Evanescence – The Bitter Truth
American rock group Evanescence release their fifth studio album to date, The Bitter Truth, a throwback that gives fans everything they’d expect and want. While staying true to their roots but teasing with experimentation, this latest record delivers the group’s typical guitar-driven songs and releases some of their most dynamic and emotionally charged lyrics yet.
After a nine-year hiatus from releasing new material, The Bitter Truth is unexpectedly angsty. They have leaned back into their rock past, surprising fans after 2017’s Synthesis, which many thought would be the start of a softer, more orchestral direction. However, this latest is a welcome return to form, as the strong guitar riffs and catchy hooks on notable tracks Blind Belief and Part of Me deliver the quintessential nu-metal sound that Evanescence is most comfortable with.
The album also offers some experimentation across its length, playing around with synths and electronic beats in a handful of songs that stand out against the other formulaic fan-pleasers. Yeah Right mixes a pop opening with signature heavy instrumentation, and has one of the record’s most distinctive hooks. Use My Voice combines choral singing and repetitive beats to make a rock anthem – a surprising addition to the group’s otherwise dark and poetic repertoire.
However, despite sporting a few head-turners, all in all, the The Bitter Truth sticks to the same melodramatic sound that the band has been playing for years, and comes across as a bit predictable. Its true value is in the lyrics and Amy Lee’s voice, but the overblown instrumentation is, for the most part, a bit stale. The repetitive drama from the echoey overproduced tracks and heavy accompanying instrumentals overwhelms the powerful lyrics, stripping down the impact of the songs and simply not living up to vocal powerhouse Lee.
This is an album about perseverance; Amy Lee’s voice and beautifully crafted lyrics make for an atmospheric and emotive listen. As her soprano swells and hits those high notes, it’s hard not to get goosebumps, but it’s not unexpected. In all, it lacks boldness and feels like a safe and easy addition for the group’s discography, instead of a dynamic and triumphant return.
Photo: Nick Fancher
The Bitter Truth is released on 26th March 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Evanescence’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Use My Voice here: