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mystic fred
Honorary Collaborator

Revelations Ch. XIII v.18 This excellent album burst onto the rock scene to rapturous applause in 1982 - Maiden were already a hugely successful NWOBHM band before Bruce Dickinson joined as vocalist but this masterpiece was the opening salvo to the band's world domination campaign - Bruce "Air Raid Siren" Dickinson, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, Steve Harris and Clive Burr on drums. "The Number of the Beast" laid down the blueprint for many albums that followed.

Every track is a classic, especially the title track which is introduced by Vincent Price, and "22 Acacia Avenue". "Invaders" the first track on side one, tells of the Viking Invaders coming to attack us - "Axes grind and and maces clash...severed limbs....bloody corpses.." all classic Prog themes done as blistering heavy rock. "Children of the Damned" has a slow intro which builds up and bursts into a fantastic chorus, great riffing and the Air Raid siren wails....a real horror! "The Prisoner" is a homage to the enigmatic TV classic starring Patrick McGoohan - "I am not a number...I am a free man!", followed by "22 Acacia Avenue (the continuing story of Charlotte the Harlot) " a mini epic about somebody you should meet and mistreat if you're down the East End - and she only charges fifteen quid!!!

Side two kicks off with the title track "The Number of the Beast" , one of my all time favourite tracks, the energy on this is phenomenal to listen to, real Gothic Horror at its best, the archetypal Maiden song, after the famous spoken intro Bruce whispers his way into the song then explodes, "Torches raised and sacred chants were praised..." - amazing! "Run to the Hills" was a smash hit for the band, and contains the trademark "galloping" drums and bass, intertwined with sizzling lead guitar, and told about the plight of the American Indians suffering the onslaught of white man's domination of their land - "Raping the women and wasting the men, the only good Indians are tame..." - the rest is history. "Gangland " tells of the dangers of the criminal underworld, "Dead men tell no tales", murder, contracts - a murky world. The last track on my vinyl LP "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is the longest track on the album, another mini epic about a condemned man - waiting for the minutes to tick by until 5 o'clock...."If there's a God then why has he let me die..?"

Truly a very important album in the history of rock, its influence paving the way for Heavy rock and Prog -metal , a deserving five stars in anybody's book and an essential addition to any rock music collection!


Report this review (#93039)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Jazz Rock/Fusion Team
5 stars The first of the Classic Three, the other two being Piece of Mind and Powerslave. This album was the biggest thing in rock for a long time when i t was released. Songs like Run to the Hills, The Prisoner, the title track, and Children of the Damned are damn good proto- prog metal tunes. All with extremely catchy melodies that will just drive into your head and never leave. One key factor is the fading prescence of their earlier punk influence. It's still kinda there, but not really noticable. The production is miles ahead of their previous outings, with crystal clear guitars, upfront bass, and every drum part heard perfectly.

Of course the biggest change was the introduction of the almighty Bruce Dickinson. His voice gave new sound to the band and a freshness not heard since their debut. His 'air raid siren' name, he would later get after Powerslave, brings much more to the table. The music is more melodic than before, more harder edged, and MUCH more driven.

As good as this album is, it would be NOTHING without the final epic track 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. The famous opening that builds up tension to Dickinson holding out one of the best sustaining tones in all of vocal history, and from there it's all money in the bag. The main theme just makes you think 'epic', but is not cheesy one bit. The more uptempo outro with the solo section is probably one of the band's best, most energetic piece of music they ever created. A prog-metal masterpiece.

Speaking of masterpieces, this one is. Almost every prog-metal technique used in the genre was first used here. And if it wasn't, it was used on at least the next 4 albums. I mean, Dream Theater covered this album!

HIGH RECOMMENDED. Probably one of the best albums to start out with.

Report this review (#93113)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What can I say? This became Iron Maiden's best selling album, reaching #1 spots on the charts in the UK. It soon became on of the landmarks in heavy metal history and is a necessary album to own if you are deeply into this genre. Not because it sold so well and gained Maiden's popularity to the maximal at that time, but because of the excellent music here, containing some of their best songs ever. However, this is not a progressive album in any sense. OK, "Hallowed be thy Name" might give some hint of what to come but otherwise, please don't concider this as a prog album, but as an excellent heavy metal album.

It's one of their best though and the title track stands as one of my favorite metal songs. Every musician plays extremely well and the music is powerfull and great. This was Clive Burr's last album with the band. Nicko McBrain replaced him after this one, but I think they're equally as good. But somehow, McBrain fits better to Maiden, though it doesn't affect Burr's drumming at all on this album. That being said, my personal rating for this album is 4.5/5, though I wouldn't recommend it to a standard progger's collection. But if you are into heavy metal and stuff, this one is definitely NOT to be missed!

Report this review (#93132)
Posted Monday, October 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars Attention: true story. At the time of release of this album, I was living on Riverside Drive and further down the street lived a complete metalhead whom I was fairly friendly with. He lived at number 664 and we used to call him "The Neighbour Of The Beast" and use to rile him with it. But In Canada, the street address numbers generally jump by 6 or 8 at a time so there was not 666, so the beast became a squirrel up his tree which was always offered some sacrifice, the axe offered and planted in the ground and candles were often seen burning in his honour. I think that not many squirrels had such loving care as Lucifer (as we had called him) did. Silly young progheads ;-) !!!!

Count me as one of those that was completely shattered when DiAnno got the boot, but one must recognize that his replacement was a fitting one. Maiden had one of the most impressive metal voices around. Dickinson "Air Raid Siren" is definitely the classic sound of Maiden and only the first hour fans can say otherwise. But let's face it, it is with this third album (and two hilarious B&W footage video-clips receiving constant MTV rotation) and Dickinson that Maiden acquired a whole new dimension (at least in terms of audience).

Actually I was not that big a fan of this album, as it was confirming the slick production of the previous Killers album. But the two hits, Run To The Hills and the title track were so often played, along with Children Of The Damned also receiving regular airplay, while the above-mentioned friends were always raving about Hallowed Be Thy Name (the only remotely prog track on this album, IMHO) and Acacia Avenue (another metalhead buddy was living on 22 Willow Street ;-), that shunning exposition to the album was hopeless.

Overall , I can only say that TNOTB only differs from Killers by the singer's voice, the rest not changing much. They were on the upswing, so there were absolutely no reasons to change anything. History will prove them right.

Report this review (#93154)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Number Of The Beast is definitely one of Iron Maiden's finest moments, and certainly one of the most classic metal albums of all time. This is Bruce Dickinson debut with Maiden, and event though I'm generally not a very big fan of his vocals, I have to admit that he does a pretty good job here. The vocals fit the band's straight forward riffing and powerful melodies very nicely, and the band sounds as tight as ever.

Although hardly progressive, this is and excellent, energetic piece of '80s heavy metal, which should be in the collection of any fan of the genre.

Report this review (#93160)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is Iron Maiden's first album with Bruce Dickinson, although contrary to popular belief it doesn't quite signify the start of a new-era for Iron Maiden. For the most part, the songwriting is still very much influenced by NWOBHM, although Dickinson's fantastic vocals offer the band more options (to be taken advantage of come next album... stay tuned!). The songs on display here don't really display that much of a bigger range than that of KILLERS, but listeners are often fooled into thinking so because of Dickinson's dramatic vocals and the much-improved production values. The album is riddled with metal standards that, while excellent, suffer a bit from overexposure. Steve Harris and company's (but interestingly enough, not Bruce Dickinson... the tunes here were completed prior to his arrival) songwriting continues to inch closer and closer to progression, most notably visible in the excellent B-Side "Total Eclipse" and the album- closer "Hallowed Be Thy Name." This is a 5-star metal classic, but for prog purposes it lies between being good and excellent. Let it be very good then... 3.5 stars.
Report this review (#93226)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Iron Maidens third album release and the first with the singing champion Bruce Dickinson. Of course, as you know this album is considered one of the greatest albums ever released in ROCK history! Iron Maiden is a band with a history of being one of the most influenctial bands along the side of Rush, Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and Pink Floyd, but, does this also open them to be prog? In some albums yes, this album, however, they probably are more retro eighties metal. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd have to say this is one good album, aside from it not being a prog addition. This album has some of the best tracks that Iron Maiden has ever released, even the infamous Run to the Hills, which I often find overplayed on many radio stations, it still has many a good albums. (Not to include DT remade this genious album in a live preformance and did an incredible job!) Now what good songs do they have? I'd have to Children of the Damned is probably one of their best songs yet to have been created. Also the great Number of the Beast single track, Hallowed Be Thy Name, 22 Acacia Avenue, The Prisoner. Yep, this is one really, really good album! Not their best in my opinion, but it definiatly holds up to it's name when Maiden released their "Best Three Albums" which was this one, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave. Yes, it does fall into that great category. 4/5 stars, excellent addition, but not quite the masterpiece in my eyes. Invaders and Gangland REALLY don't add to this album positively in any way. But if your the Iron fan then love the album!
Report this review (#93254)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars "Number of the Beast" is one of the heaviest metal albums ever recorded, obviously after Black Sabbath's "Mob rules": indeed, the guitars, the drums and the bass combination form here a very HEAVY and powerful texture. However, the rhythmic guitar riffs are not as sustained as on Black Sabbath's "Mob rules", and they are also faster here: that's one of the reasons that explain why "Mob rules" is heavier.

There are many melodic and catchy guitar solos, like the one on "22 Acacia Avenue". The vocals intro on the powerful "Prisoner" are taken from the TV series "The Prisoner", starring Patrick McGoohan: the track itself is VERY catchy and addictive; Dickinson's excellent vocals make this track an accessible one. The "Number of the Beast" track is UNIVERSALLY known: the diabolic & narrative style of the intro voice retains the attention; Dickinson produces an hysterical & echoed scream in the beginning; just after the fast wah-wah guitar solo, the bass - rhythmic guitars - drums ensemble attain and unprecedented rich & colorful sound: it is really IMPRESSIVE. After the melodic & twisted guitar solo on "Run to the hills", Harris goes with an amazing pattern of high & fast notes, supporting very well the extreme scream by Dickinson. "Hallowed be thy name" is practically a metal prog track, with its multiple rhythm & air changes. With this album, Iron Maiden still does not completely reach their typical sharp, incisive and clean sound, like on the next album "Piece of mind".


Report this review (#93547)
Posted Thursday, October 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Iron Maiden's third album sees the arrival of Bruce Dickinson to handle the vocals. His voice is much more powerful, and in fact the whole sound is heavier on this album. Maiden wrote fast paced songs, now they write heavy fast paced tracks... This album could be considered as a second debut album though, and although it has been critically acclaimed, it's one of those I like the least.

Songs like "Invaders", "22 Acacia Avenue" and "Gangland" are really straightforward metal songs, and are really weak for this kind of album. "Children Of The Damned" is the "Remember Tomorrow" of this album - the melody is more diverse with a mellow first part. This is probably the song I like the most, along with "The Prisoner". The other songs, "The Number Of The Beast", "Run To The Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" are the hits of the album, songs the band would play on almost every live show - the first two are heavy and catchy, the last one is a dark epic.

