Synthesis (Evanescence album)

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Synthesis
Evanescence - Synthesis.png
Studio album / Remix album by Evanescence
Released November 10, 2017 (2017-11-10)
Recorded 2016–2017
Length 62:17
Label BMG
Producer
Evanescence chronology
Lost Whispers
(2016)
Synthesis
(2017)
Singles from Synthesis
  1. "Bring Me to Life"
    Released: August 18, 2017
  2. "Imperfection"
    Released: September 15, 2017
  3. "Lacrymosa"
    Released: October 27, 2017
  4. "Hi-Lo"
    Released: June 8, 2018

Synthesis is the fourth studio album[1] by American rock band Evanescence. It was released on November 10, 2017, by BMG Rights Management.[2] The album includes reworked versions of the band's previous material with an orchestral arrangement and electronica music elements, in addition to two new songs. David Campbell was responsible for the arrangement, along with Amy Lee and producer William Barry "Science" Hunt. In order to promote the new material, Evanescence embarked on the Synthesis Tour, which opened on October 14, 2017, in Las Vegas and continued in cities across the United States and Canada until December.

Background[edit]

Since the release of their self-titled third studio album in 2011 and the accompanying world tour (2011–2012), Evanescence took a three-year music hiatus, during which each member pursued their own projects.[3] During that period, the band also parted ways with their long-term record label Wind-up Records.[4] In November 2015, Evanescence made its return to stage, performing at the Ozzfest in Tokyo. At that time, Lee announced that there were no future plans for recording new material with the band and that the group would only tour and rejoin with its fans through concerts in the following year. She further added that she focused on making music as a solo artist and exploring a side to her different from the one when she worked with Evanescence.[3] In 2016, more dates were added to their tour with concerts taking place in the US.[5][6]

On September 13, 2016, the band announced a vinyl box set titled The Ultimate Collection which included all three studio albums, the demo recorded early on in their career and new version of their song "Even in Death";[7] the set was released on February 17, 2017.[8] In October 2016, Lee revealed during an interview with the online magazine Loudwire that "there is Evanescence in the future", adding that the band had reunited to re-record some of their earlier material, including tracks from their work before their first studio album Fallen (2003).[5] On December 9, 2016, a compilation album titled Lost Whispers, consisting of B-sides and bonus tracks from the band's three studio albums, was made available for streaming and download on several music platforms.[9]

Conception[edit]

The band's fourth studio album and its corresponding title Synthesis were revealed by Lee in a video posted on the group's Facebook page on May 10, 2017. According to her, the title came from the fact that the album is "the synthesis, the combination, the contrast, the synergy between the organic and the synthetic, also the past and present".[10] She further noted how the new music would be stripped down, performed by an orchestra and would feature elements of electronica and the "synthetic world of beats and sounds".[10] According to her, the process behind the album included the band going through their previous catalog and reworking some of their songs. In addition, two new songs were also recorded for Synthesis.[10] She revealed during a video: "This is a total passion project for me. There are so many layers in our music underneath the huge drums and guitars. I've always wanted to shine a light on some of the gorgeous David Campbell arrangements and programming elements in our songs, and that idea snowballed into completely re-doing them with full orchestra, not just strings, elaborate programming and experimentation".[11] Lee further added that the project "flows like a big, dynamic soundtrack".[11] The rearrangement of the songs was done by David Campbell, who had worked with the band during their previous projects, as well as Lee and William B. Hunt.[11]

Release[edit]

On August 14, 2017, the band uploaded a video on their Facebook profile revealing that the album was in its final stages of recording.[12] The reworked version of "Bring Me to Life" was released as the album's lead single on August 18, 2017.[13][14] One of the two original songs recorded for the album, "Imperfection", was released as the second single on September 15, 2017, along with the album's pre-order.[15] For Lee, the song was the most important on the album and the process of its writing took a longer period due to her uncertainty of how to put in words what she wanted to.[16] On the same day, the album's release date of November 10, 2017, was also announced and the band uploaded a video on their official YouTube channel of them working on the album in the studio and sharing their thoughts about the project.[16][17] The reworked version of "Lacrymosa" was released as the album's third single on October 27, 2017.[18]

