Andy Black’s “The Shadow Side” Album Review: This is Hell (Amazing), Yes


Released on: May 6, 2016

Record Label: Republic Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

When I first heard that Andy Biersack was coming up with a solo side project, I was slightly apprehensive at first because I wasn’t sure how he would fare without the whole “Black Veil Brides” facade. You cannot blame me – after all, like thousands of BVB fan(girls), I grew up watching Andy as a frontman/vocalist of Black Veil Brides. After Hot Topic released an exclusive video of the-song-that-never-made-it-to-his-record-anyway  “They Don’t Need to Understand” two years ago, I immediately knew that I have to check the record out when it is released.


The Shadow Side features 13 radio-friendly tracks, lasting 49 minutes in total. It revolves around his distaste for societal norms and his pursuit on his “shadow side”. It didn’t seem to borrow much references or musical influences either, as it has a grandiose pop-rock sound that only the man himself could reproduce.

My favourite track, “We Don’t Have to Dance” is everything the record is supposed to be. The track demands the listener to play it on repeat for about half a day to truly listen to the vocal and lyrical potential Andy Biersack has to offer.

From the first second when the synths kicks in to the last of his whispers, it has easily captivated with the groove; and the catchy chorus that sings “We don’t have to talk/we don’t have to dance/we don’t have to smile/we don’t have to make friends” just blew every other track out of the water. Personally, I feel that this particular track is the most meaningful to me because it seems like a personal reflection on relationships that resonates with how I feel about them in general.

You’re never gonna get it, I’m a hazard to myself

I’ll break it to you easy, this is hell

This is hell

You’re looking and whispering, you think I’m someone else

This is hell, yes

Literal hell


Can I just add that I really love the music video as well? The music video’s tasteful take on film noir cinematography effectively adds an alchemical touch to the mood of the video and complements the philosophy of the entire record.

However, if you like what you heard, don’t get too excited because the rest of the tracks may disappoint.

The likes of “Put the Gun Down“, “Drown Me Out“, and “Beautiful Pain” are what I would define as filler tracks – you’ll hear the repetition in lyrical style, melodies and riffs. It’s almost like pulling out a track from the latest Black Veil Brides record (oops?).

It is also notable that Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio (and now Blink-182 too) lends his vocals to the bulk of the second verse of “Stay Alive“, a track that sounds passionately positive and totally amazing; it is as if there’s two angels singing to keep you alive on this track. Although I wished Matt had more vocal time, it was a perfect balance between the two singers as they are both easily distinguishable.

If you’re looking for a record to get you through a tough period in your life, this could be worth poppin’ your eardrums for a listen. The Shadow Side is nothing short of positivity, lyrical maturity, and is definitely a fitting debut full-length album for the frontman of Black Veil Brides. I’m just puzzled why “They Don’t Need to Understanddid not make it to the final cut of the record because I really liked it a lot better than the filler tracks.

I’ve heard that he has recently entered the studio with Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) and producer John Feldmann (Sleeping with Sirens) for what seemed to be his sophomore solo record, so this will definitely not be the last we see of Andy Black.

I love it how Andy Biersack has evolved so much as a musician since his early Black Veil Brides days. Andy Biersack has such an artistic voice and individualistic musical direction – there’s just something about him (aside from his good looks) that will keep me wanting more from him as a solo act. 

Who knows, he could be our 21st century’s David Bowie.




We Don’t Have to Dance, Stay Alive, Drown Me Out, Paint It Black, Louder Than Your Love


  1. Homecoming King
  2. We Don’t Have To Dance
  3. Ribcage
  4. Stay Alive (featuring Matt Skiba)
  5. Love Was Made To Break
  6. Beautiful Pain
  7. Put the Gun Down
  8. Drown Me Out
  9. Paint It Black
  10. Break Your Halo
  11. Louder Than Your Love
  12. Broken Pieces
  13. The Void

What’s up!

Hello beautiful humans, welcome to my blog.

