This is a proper banger. One of the greatest metal albums of all time, definitely lived up to the hype for sure. Iron Maiden was already a pretty tight heavy metal act beforehand but The Number of the Beast was their first big success both commercially and critically. Their first record with new vocalist Bruce Dickinson, the band found that the new member allowed opened up new possibilites with their songwriting. The record was very controversial in America, being considered Satanic and even having public burnings of Iron Maiden records being held. Nowadays reception is far more positive, the album being named one of the greatest metal albums of all time.
I feel like I grew a mustache listening to this. It's great stuff, and it's easy to see why it's held in such high regard. Side B in particular is absolutely stacked; Run to the Hills, Hallowed Be Thy Name, the title track? Some of Iron Maiden's most iconic songs, back to back to back, that's insane. Well, I guess Gangland isn't that amazing, but it's still good. Kinda funny to have a just good track stuck inbetween some of metal's most iconic songs. Side A is also pretty good as well, very consistent as well.
The recording and mixing was only done in a couple of weeks due to the band spending too long writing the songs. You could never tell from listening to the finished product because the peformances are tight as hell. Sure, it kinda plays into a ton of heavy metal tropes at times, but it always feels like it's "honouring" the genre rather than paroding it.
The songwriting is really uhh... gross... I guess you could call it, but in a good way. Lots of lyrics about invading shit and raping people and killing them, it's grim but weirdly enough it kinda felt... tasteful, almost? Well, about as tasteful as you can get with that kind of stuff, but it never really felt weird to listen to. It just worked, I guess.
What a great experience. The Number of the Beast isn't exactly a challenging metal album but it's a load of fun and uses its time well. A heavy metal classic.
Favourite Track: The Number of the Beaste, Hallowed Be Thy Name
Least Favourite Track: Gangland
Cover Art: 8/10
|1||Invaders / 80|
|2||Children of the Damned / 85|
|3||The Prisoner / 80|
|4||22 Acacia Avenue / 80|
|5||The Number of the Beast / 90|
|6||Run to the Hills / 85|
|7||Gangland / 70|
|8||Hallowed Be Thy Name / 90|