Review Summary: An undeniable classic!
The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden is one of the most iconic and defining albums from the 1980’s. Not only in heavy metal but in music in general. This is the case for a very good reason. That reason being that it is rather bloody good.
The most important factor to this albums success was Iron Maiden’s new vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. His voice brought a whole new wide range to the bands sound that the previous vocalist, Paul Di’Anno, simply did not have. Dickinson's vocals shines throughout the entire album but his ability is best showcased on the song Children of the Damned. His vocals shifts from gentle melodies to powerful cleans to potent shrieks. The song also features an intense climax that goes from an extremely effective bridge to a melodic yet super quick guitar solo that then transition to an unforgettable outro. The iconic title track has an incredible intro with some great riffs that lead into an impressive scream. The cut also demonstrates Steve Harris’s unique bass playing and the bands ability to write stories within their lyrics. These positives also apply to the even better 22 Acacia Avenue which presents an energetic and fierce bridge. The Prisoner displays the bands talent of making exceedingly catchy choruses while still playing fast and heavy music. Additionally, the track contains one of the best and thrilling solos on the entire album.
However, the album does consist of some relatively weak tracks. The opener, Invaders, does have solid riffage with some fun verses and a decent chorus but it completely lacks the greatness the other tracks consists of. Furthermore, I do not think it should have been the opener of the album as it simply does not have the energy an opener for an album like this requires. Gangland also falls short in comparison with the rest of the record. It has a really awkward and a straight up strange chorus which utterly destroys the momentum the fiery verses and the dynamic bridge builds up.
Fortunately, the album ends on an exceptionally high note with Hallowed Be Thy Name. It combines Dickinson’s powerful vocals, an unmistakable riff, a phenomenal guitar solo and the bands best lyrics, not only on the album but in their entire discography. All of this culminates into an unparalleled and an unforgettable experience. If I were to critique this song it would be that the riff is kind of repetitive but this is really nitpicky. However, it does prevent it from being the best song on the album for me.
Overall, The Number of the Beast is undeniably a classic through it’s exceptional performances throughout the band, stellar lyrics and it’s memorability. A couple tracks are weak but only in comparison to the rest of the tracks on the album. This is a great record and it is hard to not recommend to the few people who haven’t listened to it yet.
MY TOP 3 SONGS:
1. The Prisoner
2. Hallowed Be Thy Name
3. 22 Acacia Avenue