Iron Maiden are without a doubt the most classic metal band on earth. Anyone into this genre will be almost 99% guaranteed to tell you that Iron Maiden are one of the best bands to roam earth, and definitely their world reputation is no flaw, with fourteen albums out, and still hailing as one of the best metal bands to roam the earth, influencing countless amounts of bands; yes, surely, Iron Maiden deserve their rightly status in the metal world.
And this album gave them all that. The Number of the Beast is arguably their most well-known album, and also one of their best in my opinion: while I do have a problem with Maiden and that is that most of their albums aren't really good, but contain two or three excellent songs, this album is one of the few where Maiden are really consistent. (Brave New World is the other.) In my opinion, this is therefore also their best album. It doesn't really matter which maiden album you buy though because there's bound to be a song on it that you like. But this still contains some of the band's biggest classics.
And one of those classics, and one that is literally played almost everytime is the well-known Hallowed Be Thy Name. Possibly my favourite heavy metal song of all time, the atmosphere and tension released, combined with the solo at the end, and Dickinson's operatic wails, this is most likely the best song they ever did. Even if the rest of the album was total ***, this would lift the album up quite a notch. However, luck is with the Irons, because there are more songs in my opinion that underline their claim to the title of heavy metal gods.
The Number of the Beast, the title track, which was wrongly accused of being satanic (it was about a bad dream of Harris), is another furious number, with trademark singalong choruses, and perfect guitar solos. There's nothing at all wrong with this song, and the same can be said of its followup Run To The Hills, another highly-rated single and again a classic of the band's live set. Dealing with Native Americans, it's probably (despite the odd lyrical content) again one of the best songs Maiden have ever done.
Not to say that this album doesn't have songs I don't care for. I find Gangland to be very bland, and the lowpoint of this album; a minor blemish on a very good album. Invaders starts off promising too, but kind of sinks through the ground during the chorus; I mean, it's not bad, but... there's just something missing. Invaders just gets on my nerves after a while.
The other songs that I haven't mentioned (Children Of The Damned, The Prisoner, 22 Acacia Avenue, Total Eclipse), are all worthy tracks. The solo in 22 Acacia Avenue is one of the best lead breaks I've ever heard, god, I love that solo at about 4:00 in. The Prisoner has a very cool spoken intro, and again, the chorus really makes you want to sing along. The acoustic guitar intro to Children Of The Damned, and the verses (If he would have left, he would have crucified us ALL!) also make this another standout song in the Maiden catalogue.
So, is Maiden actually the best metal band on earth? I don't know. There's a lot of bands who can claim that title. Is Maiden the most consistent band on earth? Again, I'm not sure, as most of their albums have a couple of good songs with a lot of trash too. However, on every album, you're guaranteed to find something you like. Is this disc worth buying? Yes, it most definitely is. So what are you waiting for? This disc is essential to any heavy metal fan's collection, and if I have to push you to get it, I don't know how big of a metal fan you are. A must for everyone into the genre.