With the unfortunate passing of our dear friend Brian Shields earlier this year, we were kind of heartbroken, kind of hesitant to go forward with columns that were truly his. However, abandoning them full stop would be a disservice to you, our readers. That said, we are reviving one of Mr. Shields’ great ideas in having artists tell us what they’re listening to.
Without further ado, we present to you a brand new addition in the column with vocalist/keyboardist/singer/songwriter Kyle Bishop from Seattle’s Numbers!
As we alluded to in our announcement last week, Heavy Blog is taking a step back from covering much of the day-to-day goings-on of the metal community at large, and this includes new tracks that bands drop. To be honest, we were pretty shoddy at best at covering new tracks like that in a timely manner anyway. That isn’t at all to say that we’re not still deeply interested in and invested in listening to new music as it comes out and giving our thoughts though. So in the interest of that, we’re starting up a new weekly column to round-up all of the singles and new tracks from the past week dropped by bands we cover. There may end up being some overlap between this and other posts from the week (Jimmy already gave his initial thoughts on the new Coheed and Cambria), but consider this our weekly mix to help keep you all on top of the latest releases from across the metallic and progressive spectrums. Ready? Let’s get singled out!
Let me just throw out all those words that I have to in order to get your blood boiling: bands. Labels. Contracts. Money. YouTube comments. OK, are you all sufficiently riled up now? Great, let’s put all that emotional chaos aside then and get to the facts because we really don’t want this to be just a shit smearing fight.
Here are the facts: Kyle Bishop is the vocalist/brain of Numbers, a Seattle based progressive metal-core that we like. A lot. Over a year ago, the band won Sumerian Records‘, who require no introduction, “Road To The Sphinx” where bands competed in several stages in order to land a coveted record contract with the label. Numbers, along with several other bands, won. Rejoicing was cut short by the actual contract presented by Sumerian. Allegedly, as far as Bishop says and the label confirm, the deal included signing over their previous releases to Sumerian, alongside granting them the power to control band members, changing any music they see fit and a non-too-lucrative sounding financial agreement.
OK, that’s the story so far. Head on over the jump for the latest episode in the saga.
And the list marches on. We’ve covered a myriad variety of metal so far and it’s a been a blast. Some of the albums already on the list definitely enjoyed a few more spins, just to remember exactly how good they are. As we charge towards that illustrious top five, the quality is not going to stop. We’re slowly climbing our way towards albums that were either hotly disputed in the group or enjoyed an overwhelming amount of consensus. Brace yourselves, here we go again!
Without further ado, here’s an arbitrarily arranged list of awesome albums from 2014 so far. Remember: it’s okay to not like thing.
01. Shortly Broken
02. Empty Eyes
03. Legal Lee Speaking
04. Fight or Flight
05. It’s Chilly Out
07. Truth Bender
10. Swanky Sauce
12. Ghost in the Room (Prelude)
13. Ghost in the Room
A few reviews ago, the term “core sound” was mentioned. The phrase is an important one in music; in order for innovation not to spin out of control, blindly spewing disjointed sounds into space, a firm and well-developed basic sound needs to exist. Ever since the term came up, this contributor was troubled by the question: “What’s a good example for a new band, debut album perhaps, that really has their core sound figured out?”. An answer seemed out of reach. That is, until Numbers came along with their amazing debut album, Three. What we have here is the case in point: a band that is so in touch with their core sound that it allows them to test and break their boundaries constantly.
Believe it or not, there are still bands out there making top-notch melodic metalcore and not being horrible at it. In fact, our friends in Seattle based group Numbers are among the best you’ll be able to find in the genre, record deal or not. What helps their cause is the prog influence and the adept piano skills of vocalist Kyle Bishop. Their upcoming album Three isn’t quite complete yet, but the album’s already in the midst of its pre-release promotional cycle well ahead of its spring release. Another album to add to the list of anticipated albums this year? You bet.
Hello! This is Kyle Bishop, singer, songwriter, and piano player of the shitty band, Numbers. For some reason, HBIH thinks my opinion matters, and asked what I’ve been listening to this crazy year of 2012. So, without wasting anymore of your time, here are a few!
Friends of the site Numbers (of the super rad progcore variety) are about to embark on a tour next month with fellow Washingtonians in melodic hardcore band Burning Twilight in their tour, Almost A Disastour. Normally I’d be feeling too disenchanted over not living on the West Coast to be spreading the word on a regional tour that doesn’t affect me, but a) Numbers are sweet and they deserve the attention and b) they’re playing at a GameStop of all places. Say whaaaat?
You can check out the dates in the poster above and make it out if you can!
02. Ice On Fire
04. Please The Senses
05. Figured You Forgot
06. Oh Teh Monies
07. Give It Time
I’ve been a fan of Numbers from the start. Around the time when Kyle Bishop started snowballing hype for his band, I saw his vocal cover for Periphery’s “Frak the Gods“. Naturally, I kept up to speed with Numbers and followed them closely. The hype continued to build and eventually, I was hard pressed to find anyone with a tolerance for tasteful electronic music and some daring clean vocals to not be eagerly awaiting a tangible release. If you were paying any attention to Numbers before this review, you would know they consistently release demos, studio recordings, self-made music videos and song ideas. In fact, I had listened to the majority of this EP before it was released. Though I have to say, Numbers really know how to wrap a package and deliver! Their self-titled EP slays!
Numbers, to me, are unequivocal proof that metalcore bands can insert electronic influences into their music and not suck. In fact, Numbers are quite good at what they do, taking a slight progressive stance with influences from the likes of Protest the Hero and Periphery, while throwing in the odd jazz fusion section. We’ve been stoked on this band for a while, and now they finally have a release under their belts!
Mixed by 7 Horns 7 Eyes‘ Aaron Smith, Numbers’ EP is not only filled with great tunes, but it also sounds great. Numbers made sure to make the first impression a good one. Check out their EP below and make a purchase over at Bandcamp!