The Letter Black
Hanging On By A Thread



by Malen USER (46 Reviews)
May 3rd, 2024 | 6 replies

Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fallenmania, part 6

I think there is some other obvious Fallenmaniac I haven’t mentionned yet. Yes, this is another christian rock band trying to be the next Evanescence, because that was a lucrative career path at some point. That band is called The Letter Black, their lead singer looks a lot like Amy Lee and Carly Smithson, their biggest song sounds like “Bring Me To Life” and even their name sounds like it could be a very old unreleased Evanescence song.

As you can tell, this band isn’t exactly the most original thing ever, or even the most talented, but if you can accept that, this album can be pretty entertaining. The title track is a typical Bring me to Life-inspired song about needing some divine power to survive through hard times. And yet, I can’t deny its catchy chorus, its simple but even catchier riff that finds a way to lodge itself into your brain. Even the male vocals, which only sing the same sentence (“Take me just as I aaaam”) stick in your brain. “Invisible” is the most obviously religious song on the album, and its “Invisible, you’re beautiful” hook is insanely cheesy, but also really catchy.

“Believe” has a sort of darker sound, some nice Evanescence-like violins and riffs, and a soaring “Believe, I put my faith in the unknown” chorus. Christian rock is more defined by its lyrics than by its sound, but this is how I’d define the sound of modern Christian rock: a sort of alternative metal sound, catchy verse and soaring chorus about your faith. That sound can really work, if you're in the right mood.

“I’m Just Fine” has probably the heaviest riff on the album, and a powerful chorus. “My Disease” is also heavy but a really catchy pop/rock chorus. Basically, it’s like other elements from the album mixed together. There are also some nice interventions from Mark Anthony, the band’s guitarist, back-up vocalist and husband to lead singer Sarah Anthony. My favorite part from him is on the first track, “Fire With Fire”, where he brings some energy to this not particularly exciting intro to the album. His voice reminds me a little of Ben Moody’s, or I guess, he just has the typical 2000s alternative metal voice. Meanwhile, Sarah has a rather distinctive voice, kind of light and high-pitched, more pop/rock than Fallenmaniac. But her voice has some power, and lots of energy, and she can sing some catchy melodies. More interestingly, she can also scream, like on the intro and chorus of “All I Want” or the bridge to “Care Too Much”.

That’s a welcome addition, because aside from the screams and heavy riffs, those two are not that interesting or catchy. There a few other songs I didn’t really enjoy. “There’ll Come a Day” is a sort of violin and drums-led ballad, with an infectious pre-chorus, but not a lot going on otherwise. “The Best of Me” is similar, only interesting because of its violin intro. “Moving On” is a very average rock song. “More to This” is a boring, embarrassing Christian ballad about how there must be more to life, like God or something. Honestly, the second half of the album is where I lose all interest. Well, except for the last song, the heavier and scream-filled “Wounded”.

So, is this album good or not? I’ll admit there were a few songs I enjoyed, while admitting they’re not exactly great. There were some I didn’t like, but I’d say they’re more bland or boring than truly obnoxious. Contrary to expectations, I didn’t hate this album just because it’s Christian, although it could get a little preachy. My main problem here is that the music isn’t always that good. It’s a decent, but rather uneven album. To tie into the theme of this series, is it a good Fallen-inspired album? It’s not as musically interesting, not as well written and sung. At times, it feels like a bunch of clichés, a caricature of the artists it’s copying. At other times, it’s a pretty convincing imitation of Fallen’s sound, and doesn’t forget to have a personality of its own, be different from Fallen in some ways. If the Fallen sound is a genre, this band had a pretty good career in it, even making more than 1 album and still being around today. That’s something to respect, even though this band isn’t exactly the most interesting artist in that genre.

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user ratings (46)
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (3.5)
A great hard rock album that easily stands beside other Christian rock giants....

TheNewWhack (2.5)
Who is Evanescence again?...

Comments:Add a Comment 
May 3rd 2024


Album Rating: 3.0

Album is very much outgrown 4 me

May 4th 2024


Fuuuuuuuck, I remember these guys and Superchick being huge back in the day

May 4th 2024


lol yeah

May 5th 2024


Album Rating: 4.5

I actually think the ballads on here are GOATed, and their third album goes way harder than it has any right to.

May 6th 2024


Album Rating: 3.5

I used to be way too into this stuff lol

May 6th 2024


Album Rating: 3.5

Damn I have it at a 3.5 😬

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