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| 19 June 2019 | Reply

Label: Republic Records

Release Date: April 12, 2019

Rating: 95%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love Black Veil Brides and the debut solo disc from Andy Black gets plays in my car and office.  With no BVB music on the horizon, I was excited to learn of new material from Andy to fill the void.  Disc opener “Introduction: Resurrection” kicks the disc into slightly different territory than the previous solo disc, but not too far out of line.  The vocals are a cool blend of rock and pop and are perfectly supported by the musical accompaniment.  The music is not hard rock but it isn’t the electronic / Goth blend that was prevalent on the last release.  “The Promise” has elements that are equal parts Andy Black and Black Veil Brides, as I could envision (hear) this song with huge riffs and thunderous drums as much as I can the melodic and pop-driven sound that carries this track. This track features Black’s wife Juliet Simms’ vocals in the background.  “Know One” has a different feel and vibe that fits the lyrics that seem to be scattered as well.  While I like the musical component of the track and the vocals, the lyrics are lost on me.  “The Wind & Spark” runs from open to close with a great cadence that gets your feet tapping and keeps you listening, waiting to see what comes next.  The bridge and transition are great and Black’s vocals seem to punctuate the meaning of the lyrics perfectly.  This song embraces the pop-rock vibe woven throughout the track and disc.  “Heroes We Were” is another track that grabbed my attention from the first listen through and is a go to.  The sing-along vibe of the chorus combined with the underlying groove of the song make this a standout that should become a staple in Black’s setlist on solo tour dates.  “Heaven” is a cool tune that benefits from Andy’s vocals and the ethereal musical accompaniment.  That said, this beautiful song would be as powerful as a piano-driven or acoustic track thanks to the vocals and stripped back groove of the song.  I go back to this one time and time again. The common bond from track to track that also ties this release to the previous solo disc, as well as the BVB catalog, is Andy’s baritone.

“Westwood Road”: is another track that benefits from catchy lyrics and anthemic chorus and Black’s voice.  The songs groove is contagious and the musical accompaniment is fun and keeps the song flowing.  This is one of my favorites on the collection and should go over great in a live scenario.  “Soul Like Me” is a killer track that draws you in slowly, but digs its hook in with a catchy chorus that grows in intensity as the songs clicks ebbs and flows through the verses, chorus, and bridge.  I imagine this as a beautiful track filled with orchestration.  Title track “Ghost Of Ohio” is the first to take a different vocal sound.  From the electronic flavor that opens the song through the stripped back baritone that carries the verse and into the layered chorus, Andy’s voice is the star of this track.  The tempo is infectious and gets the foot tapping throughout the track.  “Feast Or Famine” has a cool vibe that permeates the track from the first note until the last.  This is another track I envision could have been recorded by BVB as well, with some orchestration and soaring guitars filling the background.  The lyrics are great and Black delivers them perfectly.  “The Martyr” plays on the image Andy has developed over the years, tying his upbringing, youth, and both the personal and musical growth together on this track.  The chorus us great and features some hard rock riffs and killer bottom end.  This one most closely resembles the song writing from Andy’s ‘day job.’  Disc closer “Fire In My Mind” in an interest option to wind down the disc with, as the mellow opening tempo, mild vocals, and stripped back musical accompaniment through the first verse and chorus seems better suited to bridge harder or edgier tracks than it is to be the final piece on the disc.  Make sure you stick around through the bridges and transitions to see this song shine and elevate the collection of tracks.  Lyrically, this is one of the better songs on the disc – and should get phones and lighters in the air if Black decides to pull this one out when performing live.

Tracklisting: Introduction: Resurrection – The Promise – Westwood Road – Know One – Soul Like Me – The Wind & Spark – Ghost Of Ohio – Heroes We Were – Feast Or Famine – Heaven – The Martyr – Fire In My Mind





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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