Review: Evanescence - Evanescence

 If the world has taught me anything this week, it's that reviewers really can't afford to take any kind of holiday. My week of constant touring around and staying up late in Barcelona has caused me to miss out on an early chance to listen to some major releases, including the long awaited self-titled third album from goth rockers Evanescence.

On this self-titled album, Evanescence keep to the style of gothic flavored hard rock which puts elements of nu metal into the mix as well. It is the same style that first divided opinion across listeners when the group emerged into the public eye with 2003s Fallen. However while Fallen seemed more like an attempt to re-ignite the then fading nu metal genre by trying to make it their own by adding elements of goth rock, a belief that gained them the title "Linkin Park with a female lead singer", this new album sees the band emerge after five years away from the public eye free to do their own thing, to start fresh without fully letting go of what made them in the first place. As a result, their self-titled album sees them sounding their most mature, at their heaviest both musically and emotionally and playing with an extraordinary sense of liberation and passion.
 The fact that they're doing their own thing on not really trying to be part of any style makes their music sound so much more real as well, the lyrical sense of melancholy is elevated to much greater depth on tracks like My Heart is Broken, with the relentless guitar chugging from Troy McLawhorn and Terry Balsamo being played in accompaniment with a dramatic sweeping symphonic soundscape. Occasionally instead of an orchestral backdrop, there will be a preference put towards the use of synthesizers, leading to the interesting Oceans making the use of a synthesized backdrop that wouldn't sound out of place on an MGMT album, a group Amy Lee stated had managed to influence her when creating compositions for the album.
 And speaking of Amy Lee, it most be noted just how on form she is for this album. A common criticism towards Evanescence is that Lee often overshadows the rest of the group and receives too much focus, but with her grand, powerful vocals which are simply draining with an emotional intensity, is it really that big a surprise that everyone is into her? With such majestic and operatic vocals harnessing the tortured and heartfelt lyrics of Lost in Paradise, it becomes obvious that Amy Lee truly is the very centerpiece of Evanescence.
 2011 has been a year where we've seen various amounts of comeback albums from the likes of Blink-182, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Limp Bizkit. However, there's been little in the way of comeback albums that could be seen as being the bands best album showing them on top form. Evanescence's self titled album in this case, is an exception.
 Also, this album has managed to restore my faith in new music as a whole, meaning I can start blogging healthily and frequently again. As a matter of fact, my current plan is to release several new reviews of albums I've missed out on in one go, so it's like I never went away! Anyways, it's a good thing I liked this album, because this a fantastic way to celebrate my 100th post on Ramblings of a Rock fan!

Evanescence's self-titled album is out now via Wind-up Records. The band will tour the UK in November with The Pretty Reckless and Fair to Midland.