Review: The Letter Black- Pain

When The Letter Black released their major label debut- Hanging By a Thread in 2010, they took the rock world by storm and quickly became one of the most promising bands in all of rock- not just Christian rock. Then they released their sophomore offering- Rebuild in 2013 and, though it charted very well, it didn’t pack the same punch it’s predecessor had.

Fast forward to 2017 and the band is back with a new label, a new record and a completely refreshed attitude and it shows.

Their third record- Pain is one that diehard TLB fans absolutely have to check out. It has the intensity of Hanging By a Thread but with a more elaborate and extensive musical approach. Newly signed to Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s label- EMP- the band started a crowd-funding campaign to help with the record and, to say they shattered their goal, is a massive understatement.

The band needed one hell of a record and they accomplished just that. Frontwoman Sarah Anthony’s vocals are as beautifully ferocious as ever and the guitar work of husband Mark Anthony is more dominant than we’ve seen in years. This is a statement album for TLB and a damn strong one at that.

Musically, the band goes down the electronic route on a few songs, which makes them even stronger. It’s hard to get used to at first but it will grow on you- trust me. The metal and synth combo is one that mixes perfectly- they don’t go too overboard on the electronics and they don’t let any of the gas off of the metal- it’s balanced perfectly.

Lyrically, TLB have always been one to say what’s on their minds. They don’t hold back, they don’t sugarcoat anything and they wear their faith on their sleeves. Part of what has made TLB so popular amongst fans is their willingness to open up, bear their emotions and really let the listener into their hearts, and Pain is no exception.

In the end, The Letter Black have gotten right back on track- they were never really off track but this album is a powerful return to form for the band. Pain is more in the vein of their debut than their sophomore record and they have a second wind that shows the band is here to stay and they still have a lot left to say.

Rating: 8/10

-Reggie Edwards