The Letter Black Rise Above with Impressive Self-Titled Album
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Pennsylvania rockers The Letter Black have just released a superb new self-titled album, partnering with Rockfest Records for the first time. It’s full of head-banging hits and thought provoking lyrics.
“Rise” starts the album off with a bang. It begins with synth and bass, joined a moment later by frenetic drumming. The anticipation builds to an explosion of energy as Sarah Anthony’s intense growls, as well as heavy guitars, kick in. It remains energetic and heavy throughout, a headbanging battle cry inciting listeners to turn their eyes towards Heaven and rise above the challenging situations they may be facing. The rocking continues with “One More Time.” It’s a fun track representing the old adage that actions speak louder than words. Trust is everything in a relationship, and once broken, it can be hard to rebuild that relationship.
“Kiss of Death” is a heavy song dealing with a heavy topic. After a brief moment of sweet vocal harmonies, Mark Anthony’s intense guitar riffs erupt, shattering through the peace. The bass takes over momentarily as the vocals begin. The full band comes back together, providing a big sound for the chorus. Lyrically, “Kiss of Death” illustrates an inner battle with the demon of suicide, speaking its sweet lies over a troubled soul. The promise of escape can seem tempting to one who is in misery, but that escape is a facade leading to terrible destruction and loss, not only to the individual, but to countless others. The ending of the song mirrors the beginning with guitar riffs giving way to sweet vocal harmonies.
Next up is “Drowning” which changes things up a little bit. It’s more of a mid-tempo track, and features rapper Blake Whiteley. The lyrics hit deep, and offer some encouragement. So many times in life we can let the negative circumstances get to us and cause us to drift away from our relationship with God. But no matter how many steps we’ve taken away from Him, we only need to turn around and take that first step back and He’ll welcome us with open arms. He is all we need, and the only one that can save us from drowning in the mire of life.
“Let You Go” slows things down a bit. It’s quite melodic, and allows Sarah Anthony’s beautiful singing voice to shine through. “Let You Go” is very interesting musically, with electronic elements dancing lightly above the guitar riffs. The vocals on the verses have an almost ethereal quality, floating through the musical mist. The band dives into another serious topic on this track, commenting on the hardships of children who spend their life in foster care. Sadly, they’re often placed in homes where love is unknown, something only to be dreamt about. But God is always by their side and will never let them go, even though they may walk through some dark valleys in their life.
The album wraps up in a similarly epic fashion as it began with “Born For This,” featuring Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch on vocals. Once the song kicks in, the drums jump into overdrive, propelling the song forward. There are more intense screams before the melody begins. Trevor’s and Sarah’s voices blend perfectly, whether trading lines or harmonizing. The fierce bridge declares that even though the world may hate us and try to break us, they can’t. We are unstoppable. Because we’re created in the image of God, we were made for so much more than the lies that the world has to offer.
This album is full of heavy guitar riffs and solos, tasty bass riffs, captivating drum beats, and a strong message. The band is tight, and the album is very well put together, ranging from fun to serious. The Letter Black doesn’t shy away from the serious issues of life, and that makes their music relatable. Being allowed more creative freedom has brought out the best in the band, and this is one of their best offerings to date. Truly a worthwhile addition to any rock lover’s collection.