Rating: 60/100 (2 stars)

Report this review (#98276)
Posted Saturday, November 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#103470)
Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Everyone knows that this is the anthemic prog-metal album that launched the New Wave of Heavy Metal revolution. But for me it's a bit of a "Trojan Horse" - this is the album that "sneaked" progressive rock back to the radio and the mainstream, in the guise of Heavy Metal. It does not take much listening to detect the progressive elements in it, with the abrubtly changing meters and key, epic subject matter and tight dual guitar attack, and complex bass lines. The guitar sound is so full that we don't miss the keyboards much. The production is state-of-the art, which played a part in getting this album s much airplay, as well as the epic rockers Number Of The Beast and Run To The Hills. Great stuff!
Report this review (#103600)
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.4 Stars

A landmark album in the history of heavy metal. This album marks the arrival of the famous singer Bruce Dickinson, charactarised by the siren sounding screams he often lets out. I personally prefer the voice of the original singer, but Dickinson is still superior to most metal singers I know. The music in this album is somewhat heavier, helped by Dickinson's more powerful voice. The Number of The Beast features the galloping rhythms, tight songwriting, electric guitar riffs, and catchy choruses. Some of the most well-known Iron Maiden pieces are here, namely Number of the Beast, Run to the Hills, and Hallowed By Thy Name.

The most straightforward songs are Invaders, Gangland . Invaders is a typical Iron Maiden opener, being fast-paced and straightforward. Gangland is another typical fast-paced metal song, making it (as well as the opener) the least interesting songs in the album. 22 Acacia Avenue is longer, but it contains a tempo changing leading to a wonderful performance of double guitars in minute 4. Children of the Damned is similar and almost as good as the phenomenal "Remember Tomorrow" from their debut. Here, Dickinson proves to be an excellent singer, showing a lot of flexibility and power in his vocals. As in "Remember Tomorrow" the vocals and guitar riff of the choruses are extremely memorable. The second half is fast-paced but interesting, with a wonderful and virtuosic guitar solo. The Prisoner is an entertaining long song that unfortunately suffers from being a bit repetitive.

The remaining three songs I haven't mentioned yet are highlights here. The Number of the Beast opens with a nice electric guitar riff and vocals which go in a crescendo until Dickinson lets out a mighty scream that makes your hair stand up. The rest of the song is catchy with hooks on the choruses, making this a very accessible classic. Run to the Hills begins with an unforgettable guitar riff and catchy drum beat. The rest is more catchy music, with a sing-along chorus that sticks in your head for days. Hallowed By Thy Name is usually regarded as Iron Maiden's ultimate achievement. While I disgree, it is still an impressive song that begins with a dark atmosphere with bells and Dickinson's vocals at his best and follows with a display of technical musicianship recalling "Phantom of the Opera" from their debut.

OVerall, this is a good heavy metal album that should appeal to almost anyone interested in the genre. I recommend it, as us proggers sometimes could use of some break from the demanding genre of progressive rock/metal. Number of the Beast does not prog, but it metals!

Report this review (#104598)
Posted Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the record that not only introduced Bruce Dickinson to the world, but also IRON MAIDEN to new legions of fans. I know for me personally it was great to have IRON MAIDEN to listen to during the eighties.They thank UFO and JUDAS PRIEST in the liner notes, two bands that I love as well. And I have to say that the drumming of Clive Burr is quite extraordinary throughout this record.

"Invaders" and "Gangland" are both extremely fast paced songs with Clive on the drum kit keeping very busy. While "The Prisoner" is not as furious as those two, but it is also a straight forward song. "Children Of The Damned" features some nice heavy drumming with melodic guitar playing until the pace picks up 3 minutes in with some great guitar and drums. "22 Acacia Avenue" has some uptempo riffing and I know i'm being a broken record but the drumming does stand out again. I like the tempo change 4 minutes in.

"The Number Of The Beast" is a classic ! There is some amazing bass in this song and check out the guitar 3 minutes in ! This song is like a raging fire ! "Run To The Hills" opens with drums and a memorable riff and then the awesome vocals of Mr.Dickinson come in "Run to the for your lives". "Total Eclipse" is a nice heavy melodic tune that accellerates with some scorching guitar and more incredible vocals.The closing song "Hallowed Be Thy Name" has a slower paced 1 minute intro before we get that galloping rhythm that MAIDEN would become famous for, that includes some fantastic guitar and drumming. It just sounds so good !

I know many of their fans put this record at the top of the heep, but for me it's down the list a ways, not that I don't love it, it's just I prefer some of their others even more.

Report this review (#108642)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 666, The Number Of The Beast

I find some prog stuff in Iron Maiden, they are one of the biggest Dream Theater influences, Steve Harris playing and the odd time signatures, but I think it's not enough. I'd really like to give a 5 stars rating. If we were at Heavy Metal Archives, I'd give it the perfect score without a doubt, but unfortunately we are at Prog Archives. So, let's get it on!!!

The album has some great Classic Maiden Songs, but there are some tracks that are just to fill the space between them.

The album starts with a bang, Invaders, one of my favorite tracks of this release, the versatility that Harris gives to his bass guitar is simply amazing, which of course adds some of progressiveness to the song. Dickinson is immaculate on his singing, one of the best vocalists in Rock History.

Children Of The Damned has its best part when the powerful voice of Mr. Dickinson makes the introduction of the twin guitars of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray.

"I am not a number, I'm a free man", this track's lyrics are simply a yell of freedom, musically, one of the best Maiden's works.

I'm gonna skip Acacia Avenue, 'cause I don't find nothing interesting in that song.

"666, The Number Of The Beast", that simple and plain phrase is something that you just can't keep out of your mind for a long, long time, you keep singing, and singing.

The lyrics that came out from a nightmare of the sick mind of Mr. Harris is one of the best ever written, demons and monsters fill your room until you scream once again. "666, The Number Of The Beast".

The galloping bass of Steve and the intelligent lyrics of Bruce made this song, a theme about indians and conquerors, war and violence against the natives is told by this British Band.

I'll skip Gangland and Total Eclipse to go with the last and best song of the album.

The slow start, the voice, the lyrics, the bell tolling with each crash on the drums, what else can I say. This song is simply perfect. HALLOWED BE THY NAME!!!

At the end of this review, which is probably the longest I've ever written, I'm pretty unsure of the rate I should give to it. So when the doubt appears,

So, I'll give it 3 stars, just because you can continue your long and extensive way through progressive music without this album. That's it!!!

Report this review (#109268)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Well, I think it's time to review more albums from my favorite non-prog band (at least not 100% prog, as they definitely have prog elements in their music). I'll start with this record as I don't have the first two (IRON MAIDEN and KILLERS. Though I have heard them, just not enough to write a review about them). I just re-purchased again almost all of their albums and I believe sharing my views about them it's in order.

After former vocalist Paul D'Anno had left, Iron Maiden found themselves with the opportunity to make the big jump from being just a mildly successful and musically moderately interesting metal group in their native England to becoming one (if not THE) best heavy metal bands in history and one of the most successful acts around the whole world. Their punk-influenced NWOBHM was going to undergo major changes, with the addition of many progressive elements to the music and, specially, with the arrival of master singer Bruce Dickinson to the band. Dickinson's input in Iron Maiden has always been nothing short of spectacular, and he brought with him depth, musicality, melody, power, in a word: he gave the band the final touch of identity it needed, being the perfect deliverer for Steve Harris's musical idea.

THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST remains Iron Maiden's most successful album to date (in terms of records sold) though it's far from their best. Even though it has a lot of good songs, the sound is still somewhat raw around the edges, there's still a little bit of punk in the music (something I don't like) and the band itself wasn't complete yet. In the next album, PIECE OF MIND, with the inclusion of drummer Nicko McBrain, the British band would finally be complete and ready to achieve greater musical heights.

Let's say a few words about the songs.

Invaders (7.5/10) The song starts with a bang and then we enter metal territory in full force, though punk-influenced metal at that. Burr's drumming is quite tight in this track, and Harris as always shows how to play great bass even though he's not really playing incredibly complex harmonics. He just knows how to adorn, how to decorate even the simplest of bass lines. Good track, nothing extraordinaire. It still sounds like KILLERS, though with a far superior singer.

Children of The Damned (8/10) This is a change. Arpeggios announce a soft song, a sad, slow moment that is melodic and that showcases Dickinson's vocal prowess. The song gets faster halfway down, in a formula very typical of Maiden, though used to much greater success in other tracks (and in this same album). Decent song. The guitar solos by Smith and Murray and the dramatic ending make this a good track.

The Prisoner (7.5/10) A simple drum rhythm introduces this song, which starts quite weakly, sounding almost as Kiss. But it doesn't last long, as the ferocious guitar attack is unleashed a few seconds later. Pure adrenaline and energy, the melodic values are not too high. The chorus is catchy and lively, though a little ridiculous. Another good-if- not-great song.

22 Acacia Avenue (7.5/10) This song caused some minor troubles for Iron Maiden, as the inhabitants of 22 Acacia Avenue weren't happy about their address being used in the album as the location where people went to purchase pleasure. The song is a little bit chaotic, lacking the coherence of future Maiden mini-epics. It has decent melody, and it's a enjoyable, if not really brilliant, track.

The Number of The Beast (9/10) The ominous words taken from the Book of Revelations announce that something different will unfold here. The reverb-full guitar chords at the beginning confirm the arrival of a new monster, and Dickinson's vocals on top of them finally make D'Anno's memory just a distant, and not desirable, one. The guitar solo is superb, short but precise and melodic, epic; Harris and the guitars always in perfect synchronicity, always being each other's best friends. The first true gem in the album, it's still not a perfect track but it clearly paved the way for future masterpieces.

Run to The Hills (8.5/10) Arguably Iron Maiden's absolute hit, it's not my favorite track but is nevertheless a pleasure to listen to. After the legendary drum rhythm by Clive Burr, the guitars join emulating the percussion, and a short-yet-memorable little song is born. The chorus, while not even close to some of this band's best (and they DO have great choruses), is probably their most successful ever. Burr's drumming is precise, if simple. I love how Harris adorns his bass lines under the guitar solos, it's just a matter of adding a little note here, a little note there, and it makes a simple idea sound fantastic. Great track.

Gangland (7/10) A frantic, over-excited drum rhythm marks the beginning of this ultra- energetic yet somewhat forgettable hell-ride of a song. Pure metal, with little in the way of subtleties or melody. Just headbanging stuff. Though even in this insignificant track the masters found a way to give us enjoyable guitar solos. Even at their most savage, Iron Maiden are in a class of their own.

Total Eclipse (6.5/10) It had to happen, the album had to have a true weak, boring track. The band was still too fresh out of their first musical era, and it was impossible to expect a perfect album from the get-go. This song is longer than needed (and it's not really that long), lacks melody, lacks punch, lacks adrenaline, it even lacks Harris' inspired playing. Not atrocious, but very, very weak. The problem, though, was going to be resolved after this.

