|The Number of the Beast|
|Studio album by Iron Maiden|
|Released||March 29, 1982|
|Iron Maiden chronology|
- Invaders (3:23)
- Children Of The Damned (4:34)
- The Prisoner (6:02)
- 22 Acacia Avenue (6:36)
- The Number of the Beast (4:50)
- Run to the Hills (3:52)
- Gangland (3:47)
- Total Eclipse (4:28)
- Hallowed Be Thy Name (7:10)
I remember when I first saw Iron Maiden albums, sitting on a shelf during a sale. That same day I saw a copy of Houses Of The Holy with neat, Tokien-esque cover art. The Iron Maiden CD's stood out because they looked like the kind of music I'd never listen to, what with those creepy pictures of this demon looking creature. Still, I heard "2 Minutes To Midnight" some time after and thought it was pretty good, so I picked up The Number Of The Beast. The ten dollar price tag helped as well.
The Number Of The Beast was released at the peak popularity of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement along with Judas Priest and Motorhead. I didn't really think much of The Number Of The Beast after a first listen. "Run To The Hills" was sort of okay, but not much else was really that great. After repeated listens it grew on me, with those two guitarists trading off some sweet solos, and the vocalist Bruce Dickinson, on for his first Maiden album on The Number Of The Beast, has a more than suitable set of pipes.
For an eight song album, you can't afford to have many off the mark songs. The Number Of The Beast normally manages to hit the right spots most of the time, but "The Prisoner" and "Gangland" are pretty uninspired tracks that don't really contribute to the album. Another slight problem would be vocalist Dickinson. Despite the fact that he is a great singer, he can get on my nerves on some songs as the songs draw to an end, for example the chorus of "Run To The Hills" which keeps repeating over and over.
Thankfully most of The Number Of The Beast album rocks me just the right way. The riff to "Run To The Hills" is infectious, "The Number Of The Beast" is full of excellent riffs and solos as well as a ear shattering scream from Dickinson that brings on memories of Roger Daltry in "Won't Get Fooled Again". "Invaders" opens effectively with a lively performance and "Children Of The Damned" is beautifully melodic. The highlight but, is of course, the closer "Hallowed Be Thy Name" with its tale of the thoughts going through one's head as their life draws to a close at the gallows. A true metal epic, "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is Iron Maiden getting everything just right, with a red hot riff with searing solos and a brilliant vocal from Dickinson.
The Number Of The Beast isn't perfect, but it's mostly quality classic New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with melodic yet powerful guitars and vocals. One of the first true metal albums I owned, I'd recommend it to anyone getting into metal. User:RabidChild