Criticism | Evanescence Explores Life’s Bittersweet Adventure With Unprecedented ‘The Bitter Truth’

In 2011, well-known rock band Evanescence announced that it would take time to “get the ball rolling” after a hugely successful tour to publicize the album of the same name. Despite the revival with the compilation of their best-known songs (‘Synthesis’, 2017), fans remained for a decade with empty promises and reunions that it would seem would take a long time to materialize. Last year the band, led by singer expert Amy Lee, released the new era’s debut single, “Wasted on You,” which saved the elements of gothic metal that had put them on top of the world – pulling simpler references from ‘Fallen and Global Achievements.

In 2021, the dream of all fans of the group finally came true and “The Bitter Truth” was released. The first compilation of originals in a decade represented a solid, if somewhat repetitive, return of Lee and his companions, with quite different forays than they have shown in the past, but without losing the roots of powerful guitars. and performances by impeccable singers. And, perhaps more present than ever, the group has managed to honor with passionate nostalgia all those who have influenced them, from Mozart to Nightwish, from Joan Jett to Linkin Park.

The opening track, summed up in the prologue “Artifact / The Turn”, evokes one of the most symbolic lyrics of his career, in an evocative tale that returns to the past and to a simpler time – probably making for a brief glimpse of the troubled months following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Blending more modernized forays, from classic 19th century operas to pop art and Björk’s experimentation, the track, one of the album’s greatest highlights, is a functional first chapter and joins the “Broken Pieces” Shine, “preparing listeners for the synesthesia of an obscure, distorted adventure filled with subliminal messages that increase the poetic complexity of the lyrics and clapping production.

Due to postponements and completion issues, Nick Raskulinecz, known for his multiple works alongside names like Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, and Apocalyptica, has become the name behind this cohesive work – and, perhaps for this reason. , briefly slipped into circular formulas, as seen in the momentary predictability of “The Game Is Over” and the atmospheric whims of “Part Of Me” and “Blind Belief.” These last two songs, in fact, seem to hastily conclude and often conclude what could have been a masterpiece of contemporary rock, forcing a very familiar cutscene that doesn’t have much new to offer.

Either way, the errors are confined to very few moments of the iteration and are constantly overshadowed by beautiful storylines guided by one of the greatest singers of the century. Lee’s lyrical performance, marked by the spectacle of the theatrical mezzo-soprano and the dramatic load he imprints on every word he utters. In “Broken Pieces Shine” hard rock is combined with thrilling elements of cyberpunk culture and makes room even for gospel concepts – like the ringing bell that opens after the second stanza; “Yeah Right” is both familiar and distinguished, betting on the futurism of synth-rock and reminiscences of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and their famous foray “Heads Will Roll”; “Feeding the Dark” borrows a few pages from Kim Petras’ industrial horror anthology by universalizing previously explored themes, such as the imminence of death and the ephemeral of happiness.

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“Wasted On You”, which revolves around a toxic relationship, was wisely chosen as the album’s first single and, although it did not reach the glory of compatriots “My Immortal” and “Bring Me To Life ”, he takes the opportunity to channel efforts on other elements – such as the stylistic and vocal maturity of Lee, whose echoing gravity is breathtaking, and the minimalisms of Danny Elfman, with all the pomp and transformation of music into an art form. In “Better Without You”, syncretism comes back to face when it unites hard rock with the explosive modernity of synthesizers, while “Use My Voice”, building itself like a hymn of urban liberation, takes a few steps back and gives way on drums and drums; “Take Over”, worthy of the opening of an arena show, fails to forget to bring Lee’s voice to the forefront and to bet more on the brutal sensoriality of the instruments – which prevents us from understanding this she says.

In addition to the initial track, “Far From Heaven” also stands out for the simplicity of production and the use of a ballad sound. In an epic movement, the candid piece leaves aside the power of the guitars and leaves the piano, violins and cellos, in a frightening and flawless surrender – becoming the work’s best entry and one of the most touching of the time. discography. As if that weren’t enough, the stanzas give way to a nostalgic and narcotic escape, speaking of a romantic relationship that ended and that launched the lyrical ego into a dark reflection on loneliness, in a mimetic invocation to the Nordic character from Tarja Turunen.

“The Bitter Truth” is the comeback we’ve all been waiting for from Evanescence. With its unique aesthetic and with undeniable skill in terms of composition and architecture itself, the album is a strong entry into the band’s career – perhaps one of the finest and most honest.

Rating per track:

1. Artifact / The turn – 5/5
2. Brilliance of broken parts – 4.5 / 5
3. The game is over – 3/5
4. Yeah, that’s right – 5/5
5. Feed the Darkness – 4/5
6. Wasted On You – 4/5
7. Better without you – 4/5
8. Use my voice – 4.5 / 5
9. Take cover – 3/5
10. Far from Heaven – 5/5
11. Part of me – 3/5
12. Blind Belief – 2.5 / 5

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