Review Summary: you can't repel hard rock of this magnitude.
Does it come as any surprise that this is a good album? Christian music is so typically focused on producing hard rock that you can guess what an album is going to sound like before you listen to it. This album is entirely predictable. The band sounds like a combination, of Decyfer Down, Skillet, Fireflight, and Disciple (all Christian bands), so you can tell that The Letter Black are playing it safe. The end question is whether or not The Letter Black’s Hanging On By A Thread
can excite musical consumers when they’ve heard the same thing so many times before. Offhand, I would say that this band can do just that, despite what you may believe they are incapable of doing.
Although it sounds like Hanging On By A Thread
is going to be an extremely boring or forgettable album, that is the opposite of true. Thanks to the extremely energetic presence of the chick singer, Sarah Anthony, the album rocks hard. Both on stage and in the album, her performance is fiery and passionate – she is a force to be reckoned with. With her strong vocals and cheerfulness, the band is completely believable as a Christian group, and that is certainly good. Now while it’s nice to have such a great lead singer, it’s also nice that their backup singer is proficient. Mark Anthony can hold his own as the band’s second vocalist, in fact, he could become quite a convincing lead singer if Sarah ever had to leave the band. Together, they form one of the better male/female duos in recent memory, which is a probably a good sign for their marriage.
Unfortunately, despite the strengths of the album, the band still has much to improve upon. The songwriting is subpar, and although there are strong choruses aplenty, weaknesses are still easily noticed. For instance, the pace of the lyrics often clash with the pace of the music itself, resulting in awkward moments. When this happens, much attention is brought to the lyrics, and this is problematic because the lyrics are weak. They are angst-ridden, definitely not poetic, and this brings the album down quite a few notches. The passion is still there, but it’s a shame that the lyrics don’t match up.
Despite the album’s occasional flaws, the positives outweigh the negatives. The songs are loud, aggressive, catchy, and most importantly, a pile of fun. The Letter Black may not have a truly unique sound yet, but as for now, it doesn’t matter that much. They can rock just as hard as the top Christian rock bands, if not harder sometimes. When looking for an album to pass the time with, Hanging On By A Thread
can be a fun solution.