EVANESCENCE's "Synthesis" sold 34,000 equivalent album units in the week ending November 16, according to Nielsen Music, to land at position No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart. Of that sum, 30,000 were in traditional album sales. The set is a reimagining of some of EVANESCENCE's best-loved songs — as well as a couple of new ones. "Synthesis" is EVANESCENCE's first album since its 2011 self-titled release, which debuted at No. 1. The new album is the group's fourth top 10 effort, following "Evanescence", "The Open Door" (No. 1 in 2006) and "Fallen" (No. 3, 2003).
In support of "Synthesis", EVANESCENCE — lead singer-songwriter and pianist Amy Lee, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Troy McLawhorn and guitarist/background vocalist Jen Majura — is currently in the midst of its extensive "Synthesis Live" headlining tour of North America. "Synthesis Live" features Lee and the band embedded with a live 28-piece orchestra and electronic programming, delivering a transcendent experience.
Living up to its name, "Synthesis" is a combination of organic and synthesized sounds featuring Lee's virtuosic singing and piano playing, supported by her band and a full symphony orchestra performing arrangements by longtime collaborator, orchestra arranger and composer David Campbell as well as an array of electronic music programming and effects engineered by the band, co-producer William Hunt and programmer/mixer Damian Taylor (BJÖRK, THE KILLERS, ARCADE FIRE). The album features two new EVANESCENCE songs: the first single "Imperfection" and "Hi-Lo", the latter of which includes a guest performance by famed violinist Lindsey Stirling.
Lee told Forbes about the fan response to the "Synthesis Live" tour: "I think our fans like it a lot. It's a way to experience this music, for them and for us, in a different way. We've been playing the straight-up original versions of our songs for many years now. So to have an opportunity to go to a different venue for most of these shows, go to a concert hall, sit down and listen to it, it's a lot more like going to a show, like going to a movie, than going to a rock concert where you're gonna jump up and down and make noise. There are parts that are very intimate before it goes big and epic and 28 orchestral musicians are going off. So it's a very personal experience. The reaction I've seen has been really good, but it's definitely different. It feels still weird to us on stage, we're getting completely used to it. It's definitely not a rock and roll show, but I think it's really special and I'm absolutely positive I'm gonna remember these performances and this very special experience for the rest of my life."
Photo credit: P.R. Brown