Usually when an artist goes solo they tend to take a different approach to their solo work, by sounding different and try to capture a different atmosphere than the band they’ve come from. With Andy Biersack also know as Andy Black with his new album “The Shadow Side” he does manage to move away from his cliché filled 80’s inspired band Black Veil Brides by fusing electronic tones with rock n roll, and it does work but not well. In this case, of “The Shadow Side” is not a strong album, it does have hits but they’re not strong enough to hold the record up. Out of the 13 songs on the album only 4 barely stand out. Each song sounds like it’s been heard before through someone else, even going down to lyrics especially with Ribcage and Stay Alive that seem to have been done before.
If you’re a fan of Black Veil Brides then you’ll love this record, and if you’re not you’ll dismiss it there’s no in between unfortunately. Vocally Biersack to me, seems like he’s trying to way too hard to be something, an example I use is that he’s like the Chad Kroeger from Nickleback in the sense that he sounds awkward on a lot a parts of the album. As I’ve mentioned before, lyrically the record is falls short from his work in Black Veil Brides which in itself isn’t that strong either, he plays it safe by singing about what others have done and have done it better. The appeal for the album is there in lyrics in songs like Put the Gun Down which talks about depression and world that comes with it, but the appeal stops there, Paint it Black is song structure that Biersack is good having quiet and simple verses and anthem filled choruses which can easily turn someone who doesn’t like or wants to away. After several listens of the album, there was nothing that blew me away, each song holds the same caliber as the one that preceded it and they almost all sound the same.
With that being said, the album isn’t the worst album out there it’s not that bad, if Biersack could explorer his vocal range and get some help with lyrics his next solo work could better. Break Your Halo is one of those songs that make the album worth the listen along with Louder Than Your Love that feels like a throwback to simple days when bands like Sum 41 and The All American Rejects ruled the rock charts and is probably the heaviest and the best song on record. Over all if you take out the electronic vibe and replace it with what Black Veil Brides sound like, you’ll have another BVB record, as much as it sounds like a departure from what they sound like lyrically and the style it sounds like Biersack wrote this album for the band but decided to just say it his solo work.
Listen to “The Shadow Side” on Itunes Music and Spotify and get a physical copy at your local Hot Topic/Best Buy
By Raza Malik