It’s been a rough two years for Evanescence.

Last December singer Amy Lee filed a lawsuit against her former manager, accusing him of sexual harassment and defrauding the band. (He has denied the claims.) Her songwriting partner, Terry Balsamo — who replaced former partner Ben Moody in 2003 — had a stroke. (He’s since made a full recovery.) Lee split with her boyfriend of two years, Seether’s Shaun Morgan. And to top it off, “the cat ran away,” says Lee.

“It was all really dramatic and weird.” But tragedy creates great material: “It’s only made the record that much better, honestly,” she says.

Moody’s departure meant greater creative control for Lee. “Before, I wasn’t allowed to play any organ because Ben didn’t like it. This time I could do whatever I wanted, and there’s lots of organ. It’s all over.”

The first single, “Call Me When You’re Sober,” has remnants of Evanescence’s old goth sound, but with woman-scorned lyrics (”You never call me when you’re sober/You only want it cause it’s over”) and a bluesy arrangement of strings and organ, it sounds more Fiona Apple than new metal.

On “Good Enough,” a plaintive piano ballad, Lee’s voice drops to a lower register, giving it a richness and nuance not present on previous albums. “I just feel purified,” says Lee. “I still listen to the album now, and it couldn’t mean more to me.”

Evanescence will release “The Open Door” on October 3 through Wind-Up Records.

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