Hallowed be Thy Name (9.5/10) The fist masterpiece by Iron Maiden, the first track in this album that reminds me why this is my favorite non-totally-prog band. Speaking of progressiveness, this song is the one to look at to find those elements. From the sad beginning to the desperate chants of the soon-to-be-executed to the fantastic guitar melodies, to Burr's simple but on-target drumming, to the whole building of tension, this track has everything I love in Maiden. Those epic guitars, those guitars that seem to be screaming in anger and yearning for melody. Then the pause, the moment of doubt, and finally the OTHER Maiden, the metal machine, the adrenaline-pump, the wave that destroys everything in its wake. If I have doubts about giving this song a 10, it's because it sounds a little empty, the sonic experience is not "full", for lack of a better word, and mostly because Maiden delivered even better songs in future albums. But the return of the original melody in the fast section with the guitars reassured me that this is the band's first masterpiece.

After such an ending, we leave our THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST experience with quite the smile in our faces. The album is not perfect, it's still too rough and too noisy, but it has its moments. I'll give it a four, if only for historical reasons. The music gets a 3, the importance of the album makes the rating climb one step higher.

Recommended for: Fans of Iron Maiden; fans of heavy metal; fans of hard rock in general who like to experience one of the landmarks in metal history.

Not recommended for: People who dislike metal; people who prefer their music to be 100% prog; and Paul D'Anno's fans..

. this will leave you hopeless. Dickinson really is the Best for The Beast.

Report this review (#126284)
Posted Monday, June 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is fantastic metal album. Don't expect any prog.

I will rate this album not based on what it should get as a PROG album, but as a METAL album. My reasoning for this is that most who visit this site are knowledgeable of what is prog and what is not, or at least have a vague idea. Anyone with half a brain can listen to the first 30 seconds of this and know what it isn't. What it is.. it is metal.. done well. Well enough it is praised as one of the staple metal albums of the 80's metal era.

As a prog album.. 2 stars and thats being generous. As a metal album 5 stars.

Okay so.. 4 stars? Sure.

Report this review (#130794)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
5 stars A defiant heavy-metal scream to any and all who say Iron Maiden is not (at least a little) progressive: the group who single-handedly revived the British metal scene, influenced countless musicians through a distinct sound and style and continues to produce viable, artistic music 30 years after the fact fits the very definition of progressive rock. Iron Maiden's music is powerful and inspiring, and it goes without saying that "Number of the Beast" is an iconic work belonging in every rock lover's library. This is the perfect place for anyone even considering getting into smart metal to start, and while I admit that Iron Maiden is hardly the brainiest heavy-metal out there... they are without a doubt the best gateway to the world of heavy progressive rock.

Songwriting 4 Instrumental Performances 5 Lyrics/Vocals 5 Style/Emotion/Replay 5

Report this review (#131207)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Number of the Beast is the third studio release from legendary english metal band Iron Maiden, and is kind of a transitional album. With new vocalist Bruce Dickinson onboard, the band seems to be searching somewhat on how songs should be played and arranged to suit his voice; which is very different from previous vocalist Paul Di'Anno's. At the same time, the band starts showing off more of what will be their own trademark sound here, with fast-paced riffing, more harmonic guitar-playing and the bass guitar clearly a solid foundation in many tracks.

Musically Iron Maiden to some extent leave their punkish on this release; production and playing eliminating many of the rough edges of punk in the past, while the fast paced and at times staccato riffing developed due to the punk influences now to a greater extent has been developed into something new.

Iron Maidens trademark type of songs are developed here, with fast-paced riff-based rockers, some more mellow atmospheric tracks and the first raw examples of what would develop into the classic epic tracks being in place on this release.

The music is clearly heavy metal throughout; but influences and inspirations are not as easily identified here; and in many aspects this is the album where Iron Maiden lay down the foundations for their individual version of heavy metal.

There are many classic songs on this release, but also a few that are a tad on the weak side. The classic tracks here are all household names for most; and as with previous release Killers these songs are the main reason for adding this release to the music collection.

Report this review (#135823)
Posted Sunday, September 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Of course, the music played by Iron Maiden is neither progressive rock nor progressive metal, but one cannot deny the influence the band has made to the development of modern progressive and symphonic metal (Dream Theater, Symphony X etc.).

The Number Of The Beast, one of their most well-known albums and the first one with Bruce "Air Raid Siren" Dickinson, offers 8 classic, technically brilliant heavy metal compositions, including such all-time hits as Run To The Hills, Hallowed Be Thy Name and the title track, The Number Of The Beast. Although you'll find no poor songs there, the album in entirety makes a quite monotone impression: it's all based on fast or sometimes mid-paced guitar riffs and drumming, and, besides that, many guitar solos sound alike to me (don't misunderstand me - they are by no means bad). Fortunately the album is too short to become really boring. Only Hallowed Be Thy Name is a must-hear song on this album - and it's the most "progressive" one, too.

I'd like to give this album three stars, but looking from an historical point of view it IS essential, so let it be an "excellent addition to any prog music collection".

Report this review (#136175)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars As Iron Maiden was the first rock band I really got into, I feel I should review the first Maiden album I heard. I love this album. It's not my favourite, but it does have sentimental value, and a few great songs. None of the songs are bad, although I don't like some as much as the others. For example, "22 Acacia Avenue" and "Run to the Hills" never really grew on me. The best song on here, though, is "Hallowed Be Thy Name", a mini-epic about a condemned man. The power this song has is incredible, and you can't help but thinking that it is you that is headed to the gallows. My other favourites are "Invaders", which is about viking raids (you don't get much more metal than that), the title track, which was about a nightmare Steve Harris had, and led everyone to think they were satanic, and Children of the Damned, which starts off as a kind of power ballad then builds up into a rocker with that energy that Maiden is known for. I wouldn't call it their best work, but it's very good and comes highly recommended.
Report this review (#140098)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Prog or nay this is a classic heavy metal album.

Iron Maiden are perhaps one of the most well known and influential heavy metal bands ever and their 1982 album 'Number of the Beast' their first album with vocalist Bruce Dickinson cemented their popularity scoring a number one hit in the UK. The album is chock full of heavy metal classics, there isn't a single weak track on here 22 Accacia Avenue has a great middle section hinting at speed metal, The title track is probably the best on the album, utterly triumphant with bitchin' solos - how could you not sing along to it?, sure it's cheesy but this is 80's aggresive cheese, get out those torn jeans and massive sunnglasses. Run to the hills is a fast paced song about cowboys and indians, one of their most popular singles. Hallowed be thy name is probably the only song on the album with a strong progressive link clocking in at over 7 minutes with a non-standard structure, this would be my second favourite song behind the title track, some of the best riffs on the album, supertight harmonies, triumph, aggression, speed, bitchin' solos - it's all here.

This is a must have album for any serious heavy metal fan, sure it's not really prog but it's still a fantastic album that deserves to be recognised as such in spite of that fact. 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#144761)
Posted Monday, October 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Exit Di Anno, welcome Bruce Dickinson.

Even if the Maiden changed from vocalist, their style won't change very much. Still the same good old wild hard-rock. This album was their first number one in the UK charts (more to follow). As their previous album, this one won't let you breathe for a second.

You might think that "Children Of The Damned" will be somewhat smoother. But if it starts as an average rock ballad, its crescendo build up makes it the highlight of this album. Absolutely irresistable.

Don't look to anything prog releated in this album (but this is not a creative statement) : what you'll get is again wild stuff. With character and skills.

The most elaborate song "22, Acacia Avenue" is a brilliant hard-rock / heavy metal anthem. Wonderful guitar play and an incredible rhythmic section of course. Business as usual. Maiden day to day operations. But these dual guitars are exceptional.

The incredible beat of their previous album "Killers" is just repeated. Even one punkish song is featured here again : "Gangland" (and not "Garageland" of whom you might know...). My fave is "Hallowed Be Thy Name". More complex and accomplished than the other songs featured on this album. A great closing number.

This is a good album for hard-rock / heavy metal lovers. I guess that the average proghead will stay away from this sort of recordings. As of any Maiden album actually...

Three stars.

Report this review (#151639)
Posted Sunday, November 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An album praised by metalheads!

In some reviews about Iron Maiden I clearly stated that this band was originally not my cup of tea, especially looking at the time of release of this album. During that time I was bombarded with many spins of progressive rock albums from Genesisi, Yes, Gentle Giant etc. At that time Genesis was very popular in my country especially two big cities I frequently visited: Bandung (because I took an engineering study here) and Jakarta (where my mom stayed). The local band called "Cockpit" was very famous covering Genesis songs and they toured many venues in Indonesia. But that was the time also when progressive music was swept by the strong winds of punk and new wave music, so I was really not happy. I heard Iron Maiden name frequently from my hard rock friends but I never paid attention with the band because I did not like the cover which did not seem a cover of progressive band. I only knew Iron Maiden music after year 2000 when Indonesian classic rock FM radio station aired "Flight of Icarus" - a song that blew me away at first listen. I called the radio station and asked who played that beautiful and rockin' track. Once I got enough detail on artist and the album, I then purchased the "Piece of Mind" CD. An excellent album, really.

Since then I kept purchasing any release of Iron Maiden, including "The Number of The Beast" which I rarely spun until time when the rock community where I belongs to, i-Rock!, conducted a Tribute to Iron Maiden couple of months ago in Jakarta. So I spun this CD and enjoyed the music because most of them are hard rock music. The opening track "Invaders" (3:25) is a straight rocker which fits as an opening track. My excitement starts from track 2 "Children Of The Damned" (4:35) which starts beautifully in mellow style with guitar fills. It flows nicely with great melody.

"The Prisoner" (6:04), "22 Acacia Avenue" (6:37) are all excellent hard rock tracks that stimulate me without even I need to re-spin them because all of them are quite catchy at first listen. The title track "The Number Of The Beast" (4:52) has become a mascot in whatever tribute to Iron Maiden must be played by the band, because it contains high register notes vocal line by Bruce Dickinson. Because I have been trained by 70s music, Bruce's voice is somewhat similar with Ronnie James Dio. One thing I do like about Iron Maiden music is the dynamic bass lines played by the mastermind of the band: Steve Harris. I think, he is one of the best bass players in hard rock music, including Gary Thain of Uriah Heep.

Today, I spin this CD again because I listened to "The Number of The Beast" by Dream Theater. I just want to see how it compares between the two versions. My views on Dream Theater part would be featured on other thread in Dream Theater.

