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


Iron Maiden


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3.82 | 672 ratings

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4 stars Iron Maiden's third album and definitely a step up from the underdeveloped Killers. It's not as fast and furious but the song quality has improved exponentially (which isn't a surprise since Killers was composed of left over tracks from the debut). This album marks the first Maiden album with the unmatchable Bruce Dickinson a.k.a. the voice of heavy metal. All the other musicians are spot on, blending crushing riffs with subtlety (unlike Killers).

We start of with a bass line from Harris and then in comes the Punishing riff of 'Invaders'. A great beginning to an album, mixing inventive storytelling with headbang-worthy music and air guitar-worthy solos (soon to become a trademark of the Irons). This track couldn't introduce us to Bruce any better. Next up is the chilling 'Children of the Damned'. Its main riff is so good that Maiden have even used variations of it on later albums (see Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Fear of the Dark). This track is very haunting and subtle. 'The Prisoner' is one of the weaker tracks on the album, but still very good. It's quite catchy and almst poppy, and I'm surprised this wasn't released as a single. '22 Acacia Avenue' is simply fantastic. It is one of the albums more progressive songs as it changes through several sections. Bruce is on top form here as he delivers the tragic story of Charlot the Harlot (a character we first met on the debut). The title track is a good example of how a relatively simple song can be totally awesome. I've listened to this hundreds of times and never got bored of it. In contrast 'Run to the Hills', which I have heard thousands of times, has lost its power over me a bit. I've got to give this song credit for being the first Maiden song (and probably metal song) that I ever heard. Unfortunately it put me off persuing Iron Maiden's music for a while as I couldn't stand it! it has come to grow on me a bit though, and from a totally objectioanl point of view it is a well crafted song, and the intro remains a great singalong. 'Gangland' is the weak link on this album, and would better fit in on Killers both musically and lyrically. This one makes you remember why CD players have skip buttons really (but I don't skip songs by principal, I like to experience every nuance of an album when I listen to it, for better or for worse). If you have the remastered CD version 'Total Eclipse' will be the next song. This seems to build up until we finally come to a point of musical orgasm, but alas, it is too short (I'm sure you know the feeling ;). Its quite a dissaapointment of a track really apart from one brief moment of glory in the bridge. The album's ends very well, though, with the phenomonal 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. The haunting introduction lead beautifully into the main body of the song, with some versesw delivered at a lightning fast vocal pace and everything else just going wild with some of Maiden's best riffs and solos ever. A brilliant end to a brilliant album.

Overall its a great effort from Maiden, but they would have to release one more subpar album before the greatest period of their history...

3.75 stars

burtonrulez | 4/5 |


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