You can find all sorts of reviews here, whether it is the latest or dated beauty products, music releases, food, pieces of cloths… you get the drill.

I’ve always wanted to start a blog for writing reviews, but I’ve contemplated for the longest time because I do not really know how I wanted to go about doing this. The main inspiration behind this has got to be my recent purchases; I realised that as I become more exposed to lots of cosmetics products (mum don’t kill me), I’ve started to look up for reviews on blogs and YouTube to see how the products that I’m interested in work on different people before I decide that it is a worthy candidate to have a place in my over-crowded vanity space.

I guess another reason why I felt inspired was because I wanted to voice out my opinions, and sometimes it ticks me off whenever some reviewers left out some vital information about certain products that I wish they had mentioned. As such, I’ll try my best to make my reviews as comprehensive as possible; heck, I even did my research on certain chemical ingredients just so I know what it’s for.

For the record, you’ll probably not find any “first impression” posts. I am just not a fan of documenting my first impression about a certain product, and then weeks later, I’d find it to be something totally different. It almost-always happens, and I just find it annoying how YouTubers do that sometimes and their viewers are left with the presumption that those products would probably remain as good as it is. I mean, what’s the point of buying something for it to work perfectly for just a few times? With that being said, I would have at least tried my products about thrice before writing a review about it. I think I’ll have the decency to mention the number of times I’ve used it in the individual posts to come, but yup, no first impressions here. Not now, not ever.

I’m also feeling a little iffy about having the “Fashion” tag in my menu sidebar, I mean, I don’t really take OOTDs (Outfit of the Day) and yet, I thought I would like to share my thoughts on fashion pieces and hauls that I’ve bought from online webstores. I guess I’ll leave it there for now, but if I find it really impossible for me to get something done for that, I’ll remove it in due time.

Please pardon the minimalist-monochromatic design for the moment, although I’m kinda digging it actually. I’ve thought of adding some designs or textures to it, I just haven’t had the time or the inspiration to know what to do with it. I’ll leave it as that for now too, but if I find it really impossible for me to design something I will… leave it. 🙂

Oops, I’ve rambled so much that I’d almost forgot to introduce the human behind this blog. My name is Stacey, Lim’s my surname because I am Chinese, and hence the url title “Stacey Reviews”. As of time of writing, I am 20+ as I’m about to hit 21 but for some strange reason, the world is obsessed with the idea of adding a “+” to your age, thus wrecking the aesthetics of the numerical value just because you’ve not reached your actual birthdate and this very fact PISSES ME OFF. I guess I might not mind as much when I grow older…

I’ve just graduated from Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a Diploma in Mass Communication, and I am currently awaiting for university admission. This is definitely one of the most exciting and nerve-wrecking moment of my life, and I’ll not be wasting these time away. I’m devoting some time to do some voluntary work for non-profit organisations to help out in any capacity that I can; to pick up a new skill, such as helping my mum out with some household chores. However, I’ll like to add that this is probably the only post that you’ll find me writing about myself. You can find those stuff at my LiveJournal blog, which is only privy to some friends, and besides, I don’t really post often these days. You won’t find any links to my social media platforms as well, because I prefer to keep it low-key and I hope you respect my decision for doing so. I’ll probably only share updates of this blog on my snapchat, so you can look out for that. Otherwise, follow my blog if you have a WordPress account or follow me via e-mail!


If I have already addressed everything you’ll probably need to know, here you have it: the first post to this blog! *throws confetti into your eyeballs*

Welcome to Stacey Reviews, and I hope my reviews are useful to you, as other reviews had been to me when I was looking them up as well. Feel free to voice out (only) constructive comments in the posts to come, and also let me know what you’ll like to see here.

I’ll also like to add that all opinions are my own. In the (very) unlikely case of being sponsored by anyone or anything, I’ll indicate it very clearly – at least somewhere in the first 5 sentences of the review. Just so you know.

Thank you for reading!