Lead singer Amy Lee has said she wanted the new record to focus on the band rather than just herself - hence the album name. It's also reflected in the music, which stresses a band sound, with heavy guitar riffs and drums on almost every track.
The tone is set in opener What You Want. It's a pacy, hard-hitting number designed to remind people - and maybe themselves - who they are, with Lee repeatedly asking in the chorus, "Hello, hello, remember me?" Made of Stone and The Other Side are other heavier songs worth a listen.
While the louder tracks are impressive, Lee's vocals are at their best on ballads which incorporate classical elements like piano and strings. These instruments combined with her vocals and lyrics of failed relationships and missing loves create a haunting, gothic aura.
Lost in Paradise is reminiscent of the band's 2003 hit My Immortal. It begins slowly with Lee singing to a piano, then the band joins, upping the tempo and adding to the angst of being lost.
Lee and co have delivered on her promise of a "better, stronger and more interesting" album. Evanescence is an gratifying record that'll have you head-banging before you know it.
YP Rating: 4/5