The Letter Black
Since forming in 2006, the Letter Black have proven to be one of the hardest working bands in Christian hard rock, often playing as many as 150 shows a year. The group first took shape at a local church in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where vocalist Sarah Anthony formed a praise team with her husband. Named Breaking the Silence, the duo eventually grew into a full-fledged rock band, with Sarah steering the band's sound in a manner reminiscent of Evanescence and Paramore. Husband Mark Anthony handled guitar duties, and rounding out the five-piece lineup were co-guitarist Terry Johnson, bassist Matt Beal, and drummer Mat Slagle. After proving their merit on the road, the bandmates signed with Tooth & Nail and went into the studio to work with producer Toby Wright, known for his work with artists like Korn and Alice in Chains.
The band released a six-song EP, Breaking the Silence, in 2009. Johnson left the lineup that same year and was temporarily replaced by touring guitarist Ty Dietzler, who played with the group during a nationwide tour opening for Skillet. After returning home, the Letter Black slimmed down to a quartet for the recording of Hanging on by a Thread, which marked their full-length debut in 2010. Released on Tooth & Nail, Hanging on by a Thread peaked at ten on Billboard's Christian charts. Three years later, the group released Rebuild, which was their last for Tooth & Nail. During 2016, the group launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the recording and release of their third album. Entitled Pain, the self-released record appeared in May 2017. ~ Gregory Heaney & Andrew Leahey