Artist: Evanescence

Album: Evanescence

Label: Wind - Up

The last time American rock band Evanescence released a new album was 2006's The Open Door. While it's not uncommon for artists to take their time on new projects, five years is a big gap, even in the music industry.

Music fans are a fickle and impatient bunch, and in five years there's no telling how many of Evanescence's old listeners have moved on to greener pastures. The band has also seen a number of changes to their roster over the years, a decision that could inevitably shift the loyalty of the group's remaining followers. After so much time and change, does Evanescence return the group to their glory days or, like its name, is this simply the final bow for a fading band?    

The new album opens with "What You Want", a track that both proves lead singer Amy Lee's vocals are just as dark and beautiful as ever, and will also stir the interest of fans who've long since removed the band from their iPod playlist.

It's a strong start, but the momentum slows with follow up songs "Made of Stone" and "The Change". Both tracks are decent, but listeners probably won't find them to be anything special. This sets the tone for the rest of the album, as listeners undergo a seesaw experience with each new song that comes into play.            

It's easy to enjoy the whimsical beauty of "My Heart is Broken" only to lose interest when moved to the uninspired "Other Side". "Erase This" shows off some impressive piano and drum talent, while both "Sick" and "The End of The Dream" simply don't live up to their initial potential. The album may have been able to stick the landing if it had paired the vocally strong and musically powerful "Oceans" with the surprisingly light "Swimming Home", but instead the two are separated by "Never Go Back", which feels somewhat out of place on the new album altogether.

As far as lyrics go, Evanescence has always sung to bad relationships going worse and their new album is no exception. This isn't necessarily a bad though, as the band always makes a poetic show when playing with the dark side of imagination. The lyrics can be quite beautiful at times, and Amy Lee's powerful voice only makes them shine better.  

In the end, there are many things to compliment on Evanescence. The vocal and drum talent are particularly good, and the album delivers a handful of songs that are worth another visit. After a five year absence however, being "good" won't be enough to catapult Evanescence back into the spotlight of the music world.

If you're an old fan of the band and want to sample their new music, then Evanescence may be worth your while; otherwise you may just want to let this one disappear.

*This review first published 11/4/2011

**Listen to this album on Spotify