There aren’t many musicians nowadays that have the ability to completely encapsulate a listener away from reality and into a whole new world of storytelling, but that’s exactly what Andy Black has managed to achieve with his sophomore record, ‘The Ghost Of Ohio’.
Taking a step back from his usual position fronting Black Veil Brides (where he goes by his real name, Andy Biersack), Black has had time to not only focus on his solo venture but has also written his first graphic novel of the same name to work simultaneously with the record; one telling the story with imagery, and the other with music.
The record feels like it’s almost broken into chapters, with each song possessing its own little unique quality, whether that be the unexpected cameo from a saxophone in ‘The Promise’, or the twinkly pop-esque vibe of ‘Heroes We Were’, in which Black discusses trying to maintain his ‘hero’ status to his fans, even when he may not particularly feel that way himself.
One of the standout moments here is ‘Westwood Road’. On the surface it appears to be happy and upbeat number, with a very cool incorporation of a 70s funky bass beat, but the lyrics juxtapose this image. It divulges a darker concept, and tells the story of how Black would rather just be back home when he has spent so many days on the road dealing with the tolls of his rockstar lifestyle.
The one consistent of this record is the undeniable feeling that Black has almost opened his diary to the world. It feels personal, and there’s a real sense of vulnerability throughout the album, more so in the beautiful ballad ‘Heaven’, written as a dedication to his wife and fellow musician, Juliet Simms.
After spending so many years in the limelight, ‘The Ghost Of Ohio’ feels like this is who Andy Black, or indeed, Andy Biersack, really is beneath his metaphorical mask. Highlighting relatable topics of individuality and learning from past mistakes, it almost feels therapeutic to the point that you’ll want to keep revisiting this album again and again.