Iron Maiden
The Number of the Beast


4.0
excellent

Review

by NeutralThunder12 USER (9 Reviews)
February 26th, 2010 | 34 replies


Release Date: 1982 | Tracklist

Review Summary: While being overrated, "Number of the Beast" is still an excellent effort that contains some of Maiden's best songs.

In 1982, Iron Maiden released their universally acclaimed album Number of the Beast. Though it initially fell to mixed reviews from critics, today, it is considered one of the best metal albums of all time, topping dozens of “Top Metal Albums Ever” lists. Many consider this to be Iron Maiden’s best album, and while I disagree and deem it to be a tad overrated, it is impossible to ignore that it is still one of their best.

Number of the Beast is one of those records that are up in the metal heavens along with Metallica’s Master of Puppets and Megadeth’s Rust in Peace. However, influential or not, when looking at every track critically, it doesn’t quite match up to those masterpieces. For instance, take into account the track entitled Children of the Damned. This song is a Maiden ballad, and there had only been about four or five of those since their debut. Unfortunately, the worst track on Number of the Beast is also the worst Maiden ballad up to that point. The biggest blemish are the vocals; Bruce attempted to be as aggressive as he would on any other Maiden song, but it completely ruined what could have been a solid track, as the vocals (and lyrics) are enough to divert one from what could have been a decent ballad. Despite a fantastic solo, Bruce’s ridiculous tones on this song and the irritating reiteration of the chorus are enough to make this a scar on the album. The one positive aspect to this is that it is the second song on the album, following the strong opener “Invaders”. While “Invaders” is only slightly above solid on its own, in the context of the album, it fits flawlessly and displays Maiden’s new, more refined sound. If Children of the Damned would have been the first track, or even the last, any listener could be displeased from the start of the album, or leave the album on a bad note, and we wouldn’t want that. The only other weak tracks on the album are Gangland and the Prisoner. Gangland opens up with a truly magnificent drum fill, but has zilch to offer past that, apart from an annoying chorus and a decent set of riffs. Luckily, the song is short, clocking in at less than four minutes. The Prisoner is a blessing and curse; while the song has an exceptional set of leads and some marvelous drumming, the whole theme is a bit cheesy, as are the lyrics, and the song is overlong.

Though Number of the Beast has some dreadful tracks on it, it’s definitely made up for. Contrary to what you may think, there are other justifications besides killer cuts like Hallowed be Thy Name that bring this album out of the foggy forest of musical failures and up to a four. It’s the production. Every track is made loud and clear, you can easily hear every note from every instrument. Though not flawless in the superiority of the tracks, the sound quality of the album makes it the perfect record for a road trip, a highly enjoyable rocker.

Now on to what makes this album a must-have. First and foremost, the phenomenal Hallowed be Thy Name has to be mentioned. Up until that point in their career, the only song that could even challenge Hallowed be thy Name as Maiden’s opus was Phantom of the Opera, the highlight track from their debut. It is purely paramount that every Iron Maiden fan knows this song; it’s their most admired tune by almost anyone that you would ask. Though it’s not my personal favorite song, it’s definitely Top three Maiden material, and definitely a perfect finale to the album. Hallowed be Thy Name features a quirky and epic intro, and at about the 1:10 mark, the most legendary Iron Maiden riff begins, and where the song goes from there is in about every astonishing direction you can think of. Upon listening, you will encounter the sparkling riffs between the guitars and bass, and never is a note out of place, accompanied by what is perhaps the most memorable vocal performance of Dickinson’s career. It’s almost impossible to describe entirely in words how fantastic this song is, so if you haven’t heard this thrilling jingle, take a listen.

While Hallowed be Thy Name is what makes this album as great as it is, there a few other tracks that are also terrific. Run to the Hills is another exceptional song, equally as famous as Hallowed be Thy Name. This one displays some of the best drum work you can hear from Maiden; a chilling intro that varies but never bores follows the high-pitched double guitar assaults throughout the song, and that same drum work echoes over the legendary chorus. The chorus itself is executed brilliantly in terms of the vocals; I hum the lines nearly every day.

Run, to the hills,
Run for your life,
Run, to the hills,
Run for your… LIFE!

Dazzling. Simple, but dazzling, the vocal melody is far catchier than any pop-punk song. Besides these two gems, the album features another, called 22 Acacia Avenue, which is yet another track that never drags, and this one is filled with elaborate harmonies and riffs galore; something the previous release entitled Killers lacked. 22 Acacia Avenue also features another fantastic vocal performance by Dickinson, one that is not easily forgotten.

