EVANESCENCE

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums -

Syn­the­sis

SONY MU­SIC Amy Lee takes her back cat­a­logue into a new, al­ter­nate di­men­sion

For a band

with only three stu­dio al­bums to re­visit, Evanescence’s de­ci­sion on Syn­the­sis to re­work some of their best-loved songs is an am­bi­tious and un­ex­pected move. No doubt draw­ing on her ex­pe­ri­ence of scor­ing film sound­tracks, Amy Lee, along with long-time col­lab­o­ra­tor, com­poser and ar­ranger David Camp­bell, has given their body of work an ethe­real, cin­e­matic makeover on Syn­the­sis that goes way beyond sim­ply remix­ing or re-record­ing.

At 16 tracks, it’s also a sub­stan­tial record, and what makes Syn­the­sis feel even more like a wholly orig­i­nal al­bum is the in­clu­sion of the pre­vi­ously un­heard Hi-Lo and new song Im­per­fec­tion. But its true ap­peal, of course, is in the reimag­in­ing of Evanescence’s most beloved, clas­sic songs.

With a del­i­cate hand, they’ve plucked out the bones of the ubiq­ui­tous, Grammy award-win­ning Bring Me To Life, strip­ping away all the rock el­e­ments and in­stead swathing them in or­ches­tral move­ments and barely there am­bi­ent elec­tron­ics to give the song a com­pletely dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere. That’s what’s so al­lur­ing about the con­cept of Syn­the­sis; it’s like a win­dow into an al­ter­nate-uni­verse Evanescence.

It also draws your at­ten­tion far closer to the core melodies of songs like My Heart Is Bro­ken and Lithium than ever be­fore. Most strik­ing is how, when lis­ten­ing to Amy sing My Im­mor­tal with only a pi­ano and string ac­com­pa­ni­ment, the time­less qual­ity of the song shines through. For the ca­sual lis­tener, the em­pha­sis on her dis­tinc­tive vo­cal style might be some­what over­pow­er­ing, but for the fans, Syn­the­sis of­fers a deeper dive into Evanescence’s com­po­si­tions that also tan­ta­lis­ingly hints at an al­ter­na­tive tra­jec­tory for the band.

FOR FANS OF: WITHIN TEMP­TA­TION, NIGHTWISH, DANNY ELFMAN

CATHER­INE MOR­RIS

It’s Evanescence, but not as we know them

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