The album was released by BMG Rights Management in the Americas, while being distributed by Virgin Records in Japan and by Sony Music internationally.[19][20]

Composition[edit]

The Synthesis version of "Bring Me to Life" is a stripped-down one, as it replaces the drums and the guitars from the original version with a strings arrangement.[21] Its instrumentation is also provided by crashing cymbals, "tension-building" timpani drums and includes various electronic elements throughout.[22] Several critics have described its new arrangement as "dramatic".[21][23] Lee has described the song as "new" to her again due to the fact that she incorporated musical elements and vocals which she had "heard in [her] head" since its release.[23]

"Imperfection", one of the original songs written for the album, is an electronic-symphonic track which features Lee's "signature belting". According to Lee, the song was written in the perspective of a person who has lost someone due to suicide and depression and she described it as a "plea to fight for your life".[24]

Tour[edit]

In order to promote the album, the band announced Synthesis Live on August 14, 2017. The tour kicked off on October 14, 2017, in Las Vegas, and is set to end in December of the same year with 28 stops in various US states. The goal behind the performances is to emphasize the vocal performance, emotions and stories behind the lyrics of the band's songs for which they will be accompanied by an orchestra on stage. In September, the European leg of the tour was announced, including 18 concerts in March and April 2018.[25][26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic69/100[27]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[28]
The Arts Desk1/5 stars[29]
Belfast Telegraph7/10[30]
Classic Rock3.5/5 stars[31]
Kerrang!3/5 stars[27]
Metal Hammer4/5 stars[32]
The Music1/5 stars[33]
The New Zealand Herald2.5/5 stars[34]
Renowned for Sound3.5/5 stars[35]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[36]

Synthesis received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has an average score of 69 based on 4 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Evanescence, except where noted.

Standard edition[2]
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
1."Overture" 0:57
2."Never Go Back"Evanescence4:50
3."Hi-Lo" (featuring Lindsey Stirling, writers: Evanescence, Will B. Hunt) 5:07
4."My Heart Is Broken"Evanescence4:34
5."Lacrymosa"The Open Door3:42
6."The End of the Dream" (writers: Evanescence, Hunt)Evanescence4:54
7."Bring Me to Life"Fallen4:18
8."Unraveling" (interlude) 1:40
9."Imaginary"Fallen4:03
10."Secret Door" (writers: Evanescence, Hunt)Evanescence3:48
11."Lithium"The Open Door4:05
12."Lost in Paradise"Evanescence4:43
13."Your Star"The Open Door4:38
14."My Immortal"Fallen4:25
15."The In-Between" (piano solo) 2:11
16."Imperfection" (writers: Evanescence, Hunt) 4:22
Total length:62:17