All in all, while this album is not Maiden’s true opus, this record has some truly striking tracks, though it’s accompanied by some weaker ones. Definitely a must have from Iron Maiden, this is when they finally refined their sound into the style that later masterpieces like Piece of Mind and Powerslave displayed. The album is worth getting for the tracks that I recommend. This is yet another excellent effort from the British beasts.

Top Tracks:
“Hallowed be Thy Name”
“Run to the Hills”
“22 Acacia Avenue”



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user ratings (3060)
Chart.
4.4
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3rd review in my Iron Maiden series. Had to write this one quickly so please let me know if there are any errors so I can fix them. Any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

EliteChiefModerator
February 26th 2010


251 Comments


YES AN IRON MAIDEN GUITAR SOLO



I used to listen to these guys a lot back in school.

NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hmmm... can anyone tell me how to put certain things in italics here? I did this on Microsoft but when I copied it over I guess it doesn't copy the italics. Thanks.

NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha still making fun of my first review eh? Haha, these guys are the perfect high school band.

NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh and people, please don't grill me on the Children of the Damned section. It's my opinion, and though a rare one, I will stand by it.

VARGHULF
February 26th 2010


18 Comments


i agree this isnt there best album, and its certainly realy overrated

NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely true, but it's still great.

Dylan620
February 26th 2010


1015 Comments


Title track > 99% of all other metal songs

Motiv3
February 26th 2010


8938 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review but this happens to be my fave maiden ive heard so far.

bloozclooz
February 26th 2010


1770 Comments


just highlight the words within the submission box, and hit cntrl + I

NeutralThunder12
February 26th 2010


8742 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thank you.

RobotFrank
February 26th 2010


344 Comments


okay, then.

bloozclooz
February 26th 2010


1770 Comments


yeah man can you tell when you're done posting your maiden reviews? i'm holding off on posting my neuraxis review until you're done. lol.

either way, good review. though i've never really liked the founding metal bands. might be because of my age.



americanohno
February 26th 2010


1601 Comments


hxc

Xenorazr
February 26th 2010


460 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I think I'll simply never understand the immense praise behind this album. I've listened to it at least five times and though it has grown on me, it's still merely between good and great. The only track that I've found close to classic-worthy is "Run to the Hills," which I can't even put alongside some of their other tracks like "Killers," "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Fear of the Dark." Fear of the Dark is as far as I've gotten in their discography chronologically, and that's the only album overall that I'd put below this in their catalogue.

BallsToTheWall
February 26th 2010


44630 Comments


Children Of the Damned is one of the best songs on here. And that's saying something because the album's pretty much flawless.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

FadeToBlack
February 27th 2010


11034 Comments


The only track that I've found close to classic-worthy is "Run to the Hills,"
sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo overrated

Nagrarok
February 27th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Children Of the Damned is one of the best songs on here. And that's saying something because the album's pretty much flawless.


Truth

The only track that I've found close to classic-worthy is "Run to the Hills,"
sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo overrated


More truth. Weakest after Gangland and The Prisoner.

It seems your opinion deviates a lot from most Maiden fans. I do appreciate that (nice to see Invaders getting some love for instance), but Children of the Damned is one of the best tracks as Balls said, and after saying the brilliant Murders in the Rue Morgue is repetitive and gets annoyhig (among other excellent songs), you state Run to the Hills is a classic? I cannot see the logic there.

I used to listen to a huge amount of Maiden (now still, but not as much), so beware of possible strong opinons on the many songs you severly underrate. Luckily for you, I'm not an easy negger, but there's too much to disagree with (not just in a matter of opinion) I cannot pos either.

south_of_heaven 11
February 27th 2010


5436 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

tbh every song on here could be mediocre and i would still give it a 5 because it has Hallowed Be Thy Name.

But that's not the case because this album is fucking killer.

maidenpmcc
February 27th 2010


1425 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Personally I think the album isnt over-rated OR under-rated, its rated the perfect amount. This is the most important album Maiden have ever made and were to make, everything went to a new level. It was the turning point in their career, for the best.

This is the album that changed my life and the 1st metal album I ever listened to and thats why Maiden will always be my fav band of all time. UP THE FUCKIN IRONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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