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


Iron Maiden


Prog Related

3.82 | 639 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars And the metalheads rejoice?

It took a bit of time before I really understood this album. It has among the best batch of riffs that got streamlined into palpable song material. Thanks to punk, Iron Maiden was already a big cult phenomenon (I think a lot of people were sick of punk at the time), but NUMBER OF THE BEAST was probably the album that made most of the general public take notice.

And the notice mostly came about due to extreme reactions to the title track, which as I understand it, is about someone bumping into a Satanic cult. The controversy has always been overblown, but it doesn't help when the phrase ''666; the number of the beast'' is shouted ad nauseam in each chorus. Musically, it does a good pasting job with the riffs; it climaxes from the beginning and going from one riff to the next is smooth.

I think it was AFTER I had realized how much of a metalhead I really was, was when I really enjoyed the album. ''Invaders'' often gets discarded as the crappiest track when the only problem I find with it is that it doesn't quite work as the opener (I prefer ''Number of the Beast''). ''Gangland'' and ''22 Acacia Avenue'' are other tracks that got stuck in my head despite the general consensus that they're filler. It's all in the riff. The batch here keeps you on your toes, almost a thrash-fest before the concept of thrash metal existed.

But here's the big question for this site; what does this album have to do with prog? A couple of bits, actually. The penultimate ending ''Hallowed Be Thy Name'' is near universally praised for the epic heights it achieves (and it seems to channel Kansas for some reason), and the platitudes are well deserved. ''Children of the Damned'' is another one that takes the balladry material like ''Remember Tomorrow'' and punches a powerful riff statement right when it needs to.

Yes, this is strictly prog related; diehard prog fans need to seek out later '80s Maiden material for proggier adventures. NUMBER OF THE BEAST has its prog moments, but we're not fully there. To top it off, ''Run to the Hills'' has one of the most annoying choruses ever conceived.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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