Review Summary: Better than it could have been.
I was wondering when Andy Biersack would call John Feldmann again. After all, he brought a spark of style to a band that was more known for mimicking other successful acts with not much in terms of identity. After Wretched and Divine
, I began to see good potential in Black Veil Brides. However, this review is not about Black Veil Brides.
The Shadow Side
is the debut album for Andy Biersack's Goth-Pop project Andy Black. It is a lot more designed for the mainstream than other music Andy is known for. One massive problem is in the lack of They Don't Need to Understand
in the album. It was a beautiful track with great percussion and vocals and it is borderline criminal how it is not included in this album. Despite that, the album does contain other great singles like We Don't Have to Dance
, a great pop track that mimics the general theme of They Don't Need to Understand
, but has less instruments playing and relies much more on synths and beats. Stay Alive
features Matt Skiba on guest vocals and has a much better flow to the whole song, there are no stiff rests and it runs along at a consistent pace which is nice.
Not everything on this album is good, however. Ribcage
has a redundant production and lyrics that repeat themselves endlessly. Broken Pieces
is too slow for the overall theme of the song and the choral chants are overused ad nauseum. Homecoming King
tries way too hard with the over-dubbing and ends up sounding out of place. For a bunch of songs, it seems like many of the songs were just filler. If that was the case, perhaps this would have been better off as an EP, but I digress.
has a great pace and piano segment, not to mention the random saxophone that is slightly distorted. I enjoy the lyrics which discuss marching through a void in our hearts without the need of the ones who put us there. One thing I will give John Feldmann props for is his liberal use of different instruments, a perfect example is Put The Gun Down
which starts with different violins playing different parts at the same time while massive drums take control about thirty seconds down the line. Drown Me Out
doesn't exactly have the best start, but it is a great track with a nice use of distorted vocals and drums.
The Shadow Side
has more good tracks than it does bad. That doesn't end the nagging feeling that this was a severe case of wasted potential, with its production and the hype that Andy attempted to build over the course of months. Regardless, The Shadow Side is a great album that shows the more jovial side of Andy Biersack's musical tastes, and gives more content to his fans. Though, most likely diehard Black Veil Brides fans will be turned off by its mainstream production and lyrical content. In a sense, Andy Black is yang to Black Veil Brides' yin, but one could also say they compliment each other just as much as they oppose each other.