Overall, this album remarks one of the best hard rock music record. Most of the songs are heavy in nature and very enjoyable if hard rock or metal is already in your blood. But if you are not a hard rockers, you might find it difficult to enjoy the music of "The Number of The Beast". The other factor I enjoy much this album is the double guitar style by Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. It's an excellent addition to any hard rock / metal music collection. I have sensed that this album was influenced by the heavy metal master Black Sabbath - as some riffs remind me to the music of Black Sabbath. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#152468)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
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

Report this review (#155263)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#156133)
Posted Friday, December 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A good album for the metalhead, not for the progger. You better have an inclination for melodic metal or this one is going down the drain. The great songs are (in order of appearance): CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED; 22 ACACIA AVENUE; HALLOWED BE THY NAME. The rest is good stuff but not exceptional. Back in '82 almost everyone freaked out over the album - but now... the really great albums stand the test of time. I'm not sure this one has. It is a classic 3.5 stars album to me. Ok, let's make it 4 for historical significance.
Report this review (#163731)
Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was the first heavy metal album I really loved, and the second Maiden Album I listened to (the first was Virtual XI). Radically a great album, even if there is a song I simply hate, Gangland (so sad the original lp didn't include the song Total Eclipse, which is great, and is on the CD reissue as a bonus track). The 7 other tracks are marvellous, especially The Prisoner, Hallowed Be Thy Name, 22 Acacia Avenue and the title-track. This is one of Maiden's best albums ever, and one of their best-sellers - maybe their best-seller, in fact. A classic.
Report this review (#164140)
Posted Monday, March 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third album from Iron Maiden is an ultimate heavy metal classic. In classic status this can be compared to such heavy metal and hard rock albums as Black Sabbath´s Paranoid, AC/DC´s Back in Black and Metallica´s Black Album. This is in other words an album almost every heavy metal fan owns. The album stirred up a lot of controversy when it came out because of the title, the cover and the lyrical content in the title track. Right wing Christian organizations found a perfect scapegoat in Iron Maiden and called them satanists. This is as far from the truth as you can get though. The only song on The Number of the Beast that has anything to do with occultism is the title track and it is not a song that worships satanism. Not that I mind. If you want to hear really blasphemous bands try out some of the norwegian black metal bands or the american band Decide, then you´ll have something to be offended or even outraged about. The Number of the Beast is only a story, nothing more.

The music has changed a bit since Killers which is mostly due to the fact that Bruce(the siren)Dickinson has become the new singer in Iron Maiden. Bruce has a totally different voice compared to Paul Di´anno. Bruce is and extremely skilled singer who masters the whole register. He sings with lots of paatos and theatrical skill. Paul Di´anno had a more limited voice range and his vocals were more raw. The music is still very melodic heavy metal. No progressive tendencies are heard yet in Iron Maiden´s music.

The double guitar attack from Adrian Smith and Dave Murray are very melodic yet powerful and talking about powerful listen to Steve Harris bass and Clive Burr´s drumming. Now that´s what I call a powerful rythm section. This would be Clive Burr´s last album with Iron Maiden.

All songs on this album are classic Iron Maiden material that they have played live for thousands of times. Especially the title track is an ultimate heavy metal anthem that is played every time Iron Maiden perform. Songs like Run to the Hills and Hallowed Be Thy Name are also live classics. Both Childre of the Damned and 22 Acacia Avenue have also been played many times. Both are great songs and the latter is a continuation of the story about Charlotte the Harlot from Iron Maiden´s debut. The Prisoner needs to be mentioned too with it´s classic sample intro. It´s also a song Iron Maiden fans love. Invaders is a powerful song to start the album. Listen to Steve Harris bass playing in this song. Really fast. Gangland is the least known song from The Number of the Beast, but I think it is enjoyable. Total Eclipse must be a CD bonus track as it is not on my original LP, I think I remember it being a b- side to one of the singles released with the album.

This is such a classic heavy metal album and even though it is not my favorite Iron Maiden album this fully deserves 4 stars as it is a really excellent album. Highly recommendable. Fans of Deep Purple, Rainbow, UFO and other seventies hard rock bands should be able to find pleasure in this album as well as heavy metal fans. This is not a progressive album though and might not appeal to everyone in here.

Report this review (#165247)
Posted Friday, March 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've never understood the fascination with these inept pap-metal merchants. There's nothing visceral here, nothing that makes you sweat with fear. IRON MAIDEN produce relentlessly upbeat, simple rock songs that owe a great deal more to hard rock a la DEEP PURPLE and glam rockers like KISS than to true heavy metallers such as BLACK SABBATH. This surprisingly successful album demonstrates my point.

From the flat faux-operatic wailing of DICKINSON (hit the note, man!) to the frantic riffing of MURRAY and SMITH - why it takes two guitarists to make such a thin sound is beyond me - this is metal by numbers. Simple rock 'n' roll dressed up in halloween masks. How this band became wildly successful when far superior bands like RAINBOW did not can be attributed to their image and the record-buying public's reaction to the synth-pop fodder they were being fed at the time. There isn't a musician here who could hold a candle to anyone in the RAINBOW lineup, but they did have a good mascot.

What of the music? Well, there's no 'Stargazer' here, that's for sure. Nothing remotely as good. 'Children of the Damned' holds my interest for a moment or two, but apart from that and the faintly progressive 'Hallowed be Thy Name' there's nothing but spangly sterility here. Music for teenagers to annoy their parents with, nothing more. The sort of music I turn down out of embarrassment if anyone comes knocking at the door.

Report this review (#167748)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
The Whistler
3 stars (3.5, the NUMBAH OF THE BEAST!!!)

Okay, here's where most people see the Maiden get good. They get real tight now, they get real focused. Even if all Maiden albums sound practically the same, this could be considered their revolutionary album, where everything falls into place. Right?

Wrong. Well, for me at least. Because here's where I see the Maiden getting...bad. See, this album honestly could have been great, were it not for one animated little singer throwing himself into EVERYTHING. But what's really painful is that what's going on underneath Mister Dickinson is, for the most part, brilliant.

Take the opening couple of numbers. Best song on the album's gotta be one of these two: "Invaders" is just a good ole Viking metal song, with that fantastic nautical internal riffage (love the chorus), and loads of blood, guts, gore, and energy, energy, energy to back it up. After that, the Maiden change things around with the even better "Children of the Damned." That medievally, acoustical intro is so cool, like you're gonna hear a folk song (for about a second), but later it evolves into another speedy headbanger, and I have no qualms with that.

And, whatever, "The Prisoner" is actually okay. I mean, the verses are somewhat unmemorable, but that chorus is pretty cool, as is the bridge and its subsequent soloing. And besides, I like that show. I can dig it. However, "22 Acacia Avenue," the so-called sequel to "Charlotte the Harlot" isn't all that good. Like its predecessor, it's pretty dumb. But not as fun. Still headbang-able, if you care though.

"The Number of the Beast" has a spoken intro that, despite what your friends tell you, doesn't sound that much like Vincent Price after a while. The rest of the infamous title track? Meh. Sorry, some of the soloing is good, but it's just not much of a tune, I thought. And look, I know that "Run to the Hills" is one of the band's biggest hits, but it's just so...stupid. There's no denying that the opening riff is brilliant, but even if I could get past the trite lyrical matter, there's no excuse for the way ole Brucey belts out the things. Wish I could shut that voice off

"Gangland" opens strong with the whole drum pattern thing, but it falls into another mediocre melody. The bridge is cool though. "Total Eclipse" sounds like it could be something, but it's still kind of messy through and through. The faster sections lack cohesiveness, and the slower sections lack energy. I dunno.

Anyways, I guess "Hallowed be thy Name" is our epic. It's about a dude that dies at least. Dunno if that's important, but I'm saying it. It basically follows the same pattern of "Children of the Damned," just with more soloing. And, all things considered, it's a decent ending. In fact, yeah, it takes enough twists and turns to be interesting (wish it lasted just a teeny bit long for that ending; or, wait, maybe it's too long. Crap, maybe it's fine). In fact, considering the strength of the album's opening and closing, if it weren't for Dickinson, I'd say this was a great lil' record.

Okay, so here's the deal. This is just as strong as any previous albums from a melodic point of view. And from a technical point of view. But it's just that, as the Maiden evolve, they loose their...uniqueness! And I, being the pompous ass who wasn't there that I am, proudly blame Dickinson.

Looky here. Di'Anno, despite what YOU think of him, gave the band something different. A 70's hard rock singer in an 80's metal band. Or thereabouts. Dickinson...just sounds like everyone else. Add to that the sudden increase from here on out in goofy metallic things like demons and dragons and powerslaves (whatever those are); plus, the sound has changed drastically. I know that it was mutating on the last album, but it's on Beast that I really hear that the raw power of the first album has all been replaced with slick guitar noise. And, c'mon! The album covers themselves were never the same! Gone are the freaky Gothic send-ups, in come the sci-fi fantasies. Never again will the albums feel as cold to me...

But, singers again. It's not like Di'Anno never sang about stupid fantasy crap ("Strange World?"). It's just that when he DID, it always sounded weird and intriguing. Like, exactly how are we supposed to handle "Phantom of the Opera" from him? But with Dickinson, there's no middle ground. Of COURSE the song's about demons in bondage gear. See, I can imagine Di'Anno singing things like "The Trooper" and "Invaders," believe it or not, whereas I CAN'T imagine Dickinson singing things like "Prowler" or "Wrathchild." Can you? God, I hope not. You've just kicked my favorite 80's band in the balls then.

Okay, Dickinson aside, this album is pretty good, even if the numbers that didn't deserve to become classic did (and I know that I'm really pickin' on Dickin' Son here, I'm sure it wasn't ALL his fault). The guitars are still awesomely played, the drums are still fast lil' metronomes, the bass is still Harris, and there are a couple of choice riffs in there somewhere. Feel free to headbang to your heart's content. Besides, at this point, it's not like the Maiden could put out a bad album exactly. Just...somewhat uninspired. For the most part.

Report this review (#176255)
Posted Monday, July 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Number of the Beast" is widely regarded as one of the landmarks of heavy metal and one of the crowning achievements of Iron Maiden. This record put them truly in the map, selling very well, thanks to the title track and to "Run to the Hills", the two big hits that made waves within the metal/rock community. But is "The Number of the Beast" good? Is it a masterpiece, like many reviewers already stated?

Meh, I don't think so. I'm a huge Iron Maiden fan, "Powerslave" is my favourite record ever, but this piece just doesn't get me, mainly because of its unconsistency. Everybody knows that Iron Maiden is a band that prefers to write great songs instead of great albums. There are bands out there, like Opeth, that make albums that really sound amazing as a whole, but Maiden just can't deliver a record like that (well, they delivered one, after all, the allmighty "Powerslave"). Unfortunately, there are always fillers here and there that kill the flow, in the majority of the times.

Surprisingly, "The Number of the Beast" has PLENTY of them. The opener is one of them, its chorus must be one of the most annoying choruses I've ever heard ("Invaders!"* childish bass line * "raping!" * childish bass line *). However, this song is very fast and that's one of the main characteristic of "The Number of the Beast": there are some midpaced tracks here and there ("Children of the Damned", "Hallowed be Thy Name"), but the majority of them are very upbeat. Clive Burr is the one that contributes the most to this aspect; while he isn't as technical as Nicko McBrain, his performance is simple but catchy and effective. His best performance can be heard on "Gangland", a drum-driven track, that should work well as an instrumental, as the music is reminiscent of the fantastic "Genghis Khan", but everything is ruined by the vocal lines and the repetitive chorus. It kind of reminds of Metallica's "My Friend of Misery", which was also meant to be an instrumental, but, in the end, Hetfield sang on it and ruined the song (not completely though).