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Synthesis.[39]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[40] 6
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[41] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[42] 21
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[43] 31
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[44] 16
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[45] 23
French Albums (SNEP)[46] 58
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[47] 5
Greek Albums (IFPI)[48] 11
Irish Albums (IRMA)[49] 60
Italian Albums (FIMI)[50] 25
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[51] 36
Japanese International Albums (Oricon)[52] 9
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[53] 20
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[54] 41
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[55] 25
Scottish Albums (OCC)[56] 19
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[57] 20
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[58] 9
UK Albums (OCC)[59] 23
US Billboard 200[60] 8
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[61] 1
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[62] 1
US Top Classical Albums (Billboard)[63] 1
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[64] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Album Synthesis Out This Fall and Synthesis Live Tour!". Evanescence.com. August 14, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Synthesis by Evanescence". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Spanos, Brittany (October 30, 2015). "Amy Lee Talks Evanescence Reunion, New Music Plans". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ Hartmann, Graham (March 20, 2014). "Evanescence's Amy Lee: 'For the First Time in 13 Years, I Am a Free and Independent Artist'". Loudwire. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Hartmann, Graham (October 3, 2016). "Amy Lee: 'There Is Evanescence in the Future'". Loudwire. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ Kreps, Daniel (August 22, 2016). "Evanescence Announce Fall Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ Bowar, Chad (October 11, 2016). "Evanescence to Release 'The Ultimate Collection' Vinyl Box Set in December". Loudwire. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  8. ^ "The Ultimate Collection (6LP Set)". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Lost Whispers by Evanescence". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c Stutz, Colin (May 10, 2017). "Evanescence to Blend Orchestration With Electronica on New Album 'Synthesis'". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Kreps, Daniel (August 14, 2017). "Evanescence Announce Orchestral New LP 'Synthesis,' Fall Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  12. ^ Scott, Katie (August 14, 2017). "Evanescence announces 'Synthesis Live' tour, 2 Canadian dates". Global News. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  13. ^ "Bring Me to Life (Synthesis) – Single by Evanescence". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  14. ^ Childers, Chad (August 14, 2017). "Evanescence Announce 'Synthesis Live' Tour for Fall 2017". Loudwire. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Imperfection [Explicit]: Evanescence: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b Taylor, Sam (September 15, 2017). "Evanescence's new album 'Synthesis' will be released in November". Upset Magazine. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  17. ^ Evanescence – Inside Synthesis: Episode 1 – Introduction. YouTube. September 15, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Lacrymosa: Evanescence: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  19. ^ Garner, George (November 1, 2017). "Back to life: Amy Lee on Evanescence's first album in six years". Music Week. Retrieved November 2, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ Murphy, Sam (October 2, 2017). "Evanescence To Tour Australia In 2018". Music Feeds. Retrieved November 2, 2017. 
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  22. ^ Childers, Chad (August 18, 2017). "Evanescence Reveal Reimagined 'Synthesis' Version of 'Bring Me to Life'". Loudwire. Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Spanos, Brittany (August 18, 2017). "Hear Evanescence's Orchestral Reworking of 'Bring Me to Life'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 19, 2017. 
  24. ^ Reed, Ryan (September 15, 2017). "Hear Evanescence's Operatic New Song, 'Imperfection'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  25. ^ Angus, Craig (September 15, 2017). "Evanescence announce UK tour dates, tickets on sale on Fri 22 Sep at 10am". The List. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Shows Archive". Evanescence.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  27. ^ a b c "Reviews for Synthesis by Evanescence". Metacritic. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  28. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "Synthesis – Evanescence". AllMusic. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  29. ^ H. Green, Thomas (November 15, 2017). "CD: Evanescence – Synthesis". The Arts Desk. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  30. ^ "Albums of the week: DIY SOS's Nick Knowles, Shed Seven, Evanescence and Tears For Fears". Belfast Telegraph. November 10, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  31. ^ Dalton, Stephen (November 28, 2017). "Evanescence – Synthesis album review". Classic Rock. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
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  33. ^ McNaughton, Mac (November 16, 2017). "Evanescence – Synthesis". The Music. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
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  35. ^ Scarsbrook, Rachael (November 13, 2017). "Album Review: Evanescence – Synthesis". Renowned for Sound. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  36. ^ Exposito, Suzy (November 14, 2017). "Review: Evanescence Flourishes With the Classical Makeover of 'Synthesis'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
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  38. ^ Synthesis (デラックスエディション) [初回限定盤] [Synthesis (Deluxe Edition) [First Press Limited Edition]] (in Japanese). Universal Music Japan. Retrieved November 10, 2017. 
  39. ^ Synthesis (liner notes). Evanescence. BMG. 2017. 538337812. 
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  52. ^ "Oricon Top 50 Western Albums: 2017-11-20" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017. 
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  54. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  55. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – Evanescence – Synthesis". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
  56. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
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  63. ^ "Evanescence Chart History (Top Classical Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  64. ^ "Evanescence Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 21, 2017.