Review Summary: The instrumentals are better, the vocals are stronger, and the songs carry a lot more weight than their EP.
Numbers is still basically unknown as a band, which is a shame because they deserve some recognition for their sound. The EP showcased an undeniable instrumental ability from ever member, and they managed to make a metal-core album with just enough of a twist to keep me from getting bored. In fact, the album grew on me more and more as I continued to replay the album. Their first debut album, 'Three', isn't full of a lot a lot of surprises, but there are a few interesting things here worth talking about.
Three was supposed to release in November 2013, and instead was pushed to the end of March 2014. The band stated that they needed time to perfect and couldn't get everything done in time unless the release date was pushed forward. In the end, I think Numbers benefits from this by releasing an album with better quality than the first, and with more variety in every song it's difficult to skip anything on the play through of the album. Bishop's vocals see a big improvement here, with more control over his cleans, heavier screams and a higher range in general. His ability to balance the two vocal styles seems perfected this time around, he sounds comfortable and confident in what he is singing which makes the album that much more enjoyable.
Numbers got a new lead guitarist for this album, and as a result, this album is noticeably different instrumentally than their first project. While the EP was somewhat flooded with piano and different synth sounds, Three uses the piano sparingly, which allows the album to breathe and gives the songs more of an individual sound. Mostly, the piano is heard on intros and endings of the songs, but often fades into the background and allows the guitar riffing and solo's to be more present, which is great because the guitar work in this album really stands out, (check out the intro of 'Truth Bender') and gives the album a more aggressive feel throughout.
The shining moment of Three is the track 'Undertow', an 11 minute epic where every band member really gets their moment to shine. The song starts with a calming guitar and piano combo, which gives the listener a chance to sit back and digest the previous tracks, then about three minutes in the vocals kick in with probably the catchiest melodies on the whole album. The drum work has it's best moments here as well. About 5 minutes in, he gives us a mini drum solo that really showcases his ability to play. Even the bass is loud in the mix on this track, which is refreshing to hear considering you don't get much bass work in most metal-core albums. The song ends the last minute with calming orchestra style sounds and in my opinion, is a great way to end an epic track.
If I could conclude this album with one paragraph, I would say that Numbers have stepped up their game here and deserve some recognition for this release. The instrumentals as a whole are better, the vocals are stronger, and the songs carry a lot more weight than their EP tracks. I hope to see at least one songs from Three make to some metal radio stations so more people can discover them. If you haven't listened to Numbers before give them a shot, if you didn't like their EP, you may still like this album because it offers a lot more than their EP ever could.