"The Prisoner" and "22 Acacia Avenue" follow also the boredom path; the first one has a nice spoken intro and drum lines, but it's WAY too long and that ruins the listening. The same thing goes to "22 Acacia Avenue", a song that would be much better with a shorter length. The middle section is quite cool though.

Anyways, now the good things... The guitar work is obviously amazing. Iron Maiden is very well known for the twin guitar leads and blazing solos and, hey, this record is great, guitar-wise. There are lots of good riffs and solos present here, from the technical middle section of the afore-mentioned "22 Acacia Avenue" to the unforgettable first notes of the title track, all absolutely top notch. And where would be Iron Maiden without Steve Harris? He is not as present here as on later albums ("Powerslave" or "Piece of Mind", for example, are more bass-driven than this piece), but he still is audible and his playing is, like always, tasteful, complementing the performances of the other musicians very well and, most of all, actually adding something to the songs.

About the highligts, there still are some here. "Children of the Damned" is not the best ballad ever made, nor the most beautiful one, but it's decent, featuring an excellent performance of an emotional version of Dickinson, an approach that he later used again on "Infinite Dreams", a track out of "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son". It's a worth lisening track mainly because of the vocals, as I've already said, Dickinson doesn't deliver emotional performances too often, so better hear this one. The title track is an authentic classic and, despite I, in the majority of the times, hate the big hits of the metal bands, I must say that I like this one. And, wow, I like "Run to the Hills" too, one of the best tracks of this album. This song really grown on me over the time but now I love it; the fast drumming (and the intro, oh God) and the over-the-top Dickinson performance really please me.

After a catchy meal provided by the "Gangland-666-Run to the Hills" trinity, the Maiden gives us, then, a nice dose of epicness to our hears, with "Hallowed Be Thy Name", considered by many as the ultimate Maiden song. It begins with a fantastic guitar riff, that, with the help of some cymbal hits, provides a nice and mysterious atmosphere to the tune. Then, the vocals kick in, with Bruce singing calmly - got to love that "the sands of time, for me, are running... looooooooooow!!". After this part, the song becomes heavier, with a blazing deliverance of great metal guitar riffs by the two masterful guitar players. Anyways, I really like this song, but I don't consider it as one of the best Maiden ever wrote. In my opinion, there are thousands of better Maiden songs out there ("Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Phantom of the Opera", "Dance of Death", even "The Legacy". However, it still wins the prize for the best track of "The Number of the Beast".

So, this is a typical Maiden album, with too much fillers present; the only different thing is that they are actually worse than the ones on the other albums, so that harms the whole listening experience. Anyways, this record marked the beginning of the golden era of the band, so it's worth listening after all. But if you want the best Maiden record, get "Powerslave" or even "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son", which is a bit weaker but still good. On other hand, there's some good material here, songs like "Hallowed Be Thy Name" and "Run to the Hills" are simply great and deserve a listen. And the performances of the musicians are all quite good, so that's another reason to hear this.

Best Moments of the CD: -the creepy beginning of "The Number of the Beast". -the drum intro of "Run to the Hills". -the calm section of "Hallowed Be Thy Name".

Report this review (#176653)
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Welcome to an icon.

I am afraid I am going to sound like a cliche during the next paragraphs. But there is no other way to describe this album as a milestone, an icon and a masterpiece. It is not my favorite Iron Maiden album, but I still give it the respect it demand.

Invaders unleashed the ex-Samson vocalist Bruce Dickinson onto the heavy metal scene. The track is kind of iconic just because of that. Let us say that his attack on the heavy metal scene can be compared to the attack on Pearl Harbour. Full attack, no mercy offered. The track is not particular good, but Bruce saves the day. The next track is one of the very few Iron Maiden ballads. And a good one too ! The band and the new vocals is working superbly together. It is obvious that Iron Maiden has arrived. I do not understand why this track is not as popular as it should be. It is on my top 20 Iron Maiden tracks. The following track has some very good guitar solos by the other new boy in Iron Maiden; Adrian Smith. This is not a great track, but still OK. 22 Acacia Avenue has some very good breaks and it is obvious that Iron Maiden comes from a prog rock background. This is a very well crafted song and one of the best songs on this album.

The title track does not need any introduction. It is one of their most well known songs and one who has landed the band in hot water with some Christian-fundamentalists. When reading the lyrics, it is pretty hard to understand why you can be branded as satanists by reading and quoting the bible. But their attackers does not take this into account. Sheer loonacy. Iron Maiden was never satanists. These days; they are bible-bashers....... behind closed doors. The song is iconic and a good one too. One of the best songs on the album.

Run To The Hills is one of the best Iron Maiden songs ever. It rumble on with some good melody lines. Bruce is at his best and the band seems tight as a duck's tax returns.

Gangland is one of these forgotten Iron Maiden songs which deserve to be dusted off and brought to everyone's attention. The guitars on this track is brilliant with some good harmonies and two-leads attacks.

The closing track is Hallowed Be Thy Name, Iron Maiden's best ever track. The lyrics is superb. The melody even better. This is a fully fledged epic song with time changes and duelling guitars. The bass is really rumbling along and it really creates an epic song. I have the Live After Death (live) version of this song on my favorite list. A truly stunner of a track.

I do not listen to this album a lot. Actually; this was my first time in a decade. But I still rate it very highly. I believe this is an essential heavy metal album and an excellent addition to any prog music collection.

4.5 stars.

Report this review (#189097)
Posted Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The album that turned us all into children of the damned (well, the metal-heads, anyways).

Being one of the most influential and seminal albums ever to be released in the metal world it's a little bit weird to review it in the context of people who are looking for the next Yes. With this album Iron Maiden would lose their first singer, Di'Anno, and would bring in one of the most known pipes in all the land in the form of Bruce Dickinson - and although they hadn't completely matured into their intelligent fantasy-metal type selves yet, they were definitely on that path. You can still hear a large amount of Maiden's ''street sound'' on this album, but at least this time it's blended with a good amount of progressive influence, and even a few excellent tunes that the progressive giants would have given them kudos for in the 70s. All in all, this may not be the place for progheads to start with the band, but it's definitely one that should be on your buying list if you like the band in any way, shape or form.

The best, most memorable tracks on the album (even in the metal world) are all ones that can be called progressive in nature. Take for example the metal behemoth, the amazing opus, Hallowed Be Thy Name, something that even Kansas would have had trouble following during an act. Emotional, spine chilling, speed changing and guitar soloing greatness from start to finish, this one is still a classic that gets performed to mass applause in ever single show that the beast plays - and for great reason. This is the ultimate standout on what is often called the most influential metal album of all time. That said, there's other stuff of the disc that stands the test of time as well. Take for instance the lengthy 22 Acacia Avenue, which carries on the saga of 'Charlotte The Harlot with a twisted and gruesome, sexually charged pseudo-epic, the lyrics of which could have been written by Ian Anderson, although with more cynicism, and less humor. Children Of The Damned is an excellent and creepy song that makes the most out of its 4 minute time span while Total Eclipse seems like a two part suite forced into a short song format (and it works very well).

The rest of the songs on the album were either hits or songs that metal-heads will proudly proclaim as their favorite Maiden tune. The quick and dirty opener, Invaders may not have any 'progressive' merit, but who cares, really? How can you go wrong with a tune about vikings? The Prisoner is a lengthier piece that is more simple in composition than some of the other tracks, but it's still effective with Harris's dominant bass playing taking control of the fray. Gangland is probably the least memorable of the bunch, but with a frantic rhythm section it's at least still a fun ride. Of course then we have the hits, a couple of the most played and memorable tracks in the whole 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' scene. We all know Run to the Hills and Number Of The Beast so there's no real point in going into great detail about them, just sit back and enjoy.

So if you're into metal then buy this album and be happy with it - prog heads and especially the more 'inclusive' proggers probably won't enjoy this one so much, let alone be convinced of the band's place on a website such as this. While this is considered their best moment by some it's more rightly considered the start of their classic era by others - later albums would become more and more impressive, leaving this one in the dust, even if it is a monumental achievement. If you haven't already checked out their later albums then do that first - this one gets 3.5 stars out of 5. Excellent stuff, but the band did better.

Report this review (#200068)
Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars If he had lived, he would have crucified them all!

Iron Maiden's third studio album Number of the Beast is truly a beast. Each song is hit after hit of classic metal. The songs are powerful, operatic, lyrically skillful, varied, and at times blinding. Definitely a clasic of the metal genre.

Starting off with the scale play of Invaders, leading into the seeming Black Sabbath inspired Children of the Damned. The lyrics depict (intelligently) battles and mystic powers, devils and war. The prisoner is melodic and strong. The soloing on this album is flashy and fantastic. 22 Acacia avenue is a mutli-part continuation of the Harlot series, and has some exciting parts. The title track is blistering. The solo is violent and furious. Then you have the catchiest song on the album, Run to the Hills. It tells of the plight of the Indians, and is quite good. With another raging solo. Gangland is the only filler, here. And, it is good filler. But keeps This from becoming the ultimate metal masterpiece it should have been. Total eclipse is good. And then you have the final track Hallowed be Thy Name... Wow. This is one of the best metal songs I have ever heard. The soloing is outrageous, the melodies are brilliant, the lyrics are enjoyable, and it is a monster of a track. It is a beast. A fitting end to one of metal's finest moments.

But, this album isn't very progressive. So, I can only give it 4 stars.

Report this review (#210629)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album was Iron Maiden's first to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson. His inclusion made a huge difference in the band's sound, due to the fact that previous vocalist Paul Di'Anno was more of a punk vocalist than a metal one. This album is considered to be one of the greatest metal albums of all time, and that is definitely true. If I were to describe this album in one word, it would be power. That's one thing I love about Maiden, just how powerful their sound is. It's not as heavy as bands like Black Sabbath or Metallica, but it seems to carry more weight behind it. To describe the music, its fast, with powerful riffs and good solos. Another thing I love about Iron Maiden is that the bass plays a prominent role in the music, unlike other bands where it is almost inaudible. Bruce Dickinson's vocals are great. I only give this album 4/5 because while it isn't really progressive, it was definitely a progression for the band, and it affected the whole genre of metal greatly.

Key Tracks: Children off the Damned - Starts off quiet, but progressively gets heavier. The Number of the Beast - Amazing song. Amazing riffs, solos, bass, and vocals. Run to the Hills - Kind of corny, but still a good song. Good bass and vocals. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Amazing closing track, with great lyrics, vocals, and solos.

