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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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2 stars The Beast produces two excellent tracks (title track and Hallowed By Thy Name), along with seven other fairly straightforward head-bangers that really don't do much for the progger in me.

How about those two excellent tracks? The Number of the Beast features an excellent, energetic build-up before hitting full-speed metal-mode. And when it gets there, you're more than prepared to do some serious fist-pumping. I also enjoy the guitar/instrumental break more than most--you can really hear Harris hammering away on bass more than the other tracks. There is also some prog to be found on the album as well, and that is of course Hallowed Be Thy Name. Everything about this track is well done, from the creepy intro, to the hard-driving chorus, to Dickinson's use of a bit of welcome restraint, all building up to the double-time conclusion, where the band just flat out rocks for a few minutes. It seems Maiden were still perfecting the twin guitar attack at this point, but in this song in particular they find the formula that would lead to future glory.

The rest? I can appreciate the influence that this album had on future metal groups--you can just hear it. Therein lies part of the problem--I feel like I've heard much of this elsewhere, and it sounds a bit formulaic. That being said, Maiden do try to mix things up, from the quasi-power ballad (Children of the Damned), to speed-metal rockers (Gangland), to Maiden's uniquely frenetic and creative tunes (Invaders).

If you need to rock out, Maiden will always do the trick. If you need some prog, there's really only one track on here that will suffice. Personally, Maiden are too consistently hard-driving on this album for me to listen all the way through often, and I can also only handle so much of Dickinson's over-the-top, frequently flat vocals, but I certainly recognize a solid metal album like this when I hear it.

Flucktrot | 2/5 |


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