IRON MAIDEN — The Number Of The Beast (review)

IRON MAIDEN — The Number Of The Beast album cover Album · 1982 · NWoBHM Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Time Signature
Invaders...

Genre: NWoBH

Heralded by many as Iron Maiden's best and most important album, "The Number of the Beast" certainly is a heavy metal classic and one of my all time favorite albums. There are no weak tracks to speak of - even "Badlands" and "Total Eclipse" (on the reissued version) have something to offer.

The album opener is "Invaders" which is just a weird but breakneck tempo track about the viking invasions of Britain in the 8th century. The weird aspect of the song consists in the strange choice of key and the funny scale run in the chorus riff. The following track is the magnificent ballady "Children of the Damned" which in turn is followed by the legendary "The Prisoner" with its iconic drum intro and anthemic chorus. "22 Acacia Avenue" is a progressive affair, which started its existence as a straight Adrian Smith written track, which was then Maidenized as Steve Harris inserted several iconic breakdowns, tempo changes and bridge sections into it, creating the perfect Maiden track. The title track is another kind of proggy track whose opening (both the spoken word rendering of a passage from the Bible and the opening riff and vocals/lyrics). "Run to the Hills" is a more straightforward galloping metal track and a classic rock song with an anthemic chorus and memorable guitar solos. "Gangland" is an uptempo and straight rocker to which Clive Burr contributed in terms of writing (it is not a classic like the other tracks on the album, but it does contain some nice guitar harmonics and it is an adrenalizing breakneck track), while "Total Eclipse" (on the reissue; Burr was also involved in the writing of this one) is more of a midtempo straight rocker (which contains an unpredictable tempo change, as the song explodes into an uptempo bridge section slightly reminiscent of one of the main riffs of "Phantom of the Opera". The closer is the classic "Hallowed Be Thy" name, which is another kind of progressive affair with a dark ballady introduction, an anthemic chorus, loads of guitar harmonies and a couple of tempo changes.

"The Number of the Beast" is a metal classic and belongs in any metal CD collection!
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