Report this review (#216619)
Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4.5 stars

This album was my first approach with Iron Maiden's music and I loved it from the first tunes of Invaders. I remember I listened a lot to Metallica's Master Of Puppets at the time but surprisingly when I heard Number Of The Beast it didn't seem less violent. And why it didn't? It's easy. Because songs on Number Of The Beast have the same punk rockish approach as first Metallica's album Kill'em All. Of course Master Of Puppets was more complex and heavier but the music was same aggressive as Maiden songs from 'The Beast'. Invaders and Gangland simply crush your bones with fast and violent tunes. Dickinson is much better singer than DiAnno and he proves that especially in power ballad Children Of The Damned which is probably my favorite song on this release. The finger hammering solos at the end of this tune are also amazing. This is METAL. Prisoner was my favorite song from this album when I heard it for the first time. It has a punk rockish riff but the whole tune drifts into typical heavy metal. 22 Acacia Avenue is almost progressive song with lots of great solos but it's also probably the heaviest track on the album. There are moments when Dickinson screams making it so wild. The most popular tunes on this album are 3 songs on side B. Title track is pretty good and I still enjoy it, Hallowed Be Thy Name is the longest and a bit Sabbath-flavoured tune which I partly like but Run To The Hills is a terrible disco metal song same annoying as Running Free from debut album. Listen to the chorus. What a lame piece of cheese. Ironically it became the most recognizable Maiden song from their whole career. Steve Harris must have lost his mind naming after that song Iron Maiden's biography. But nevermind, even with that song I could rate this album by 5 stars. I'm giving 4.5 only because I'd have to give 5 to 4 other Maiden albums and it's prog site. Anyway highly recommended.

Report this review (#216828)
Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first album to feature Bruce Dickinson and the last to have Clive Burr on drums. Which is a shame as I really liked DiAnno's vocals, and I have always thought Burr to be superior to McBrain. That is not to say that I don't enjoy the albums from the Dickinson era. I do actually, very much, but I would have liked to see where they would have headed with DiAnno.

Iron Maiden have never done one really consistent album (except the first two) in my opinion. Every one of their album has at least one song which I consider to be a filler. The Number of the Beast has Gangland and Total Eclipse. They are not bad songs by any means, just a bit weaker than the rest. And the rest of the bunch are bona fide classics of heavy metal, there's no doubt about that.

The playing, as always, is top notch, and Harris is the one who steals the show every time with his energetic bass playing. The double guitar attack was nothing new at the time, but Iron Maiden were the ones who really made it mainstream. And it was with this album, as the first two weren't as successful. Well, of course there were Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy before them for example, but they were never as succesful as Maiden would become.

One thing I have always loved about Maiden are their lyrics, and this album is no exception. References to vikings, The Prisoner, devil, and the continuing story of Charlotte (the harlot) all written in a very captivating style. Fantastic!

All in all, 4 stars must be given.

Report this review (#230305)
Posted Friday, August 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's a first Iron Maiden album ever I heard in my life (ok, somewhere in early eightees,still as LP), and I believe that it's one of the greatest album in rock ever.

In fact, I liked hard rock and heavy metal before, but in general it was very high energy, but often quite simple music. I liked some great bands as Pink Floyd of Supertramp as well, but there wasn't enough "heavyness"in their sound. So, it was like living two lives ( in music) without strong connection between each other.

With that album situation started to change. For sure, it wasn't some serious difference at once, but it was a beginning of long way of understanding, that heavy music could be "proggy".

Even now I don't believe too much that Iron Maiden has big relations with true progresive music. But for the time that album was released this small "something" was enough for the different feeling of all music world.

The album as heavy metal ( or New Wave of British Heavy Metal, what is more correct) is absolutely jam. Having all best atributes of that style ( heavyness, guitar riffs, really great Bruce Dickinson vocal, melodies, bright compositions and good sound), it has some complexity in sound, more usual for heavy prog bands of that time. I think that is only "prog"component in it, but it's enough for making this heavy metal album perfect work ( I think may be even the best band's album ever).

Report this review (#245076)
Posted Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars After their first two charming punk-metal albums, Iron Maiden replaced the rough bark of Paul Di'Anno by the operatic voice Bruce Dickinson. While I have no particular preference between both, I feel that most of the material here would have been better suited for Di'Anno. Especially the simple hard-rock of the short songs misses that little rough edge that made Maiden so unique on the previous album.

But this album also introduces a more epic writing style that might not have suited Di'Anno all that well. Dickinson truly delivers on more dramatic songs like Children of the Damned and Hallowed be Thy Name.

Most of the material is rather average. Some of it below average. On Invaders, Dickinson struggles to hit his high notes here, Halford would pulverize him on a song like this. The Prisoner is another weak song jumbling all known hard-rock clichés together. It is a far cry from their previous uncompromising albums. 22, Acacia Avenue and Number of the Beast are examples of songs that might have been more convincing with a bit more punk flavour. Run To The Hills stands a good chance for being the most annoying hard rock anthem in rock history. Only Paradise By The Dashboard Light is worse. There's also a song called Gangland that is entirely forgettable.

The sound hasn't changed a bit compared to the previous album. The addition of Dickinson's power vocals make it sound almost exactly like Rainbow's sound on Long Live Rock 'n' Roll. Well it's a Martin Birch product so that makes sense. Apart from Children of the Damned and Hallowed be Thy Name this album is way too commercial and mediocre for my taste. 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#260049)
Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast (1982)

The creation of the metal-epic...

The beginning metal-scene had to progress quite a lot from heavy rock'n roll to the varied and inventive scene we know today. This album still stands as a landmark in the development of the genre. From now on heavy instrumentation, epical song-structures and emotionally developed songs could all be part of the same formula. That formula was called Iron Maiden.

Paul Di'Anno was fired because of his risky behavior and new lead singer Bruce Dickinson (ex-Samson) was to be the new front-man of the band. The vocal capabilities of Dickinson, the metal instrumentation and the wish to expand the music became the foundation for the third album of Iron Maiden. The album has songs of different sorts and the artistic approach on the music made this a very likable album for proggers at the time. Some commercial moments made the music accessible for the big public as Iron Maiden got their international fame in this period.

Invaders is a song that must have been intended for Di'Anno's voice. Dickinson tries to recreate the flamboyant up-tempo heavy rockin' style of first two Iron Maiden album and succeeds. The songs has great parts, but I never really understood the way couplet and refrain succeed each other.

Children of the Damned shows Iron Maiden in freshly discovered new grounds. The song has an epical feel an extremely extrovert vocals of Dickinson. This emotional affair comes to a zenith with an very touching end section. Great track!

The Prisoner has a more guitar-riff-like approach. This song isn't my favorite of the album, but it still stands as a great metal track.

22 Acacia is yet another new experiment by Maiden. It continues the concept of whore Charlot the Harlot with a story-telling lyrical style. The introduction of the story of Bruce is sympathetic, but during the song his opinion about the 'service' of Charlot changed brilliantly and dramatically. The combination of this inventive lyrical (and instrumental) progress in the song with the beautiful instrumentation makes this one of the best Iron Maiden tracks. Both guitar solo's are great as well.

The Number of the Beast is yet another story-telling lyrical track with yet some more instrumental exploration. The ever important bass-lines of Harris are great and the guitar solo's perfect. This song get's me moving, great metal!

Run to the Hills represents the commercial part of the album. Still the song has a great lyrics about the killing of all the Indians in North America. It's a nice song and nothing more.

Gangland is a song with an atmospheric approach. As the title suggest, the song has a dark sound that perfectly fit with the lyrics about a dark society with killers on every corner of the street. The drums and the main guitar riff are strong and the vocals are great. Somehow this song is a lonely track in Maiden discography: it just doesn't sound like other tracks. Great!

Total Eclipse was a b-side intended for our Japanese amigo's who had to spend a lot of money on European music and thus deserved a bonus track. The song has less sophisticated themes, but still has an interesting structure and the apocalyptic lyrics are nice.

Hallowed be thy Name. This is the one metal epic. This track alone is a ground-braking affair and one of the most inspiring metal tracks ever! The dark atmospheres, the great instrumental guitar parts, the progress during the song, the heart-aching vocals of Dickinson.. all are great. The song moved me when I was 12 years old and I still thinks just as brilliant to day. Iron Maiden is here to stay!

Conclusion. An album with lot's of amazing moments, whilst changing the style of the band quite a bit. Still this is not like a 'transitional' album, this is Iron Maiden arriving in a new era. A lot of songs have a special place in my hearth because of the emotional and extrovert vocals of Dickinson and the amazing instrumental parts. The innovative song-writing of Iron Maiden made them one of the best acts of the eighties for sure. Four stars!

* Listening to this album on high volume reminded me this was a true masterpiece of heavy metal. Five stars.

Report this review (#284299)
Posted Monday, May 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars With Iron Maiden's third album, the mature sound starts coming. With this release the band once again revolutionizes heavy metal sound, thanks to the entry of Bruce Dickinson, considered even today one of the best metal vocalists. The sound is generally heavier, the guitars are more violent, the rhythms more strong and at times faster. But there is also an impressive songwriting, especially in songs like Run To The Hills and the title track, which became unbelievable classics not only for Iron Maiden but even for metal generally speaking.

The album starts with "Invaders" a short but effective song, fast and violent, with Bruce's high pitched vocals and Steve Harris' incredible performance.k

"Children Of The Damned" is a ballad, pretty good for Iron Maiden standards but it's probably the weakest moment of the album.

"The Prisoner" is a longer song, fast like Invaders, that surely influenced Trash metal in a way. One of my favorites.

"22 Acacia Avenue" is another fabulous piece, almost perfect, even this has pretty much the same structure as the previous song.

the title track is a huge heavy metal classic, for sure one of the best songs of the genre. For this song in particular the band was accused of Satanism.

"Run o The Hills" is another classic. Thanks to it's unusual rhythm and epic moods, it became the most famous Maiden song.

" Gangland" is an interesting song, very different, not so catchy as the previous songs, but still great.

"Hallowed By Thy Name" is yet another classic, very haunting and powerful, a semi ballad that can scare or give joy, an unforgettable song that no Maiden fan doesn't like.

In conclusion, I must say it's one of the most terrific metal albums I've ever heard, very underrated in this site, but highly acclaimed by the rest of the world. Essential.

Report this review (#285187)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars It's funny: every year that passes makes old Iron Maiden albums sound softer and more mainstream. At the time this was released I remember huddling round an old cassette player in my school playground in mid-summer '82 and being genuinely scared by this album'. Now that I've just turned 40 it sounds really cheesy and tacky - just like the front cover looks.

I still quite like the intro "Invaders' though, and 'Ganglands' is pretty cool. Other than that it's a lot of old pants. The rest of the tunes all sort of morph into one in your mind after you've finished listening to the whole thing - as they're basically all the same.

I'm not calling into question the band's musicianship which was undoubtedly top notch - but doesn't Bruce Dickinson have the most one dimensional 'operatic' voice you've ever heard? He's the Sean Connery of singing - he's had year after year to improve, alter or modify and basically just sounds the same now as he always did, still using the same old gimmicks. Still - at least he's had a haircut. 'Killers' was a far better album with better vocals and more diversity and was the best Iron Maiden album in my opinion.

Report this review (#287540)
Posted Sunday, June 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars My first official Metal album. I was into the glam metal of The Sweet and Kiss and so it was only a natural progression that I would try some of the harder stuff. I saw Iron Maiden on TV playing 'Number of the Beast' with that crazy film clip, and awesome lead break, I was totally in awe of this new band. I bought the vinyl record and raced home to put it on.

