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JFH Staff Review


The Letter Black
Breaking The Silence EP



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 6 tracks: 22 minutes, 4 seconds
Street Date: September 22, 2009


Don't check the alphabet. There are still only 26 letters, and 'black' isn't among them. However, the 'black' letter, according to The Letter Black, refers to our past mistakes and how to avoid them in the future. Formerly Breaking the Silence, the recent Tooth & Nail signee, combines girl-fronted rock with an alternative edge on their debut project Breaking the Silence EP. Now considering the EP's cover photo along with the genre, it's important to ask yourself a question: Does Fireflight and their album Unbreakable ring any bells?

Unlike Breaking The Silence's only album, Stand, The Letter Black is fully fronted by Sarah Anthony; a departure from the days when Sarah and her husband, Mark, would split time fronting the songs. Now, on the EP, Marks vocals are limited to background vocals which show up the strongest on "Hanging by a Thread." While solid on half the rock tracks, Sarah's vocals flow their best on the softest and most melodic song, "Best Of Me." Although many may not find that "Moving On" or "Hanging By A Thread" are terribly original, both are solid rock tunes. However, in an attempt to raise the intensity in both "Collapse" and especially on the finale "Perfect," Sarah overextends her vocals and the final result is not pretty.

Despite a few tracks which deal with personal conflict which remain outside the listener's sphere of comprehension (save the basic outline), the songwriting is fairly simple. "Perfect" is essentially a heavy worship song ("I know that you are beautiful/as a scarlet sunrise/so perfect to me") as it describes some of God's attributes, while other songs address the singer's trust in God and our need for a savior ("Collapse" and "Hanging By A Thread" respectively).

It was really handy to have artists like Fireflight, Flyleaf, and Plumb to offer another option for those who didn't want to take a chance on other girl-fronted rock acts like Evanescence. Since The Letter Black has now set the only diverse aspect about the band behind them (Sarah and Mark's duet) it leaves their slick, but generic music a little lacking. While Breaking The Silence EP isn't a bad start for The Letter Black, the failure for the group to break the mold doesn't leave their EP terribly compelling.

- Review date: 9/14/09, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com


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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



As one of the newest signees to Tooth & Nail Records, The Letter Black is seemingly the label's answer to the female-fronted hard rock five-piece Flyleaf. While it would be unfair to state that The Letter Black is just another hard rock carbon copy, unfortunately, the band does little to make themselves unique in their genre. Besides the not-always fresh sound they carry, Sarah Anthony's vocals, while passionate, can be a little irritating at times. They're not atrocious, or even bad, by any means, but they don't tend to vary enough, and an unpleasant, out-of-place scream on "All Of Me" doesn't help things, either. On one hand, the lyrical content here is nothing but commendable, but on the other, I just wish it was delivered better than it was. Some hard rock fans will find plenty to love about The Letter Black's Breaking the Silence, and as an EP, one need not invest too much to check them out. But for now, the quartet has some maturing to do before they become a real force to be reckoned with in the Christian rock circle. - Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Tooth & Nail Records
. Album length: 6 tracks: 22 minutes, 4 seconds
. Street Date: September 22, 2009
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Moving On (3:38)
  2. Hanging On By A Thread (3:02)
  3. Best Of Me (3:48)
  4. Collapse (3:59)
  5. All Of Me (3:37)
  6. Perfect (4:03)

 

 

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