"Evanescence" was released on Oct. 11, marking the longest gap-- more than five years -- between any two Evanescence albums.
Evanescence began work on what would become the band's self-titled third studio album in June 2009; the album's release date has been changed several times since it was announced. Overall, this self-titled release is the group's longest and most solid album to date, which tells me that they really took their time on this one.
The album explores many concepts such as life and relationships; one concept that rises prominently above the others is freedom. The standard version of the album contains 12 songs, while the deluxe edition has 16.
The artwork is the first of any Evanescence album not to feature vocalist Amy Hartzler (better known as Amy Lee) on the cover. Instead it simply has the band's name, and dark purple-blue vapor-like mist surrounding the name, hence the meaning of "Evanescence" -- to dissipate like vapor.
It has been said by the band that this is really a band record; when they recorded the album they were looking to have fun and create something they were proud of. They are artists, they are entertainers so don't be disappointed when you hear the album; you can immediately tell that this is Evanescence, that's how bands are supposed to sound. The album is a symphonic mix of Lee's outstanding vocals alongside piano, keyboard, cello, viola, violin, harp, bass, guitar and drums.
Here's a look at the tracks, with each song rated on scale of 1 to 10.
1. "What You Want.": The album's single, released on Aug. 9, is the heaviest song, and is about freedom and Lee's relationship with her fans. Rating: 9.
2. "Made of Stone": This song has some of my favorite musical components to it, such as the creative ways the instruments are blended together with Lee's voice. Rating: 8.
3. "The Change": This song starts off slowly, building into a powerful and epic chorus, which blends the music perfectly with the vocalist's impressive voice. Rating: 7.
4. "Heart Is Broken": The album's second single begins and ends with Lee's piano playing leading up to another powerful chorus. Rating: 7.
5. "The Other Side": The theme of this song is death; the instruments blend very well with Lee's voice. Rating: 9.
6. "Erase This": Lee's piano playing starts this off, alongside a fast-paced guitar. One of the more elaborate songs as far as the instruments go. Rating: 7.
7. "Lost in Paradise": A piano ballad that starts slow, but builds into a thunderous symphony of music alongside Lee's vocals. Rating: 8.
8. "Sick": One of the first songs written for the album, this song has a chanted chorus and gives the album an even heavier feel. Rating: 8.
9. "End of the Dream": The first of the three songs on the album that begin with metal style guitars, but you can tell it's still Evanescence because of Lee's unmistakable vocals. This song is about understanding life isn't forever, and to embrace your purpose in it. Rating: 7.
10. "Oceans": The music blends very well throughout the entire number, especially in the very energetic choruses and the bridge of the song. Rating: 9.
11. "Never Go Back": The second song out of three that starts with very powerful guitar; it doesn't sound like classic Evanescence. This piece was originally called "Orange" and was inspired by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Rating: 8.
12. "Swimming Home": One of the softest songs on the album, this number is supposed to have an electro-pop sound, but I'm not sure that best describes it. Rating: 6.
13. "A New Way to Bleed": This song gives the band more depth to their music, reminding me of the chorus to "The Change." Although this isn't the best song on the record, it stands out. Rating: 8.
14. "Say You Will": This is probably my favorite song; it's about a choice in a relationship. It has the hardest chorus of any song with Lee singing: "Say you will or say you won't, open your heart to me, now or never tell the truth, is this real, is this real?" Rating: 9.
15. "Disappear": With probably with the catchiest chorus on the album, this song has a very strong message. Rating: 9.
16. "Secret Door": This and the prior two tracks are the only songs on the album that Amy Lee didn't write lyrics for. Instead it, like the other two, was an effort by other members of the band. This is the softest song on the record -- not the best closer to an album as good as this one. Rating: 6.
Overall, this is Evanescence's best record to date. All of the songs stand out in some way or another, which is something I haven't seen in their albums before. So I'd like to welcome back Evanescence, and hopefully past Evanescence fans -- and maybe some new ones too.
Alex Esplin is a senior at Dorius Academy. Email him at email@example.com.