Soon I was being assaulted by the blistering breakneck speed of 'Invaders'. I had never heard anything so fast or brutal and I had to check my pulse as I think my heart was racing as fast as Burr's crashing drumbeat. I had to check the lyrics sheet as I couldn't even keep up with Dickinson's vocals. The lyrics are about Viking Norsemen raping, pillaging and killing everyone. OK, this is metal. I played the song over and over until it was a blood transfusion into my veins that I still have today. Every word was memorised, every lead break on this album ingrained into my conscious, it was essentially the beginning of my metal obssession. As such, this album is so important to me.

Each track brings back incredible memories even today. Due to my Christian beliefs I cannot listen anymore to the title track, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying 'The Prisoner', 'Run to the Hills' or 'Children of the Damned'. Murray and Smith's guitar duels are incredible and they are a joy to watch on stage.

I love the killer riffs of power metal and Dickinson's screaming 'Air Raid Siren' vocals. He buries Paul Di'Anno for sheer volume and power, and he is the only Maiden vocalist for me. The last track is a tour de force of atmosphere and building dread, one of the greatest Maiden tracks that the band still play live. 'Run to the Hills'; became an unlikely single and the clip with vintage Western footage is fun and shows the band were not taking themselves too seriously. Overall this album is an essential purchase. I do not like the album cover as it is puerile and juvenile by today's standards, but in it's day this was the one to get hold of; the music is simply awesome, changing the face of metal forever! As far as prog rock goes there is little on offer here, so only 3 stars for me in the prog realm, but its a 4 star metal album. Come on you Irons!

Report this review (#289803)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars A classic

A very important album in heavy metal history, this is where Iron Maiden replaced the tough guy voice of Di Anno with the higher pitched voice of Bruce Dickinson. This is a good album, but far from perfect.

A description of the music: The album opens with "Invaders," a simple and fast paced metal song that works as an effective opener and is our first taste of Bruce. It contains a high-pitched and rather memorable chorus. "Children of the Damned" is a slow ballad with a faster and great solo. "The Prisoner" has an amazing chorus and is pretty much your typical hard rock song. "22 Acacia Avenue" shifts between slow and fast often and is one of the highlights of the album which has catchy vocal lines and a nice instrumental section. "Number Of The Beast" is a legendary heavy metal track. Everything about this song is memorable. "Run To The Hills" is another legendary track with amazing drumming and a great chorus. The great drumming continues with "Gangland," a less catchy track then previous ones, but still good. "Total Eclipse" is a pretty forgettable track with no real entertaining factors. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is the only track with any trace of prog and is probably the strongest track. Great riffs, great lyrics, and overall constant entertainment make this song a gem.


Catchyness: Every track on this album, apart from "Total Eclipse," has a constant catchyness about it that will make you always remember every track here.

Vocals: Bruce Dickinson's first album with Iron Maiden is a winner for him. He hits soaring high notes and sounds great on the low notes as well.

Choruses: We should all know that Iron Maiden definitely knows how to make a good chorus, and this album is amazing for that.


Proggyness: The only track with any proggyness on this entire album is "Hallowed Be Thy Name."

Blandness: This album at most times is just your typical hard rock/metal album. This means some tracks end up sounding a little similar.

Lasting effect: This album doesn't really have a lasting effect. It's great at first, but that greatness dies down over time.

Song ratings: Invaders: 7/10 Children of the Damned: 6/10 The Prisoner: 8.5/10 22 Acacia Avenue: 8.5/10 The Number Of The Beast: 9/10 Run To The Hills: 8/10 Gangland: 6/10 Total Eclipse: 2/10 Hallowed Be Thy Name: 9.5/10 Recommended for: Any heavy metal/ hard rock fan.

My rating: 3 stars. For a prog site, I see no reason to give any more then this.

Report this review (#289961)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The 'Classic' album to many, now do i think that way? well of course, i mean its Iron Maiden..this album was a match made in heaven if the early Maiden was missing something it would be a better singer then bammm, they get Mr.Bruce Dickinson and of course they were set for World Domination. The songs themselves are just so powerfull and different from their first 2 albums, with the lyrics moving away into fantasy territory and a more progressive approach to song writing, you still have your rockers ( THE PRISONER, the title track NUMBER OF THE BEAST, RUN TO THE HILLS) the 'epic' track HALLOWED BE THY NAME and the slower song CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED, 22 ACACIA AVENUE is also a standout track being the follow up to Charlotte The Harlot from their first album, all in all again another fine release;

Invaders - 8/10 Children Of The Damned - 8/10 The Prisoner - 9/10 22 Acacia Avenue - 9/10 The Number Of The Beast - 7/10 Run To The Hills - 7/10 Gangland - 7/10 Total Eclipse - 8/10 Hallowed Be Thy Name - 10/10

MY CONCLUSION? another great album, if you havent heard it, well worth checking out...

Report this review (#291569)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Revelations Ch. XIII V. 18

The Number of the Beast marked a significant change for Iron Maiden. First of all, you have the entrance of Bruce Dickinson, "Air Raid Siren", on vocals, and second you have an international success and one of the most iconic and influential albums in heavy metal. Yes, you could call The Number of the Beast one of the most groundbreaking albums in metal, but it is certainly not without reason. This album is fantastic and marks the first in a long string of Dickinson classics. Many people would call The Number of the Beast the best Iron Maiden album, and even though I don't entirely agree with this, it would be pure blasphemy to call it anything less than quintessential and just simply awesome.

This album has a slightly different sound than the first two Iron Maiden full-lengths, mostly due to Bruce Dickinson's vocal prowess. Gone are the punk-laden vocals of Paul Di'Anno, replaced by the masterful heavy metal vocals of Bruce Dickinson. As you can imagine, the very different style of the two vocalists greatly impacted Iron Maiden's sound. The punk-ish sound of the first two albums is gone almost entirely, and in replacement is a more traditional heavy metal sound. The Number of the Beast also introduces the galloping basslines and high falsetto vocals that Iron Maiden is known for. However, the band had yet to fully unleash their prog side by the time of this album. The prog influences are still scarce on this album, but within the next two albums that would change drastically. The only proggy song on this release is the mini-epic Hallowed Be Thy Name. Otherwise, this album is heavy metal with little variation outside of that genre.

The Number of the Beast is an 8-track, 40:20 album. Although another 5 to 10 minutes would've been nice, this is a generally good length for a heavy metal album. There is very little filler here, and the only song short of excellent is Gangland. The other songs are all masterpieces of heavy metal. Children of the Damned, The Prisoner, 22 Acacia Avenue, and Hallowed Be Thy Name are my personal favorites, but songs like The Number of the Beast and Run to the Hills are unquestionable classics. Needless to say this album is all killer and (almost) no filler. Some of Iron Maiden's best material can be found here.

As with all Iron Maiden albums, the musicianship is some of the best out there. Every single bandmate is extremely talented, and they always play exceptionally well together. As mentioned, this is the first album with Bruce Dickinson behind the microphone, and what a debut with Iron Maiden this was! The man is just a fantastic singer, among the best in all of heavy metal. Steve Harris' bass playing is also another highlight here. Iron Maiden is one of the few metal bands who really emphasizes on their bass player, giving Harris more than enough room to shine through with his talent.

The production on The Number of the Beast is perfect. This is among the best heavy metal productions ever. It's powerful, clean, and the bass is high in the mix (something I usually really like). It doesn't come as much of a surprise, though, considering how great Iron Maiden's production qualities usually are. Martin Birch is simply one of the best producers during this time period.


The Number of the Beast is one of the most influential albums in heavy metal, and after hearing it many times, it's not hard to understand why. Calling this album incredible is nothing short of the truth. Consider how many metal musicians, now legends in their own right, cite The Number of the Beast as a major musical influence. How many albums do you know that can fit a label like that? I'm going to give The Number of the Beast a 4 star rating. I would've gone higher, but decided not to because Iron Maiden made even better albums in their future. Still, this album is a must-have for all metalheads.

Report this review (#293010)
Posted Sunday, August 1, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars A heavy metal classic and considered to be the best (or one of the best) by fans. It's certainly an excellent one but I think the following "Piece of Mind" was even better!

It was the first album with singer Bruce Dickinson, who proved to have quite a voice from the start with "Invaders". "Children of The Damned" is also a top track but the highlights for me are "The Prisoner" (at the beginning it features some dialogue from a 60's TV series of the same name) and "The Number of the Beast" which along with "Run To The Hills" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" became part of the bands set list for most of their tours.

Iron Maiden caused a bit of controversy and were dubbed a satanic band in the US after this album's release due to the title and content of the songs. Isn't that all part of being a true heavy metal band?

This is a great album by a great band and more than worth checking out. 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#332803)
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Possibly the best Maiden has to offer

I am not a huge maiden fan. In fact, I didn't cared much about them untill around mid 2008, when a local record store chain, due to finantial problems, had to close its doors. In the months before they did so, they effortfully tried to sell whatever there was left in the stores, even selling CDs fro less than half the price, and I did whatever I could to grab as many albums as I could in such neat deals.

At that time, I acquired most of Iron Maiden's discography without knowing much about them, but as I listened to their albums I slowly understood their fame, and Number of the Beast is a pivotal part of getting such importance in the heavy metal world.

The first album with the then new singer Bruce Dickinson proved to be a reboot for the band, becuse they significantly changed their sound, that now was much more well worked, developed and composed and had a marked epic feeling to it, which was significantly caused by Bruce's operatic voice allied with a more elaborate guitar work.

At this point, however, the band still retained much of their visceral sound from their two earlier albums, influenced by punk rock to some extent, what puts Number of the Beast as a transition album for the band, but transformed it in one of the main albums of the New Wave of Brittish Heavy Metal because of that uncommon mix of epic metal music and visceral, simple and straight to the point rock. That caused the album to be one of the most influential heavy metal albums of all time to the point that the way the song are organized in Number became one of the blueprints of metal albums.

Although many consider Iron Maiden's albums from the latter part of the 80's to be their best, I personally think that this is actually their best album. The music by itself is very good: it is very concise, precise, it isn't overdone, something that the band recurringly did on following albums, resulting in things such as Bruce trying to go beyond his singing range or screaming instead of delivering a clear note or having messy guitar solos. Also, their transition phase, between their straightforward and epic style is able to deliver everything it is supposed to with perfection, something the other band's albums failed, in a way or another, making the whole experience much more enjoyable. It is also important to point out that the production here is very well done: all instruments sound evenly, everybody gets his bit of space and nobody shines more than he rightfully should.

Grade and Final Thought

I seriously cannot find a flaw in Number of the Beast. Add to that the fact that it is one of the most influential and important albums in the heavy metal history. The only logical result here is to give the perfect grade.

