Books Of Numbers is a relatively new hard rock band from Phoenix in the United States which was put together by vocalist Kevin Schuhmacher, guitarist Brent Barker and bassist Dennis Hayes (ex-Iced Earth in June 2019 with Magick being the band’s most impressive debut release.
The publicity states them to be a power doom metal band but, to me, they are far more a traditional hard rock band with just a hint of progressive metal. There are a number of influences in the band’s sound and you can detect influences from Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Manowar and even Queensryche. Add these together and you have a very potent heavy metal album that, quite simply, blows your socks off. It is an incredibly strong, powerful and mature debut album and shows a level of skill, dexterity and song writing ability that is nothing short of sensational. It seems that the original plan was to be a Black Sabbath tribute band which then morphed into them writing and performing their own songs and, prior to this, Schuhmacher and Barker were in an Ozzy tribute band for 13 years so a love and appreciation of all things Sabbath runs deep in this band.
This is very evident in the guitar playing of Barker and he very much has a style influenced by Tony Iommi as he delights in huge, portentous riffs and searing lead guitar breaks with Schuhmacher having a vocal delivery pitched somewhere between Ozzy and Geoff Tate. The band does not appear to have a regular drummer as these duties come courtesy of session man Gary Bruzzese and he lays down a real barrage which allows Barker to show that he is a guitarist of real talent and skill and Hayes as a prodigiously talented bass player. Together they create a real wall of sound with towering Sabbath riffs driving the band forward but there is plenty of finesse too as demonstrated on the simply immense White Turns Black To Grey which is a beautifully simple ballad with haunting guitar and an emotion filled and heart wrenching vocal from Schuhmacher. However, it is when the power is cranked to the max that they bands shows its full range and potential. As if to emphasis the Sabbath element within their music they also include a thrilling version of the classic Children Of The Sea, a song that you never tire of hearing regardless of which band is delivering it.
This is an album that you simply have to hear as to hear it is to love it is to want it, you know it makes sense.
Magick track list
- Magick (3:18)
- Optimism (6:31)
- The Jester’s Crown (5:45)
- Children Of The Sea (6:14)
- Contact – Kissing Laughter (5:16)
- White Turns Black To Grey (4:10)
- Yesterday’s Nightmare (5:24)
- Our Dying World (7:05)