Because Hammer is a metal mag and The Shadow Side is not a metal album, it’s necessary to start this review with the classic disclaimer: you might want to look away now.
Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack has made no secret of the fact that his first solo album under the name of Andy Black is about as metal as Justin Bieber’s pyjamas, describing it as “more U2 than Megadeth”.
Still with us? The good news is, it doesn’t sound like U2. A more accurate description would be a hybrid of One Direction, Breathe Carolina, Save Rock And Roll-era Fall Out Boy (Patrick Stump’s a collaborator) and some Bon Jovi-esque power ballad sensibilities, only with fewer guitar solos and more ‘OMG look what I found in the ProTools library!’ moments. That said, as pop albums go, it’s not bad. There are plenty of singalong choruses and Andy’s gravelly tones make sure it’s not overly sugary.