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Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.82 | 641 ratings

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3 stars After Paul Di'Anno's departure from Iron Maiden due to substance abuse, the band snatched up Bruce Dickinson from fellow NWOBHMers Samson. The newly invigorated lineup released Number of the Beast. Whereas the first two albums had built a cult following, NotB blew a hole open that would mark the beginning of Maiden's classic era and the peak of its fame. It's a bit overrated, however.

Dickinson's air raid siren voice set off a wave of imitators. "Children of the Damned" perfectly shows his range to his new fans. "Run to the Hills" and the title track offer an insane mid-album punch with the former's gallop and the latter's crunch, both of which have great performances form Bruce. "Remember Tomorrow" is a oft-forgotten track that good, but it doesn't stick. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is Maiden's finest track. The tale of a prisoner about to be hanged, it contains all the elements the band, as well as imitators, would later exploit: bleakness, alternating soft acoustic/heavt electric, soaring vocals, pounding bass.

However, the rest of teh album seems like filler. "22 Acacia Avenue," the follow-up to "Charlotte the Harlot," lacks the fire of the original. "Invaders" and "Gangland" are staight-foward, not a problem, but they don't have that spark that makes Maiden's straight-forward tracks so enjoyable. "The Prisoner" hovers between good and average.

This album marked a transition for the band. Dickinson firmly cemeted himself as Maiden's vocalist, and drum wizard Nicko McBrain was about to join the band and complete the classic lineup. THe next album would cofirm that Maiden had arrived, and Bruce's vocals became perfectly intigrated with the band. This album would warrant four stars on a metal site, but here it gets a three for it's lack of prog.

1800iareyay | 3/5 |


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