Album Review: The Bitter Truth by Evanescence

Victoria Cox

Staff Writer

Evanescence released their fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth, on March 26th of this year. This album reflects the challenges the band has faced over the years, as well as challenges with COVID-19 and political challenges throughout 2020-2021. Frontwoman Amy Lee spoke to NPR on how the pandemic posed a challenge for the band: 

“It pushed a lot of feelings to the surface. The band has experienced a lot of grief in our time together, especially in the past few years. I lost my brother. Our bass player, Tim [McCord], their family lost a child. And then when the pandemic hit, it was like the whole world — all were experiencing loss. We were all feeling that end of the world kind of feeling. And suddenly I felt like the music was more important than ever, not just for me, but for our fans. And it really drove us and built a lot of fire in us.” 

This fire within the band has helped them create new songs with their experiences of loss, survival, and getting through the pain of losing their loved ones. 

PC: Paul Brown

Songs like “Feeding the Dark” dive into some older sounds for the band. These sound a lot like songs from Fallen, the band’s Grammy-winning debut album from 2003, and The Open Door, from 2006 which all feature dark and strong lyrics, pounding drums, and guitar riffs. While songs like, “Far From Heaven,” feature the light piano and strings the band is also commonly known for. 

Focusing on the loss of family members, and those close to the bandmates, Lee writes a powerful song on the feelings of loss and missing those loved ones. “What I wouldn’t give to be with you / What if I can’t see your light anymore / Cause I’ve spent too long in the dark.” 

Lee wrote this song as a reflection of the grief she experienced in the wake of the death of her brother in 2018 and the tragic loss of her bandmate’s teenage daughter to suicide last year.

Lee also uses her lyrics to challenging political issues with “Use My Voice” which has backing vocals from powerful female rock band frontwomen, Lzzy Hale (of Halestorm), Sharon den Adel (of Within Temptation), violinist Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Momsen (The Pretty Reckless) and some of Lee’s friends and family members. 

This song was also used as the campaign song for HeadCount, which encourages people to vote, during the 2020 election of Donald Trump and Now President Joe Biden. 

Lee stated in an interview with CBS This Morning, “What can I do to serve our country? How can I help us move forward when we are hurting so bad right now?” She also spoke in the interview about her experiences with seeing the political challenges we faced in the 2020 election and that she was going to be voting for then Presidential candidate Biden. 

Lee also spoke with NPR on how the song “Use My Voice” deals with other issues, 

“When I first started writing that song, it was after reading Chanel Miller’s incredible impact statement, her testimony at the end of her trial. She’s a sexual assault survivor, [formerly known as Emily Doe, the victim of Brock Turner’s assault outside a Stanford University frat party in 2015]. And, when she stood up and just read the words of her experience and what it felt like and what it meant to her as a human being, it just occurred to me that words have so much power that over anything else that could have possibly thrown at her, her words were stronger. I’ve been through quite a few legal battles and more behind the scenes with this band just having to fight for my right to use my own voice and not try to represent something that’s going to benefit somebody else. My journey and my experience with this has been so layered and had so many chapters at this point.” 

With Lee’s powerful vocals, pack-a-punch instrumentation and killer performances, it is no question that The Bitter Truth will be one of the most powerful and outstanding albums of 2021 and make an impact for many years to come. This will be another hit for the band with the singles, “Use My Voice,” “The Game is Over,” “Wasted On You,” and “Yeah Right.”


Victoria Cox is a Staff Writer for The Carolinian at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is pursuing an English degree and minor in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Contact: v_cox@uncg.edu or vlcox36684@gmail.com



Categories: Arts & Entertainment

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