Report this review (#344348)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Metal legend yes, but not so fast

"The Number of the Beast" is a notable album for the band showing off the new vocalist and for many fans it was a favorite. I'll be brief: much of the album has that punkish energy and is able to merge that energy into often infectious grooves, certainly fare for getting those neck-muscles loosened up. But even if I look past Dickinson's oft-silly howling and the sometimes juvenile themes/imagery there is trouble in Beast-town. While the songs possess that important energy most of them ultimately slip into this repetitive, mid-range buzz, which begins to blow the boredom spores in your direction. Add this to the thin-sounding guitars and the less-than-soulful sections and it doesn't grip often enough. There are some cool moments: the title track is a punchy classic and there is a moving solo during "22, Acacia Ave" which has this nasty-good early Rush-like backing part behind it....more moments in this vein would have helped overall. Some of those slower Dio-ish styled fantasy sections are nice as well, a needed break from the "Beast" treadmill pace.

As an aside, hopefully the album has turned on some people to the excellent "The Prisoner" television series from the 1960s. "Number" is decent album, a bit under 3 stars for me, but one that admittedly has a large following who love it.

Report this review (#367736)
Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Considered by many to be the masterpiece of their career, The Number Of The Beast was definitely the album that lunched Iron Maiden's career into stardom and made Bruce Dickinson an overnight sensation. But although most of us are well familiar with singles like The Number Of The Beast and Run To The Hills, what does the remainder of the album actually have to offer to the yet unconvinced audiences? Let's listen and find out!

Invaders starts off this album with an upbeat intro and Bruce Dickinson quickly takes his chance to showcase his amazing vocal abilities. Other than that, this is clearly one of the least impressive album openers in Iron Maiden's history due to the song's very generic structure. This fact is actually given away pretty early on considering the cliché title of the composition. Invaders is just such a typical Heavy Metal song title; Judas Priest showcased their spectacular Invader on the 1978 record Stained Class while Magnum featured a grand scale Invasion on their debut album from that same year. In short, Iron Maiden was at least 4 years behind in that regard.

Luckily, they managed to beat Metallica to a pulp with the intro riff to Children Of The Damned! The rest of the song is solid tribute to the Dio-era Black Sabbath, although some would consider it a rip off considering that both bands were still active in 1982. The Prisoner is the first unmistakably Iron Maiden sounding composition which will pave the way for many similar songs for years to come. I really have no idea what to say about 22 Acacia Avenue... this song starts like a typical Iron Maiden composition but the chorus line just makes me cringe every time I hear it. It's good to know that the band wouldn't try to recreate this type of composition throughout the rest of the '80s.

What can I say about the album's title track that haven't been said already? How about the fact that this song was my main reason for rejecting Maiden for many years after I heard it back in my early teens! I mean, this is just such an irritatingly cheesy track that makes me think more of a weird Halloween masquerade than the actual chilling story that is being portrayed in the lyrics. This is one of the two Iron Maiden tracks for the '80s that gets the skip button treatment the most by me whenever I listen to these albums (patience, the second one will be revealed pretty soon). Run To The Hills might be just as overplayed as it's predecessor but at least this track manages to achieve the title of being the quintessential Iron Maiden tune which manages to combine pretty much all the distinguishable qualities within their work. I'm talking about Dickinson's soaring vocals, Harris' stomping bass, Smith/Murray dual guitar action, rather bland drumming and let's not forget those ridiculous lyrics!

Gangland is another pretty forgettable track that is saved by the dual guitar action, other than that it's just too bland for my taste. Total Eclipse isn't really any better, even though I do enjoy that guitar riff a whole lot more. Hallowed Be Thy Name is easily the biggest highlight of the bunch, unfortunately even this track loses some of it's momentum after you hear the main guitar riff gets repeated a few too many times. Other than that, this is an excellent piece of music which incidentally began the tradition of featuring an epic composition at the end of each album all the way to Somewhere In Time, or maybe even Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son since it's actually considered one long concept album by some.

I've written more than I should have about this album since I don't really hate it as much as some of my remarks would suggest. The fact is I just never cared much neither for or against it. I guess I can see why the fans like it - there are a lot of big hits here and the rest of the songs can probably grow on the listener with time. Since I really never have given The Number Of The Beast that much time, I'll just never understand it. Who knows, maybe it's all for the better in the long run?

**** star songs: Children Of The Damned (4:35) The Prisoner (6:04) Run To The Hills (3:54) Hallowed Be Thy Name (7:14)

*** star songs: Invaders (3:25) 22 Acacia Avenue (6:37) Gangland (3:48) Total Eclipse (4:26)

** star songs: The Number Of The Beast (4:52)

Report this review (#548543)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars With the mighty Bruce Dickinson signing on, Iron Maiden finally had a vocalist capable of handling the complex material Steve Harris and the others had wanted to compose but had held back on during the Paul Di'Anno era. Since the previous two albums had been primarily composed of material written in the early days of the group, the new songs collected here represent several years of songwriting development over Killers, explaining the startling quantum leap in the group's style. Bruce's almost operatic vocal style is perfectly suited for the selection of songs, reflecting historical incidents and making various cultural references to produce the first five-star Iron Maiden masterpiece.
Report this review (#569300)
Posted Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album was bought as a child growing up at about 11 years of age. The cassette is the basis to this review. The band's covers lured me into their sound and after their first tape caught somewhere in time that I did not like for their lack of vocals. This cassette filled that void but my parents did not. I was forced to return the album at the store since it had satanic cover.

I really don't remember how the tracks sounded but will stand against this group since they are a racist distance--meaning lets dissolve this unto you for your lack. Usually that is the reflection returning to more where they or the island areas can dissolve.

Remember in reference it was the English who translated anti-christ and this reflection is very clear in all their sounds. This is a mix of stupidity, foolishness, and penitence.

Once more this album is for the performance area not a private home. It is a mistake to allow this to enter or replace necessity. The emphasis towards necessity should not replace with this group. I don't care if they attract an audience at a very large stadium but to say I want that stadium in my home makes me a complete idiot and this group a complete stand out. This is once again best kept in public, they are a waste of private interest.

Report this review (#613362)
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'The Number Of The Beast' - Iron Maiden (7/10)

Long held to be Iron Maiden's immortal, classic contribution to the world of metal, Iron Maiden has undoubtedly had brighter musical moments than this, but its place as a go-to essential is not unfounded. Graced with some of the band's most recognizable songs, 'Number Of The Beast' lays down a foundation for all of the Maiden work to come. With galloping rhythms, acrobatic vocals, aggressive speed and relative lyrical sophistication, Maiden's third album is a great place to start with this band's illustrious career.

As part of the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) movement, Iron Maiden has a very signature sound to them here, one that's likely already indelibly etched into many a metalhead's mind. Twin-harmony guitars and a rhythm section that achieves a rolling pattern, akin to the galloping of a horse, are the two distinguishing traits of the band's music. Although these songs are quite catchy, there is a technical sense to the riffs. Speed metal is obviously a factor here, although it's used moderately enough for the music to be melodic and memorable. The two most famous tracks off the record are the title track, and the crowd pleaser 'Run To The Hills'; a song that features everything that fans love about Maiden. Here, the lyrics revolve around European conquest of the New World; an ambitious topic in comparison to the bawdy 'sex and drugs and sex' themes that many metal bands of the time were into.

Iron Maiden had been a capable act with singer Paul Di'Anno, but Bruce Dickinson's voice really brings the band's sound to a new level of distinction. He is one of those singers who manages to impress in a lower range, as well as a blistering falsetto. The epic closer and highlight 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' is most indicative of this. Beginning quite slowly, Bruce is able to set the scene of a dark holding cell, then raises the intensity as it becomes clear that the protagonist is doomed to be executed. Iron Maiden's sense of refined aggression is matched perfectly with this dark subject matter, although there are certainly more upbeat moments on the record, such as the tongue-in-cheek '22 Acacia Avenue'.

'Number Of The Beast' really is a perfect place to start with Iron Maiden, even more so than any best-of compilation. Although I think the quality of music would get higher as they tread towards more progressive domains, the classic quality and consistent songwriting makes this album a winner.

Report this review (#623328)
Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#812820)
Posted Friday, August 31, 2012 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars Paul Di'Anno was out and Bruce Dickinson formerly of Samson was in. On their third album IRON MAIDEN blossomed into a formidable heavy metal act with the addition of Dickinson's operatic vocals at just the right time as the band was becoming more progressive and the music more demanding and now they could pursue the directions that bassist and main songwriter Steve Harris had been hoping for. Eddie earned his right to hang out with Satan after all that killing he did on the last album with a bit of a mystery since he is controlling Satan like a puppet who in turn is controlling a smaller version of him thus symbolizing the paradox of dominance.

THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST is a power-packed heavy metal masterpiece that achieves perfection from the very first crunchy power chord of 'Invaders' to the the chiming bells and operatic dual guitar onslaught of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name.' The band continues their tradition of mixing their punkish aggression with melodic progressive metal with themes that were inspired by movies, fiction and philosophy. They succeeded in developing a diverse collection of well-crafted songs that made this album an instant classic becoming one of the most popular metal albums of all time. The re-mastered version contains the song 'Total Eclipse' before the finale 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' which was originally the B-side for the 'Run To The Hills' single.

This would be the last album with drummer Clive Burr (and the only one on which he contributed his songwriting skills) who was fired from the band during The Beast On The Road tour apparently for being unreliable and letting his partying affect his stage performance testifying to the high and professional standards of this band. He would ironically (or ironmaidenically) switch places with his replacement Nicko McBrain in the group Trust and also had a short gig with the supergroup Gogmagog which also included Paul Di'Anno and future MAIDEN guitarist Janick Gers. Mr. Burr was sadly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis shortly thereafter and died in 2013 from complications. R.I.P. Clive.

Report this review (#1118525)
Posted Thursday, January 23, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars 'The Number of the Beast' is the album that gave birth to the Iron Maiden we all know and love today. Besides a number of memorable hits that have remained a staple in live sets, it's most notable for featuring the debut of Bruce Dickinson, a man who would go on to become one of the most beloved and recognizable singers in metal.

Musically and sonically, this isn't much different than Iron Maiden's previous two albums. Rough and gritty 80's new wave of British heavy metal, the only remarkable differences, besides the addition of a superior vocalist, is the slightly stronger compositions. Most notable being two of their biggest hits (which still hold that title to this day), 'The Number of the Beast' and 'Run to the Hills'.

Of course, there's also other Maiden classics such as 'Hallowed Be Thy Name', 'The Prisoner' and 'Children of the Damned', which have all stood the test of time and are still as refreshing today as they were in 1982.

The playing is good for its time. Steve Harris is an absolute beast on the bass. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith are both competent guitarists, who've yet to utilize their full potential, especially when it comes to the duel harmonies they'd use on future releases, but they play more than enough to give all the songs the small embellishments required.

'The Number of the Beast' kicked off a long run of releases that would usher in the bands "golden era", and while it has its significance in Iron Maiden's history, I don't really consider it anything more than a decent album. It's good, but the best is most definitely yet to come.

Report this review (#1777273)
Posted Thursday, August 31, 2017 | Review Permalink

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