Rating:
9.5
Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
29 March 1982


Disc I
01. Invaders
02. Children Of The Damned
03. The Prisoner
04. 22 Acacia Avenue
05. The Number Of The Beast
06. Run To The Hills
07. Gangland
08. Total Eclipse [1998 remastered bonus]
09. Hallowed Be Thy Name

Disc II [1995 remastered release]
01. Total Eclipse
02. Remember Tomorrow [live]


The year is 1982, and metal is still a young and developing genre of music. The new wave of British heavy metal is beginning to take its toll on the American populace. We had already had a taste of Priest's [i]British Steel[i] and nine entire studio albums by Black Sabbath. Now it's Maiden's turn to hit the spotlight, and let me tell you, this release did it for them.

We'll begin with lyrical concepts of the album. Steve Harris has many depictions desperation, freedom, combat, and nature for this release. You get everything from Viking invaders raiding the countryside to a man praying before he goes down to the gallows. It is very creative and imaginative, and certainly leaves a distinct backdrop for the listener to delve into.

The vocal work holds just as much of an effect on the listener as the lyrics do. This is Bruce Dickinson's debut release with Maiden and I must say that he does not disappoint. He is capable of displays of emotion that would undoubtedly convey exactly how he would be feeling as these characters. The way he cries the words "If he had lived, he would have crucified us all" on "Children of the Damned" is bone chilling. It's no wonder why he is so influential as a metal vocalist.

The bass lines for this album are very sophisticated and are a big part of what gave Steve Harris his reputation as a musician. From the very beginning of the very first song, "Invaders", his accented style of playing as an additional lead instrument is quite clear. His prowess shows through even more clearly on "Children of the Damned" as he jams out some very interesting grooves over a beautifully played arpeggio. He may not be the most technical bassist in the world, but he's still a damn good one, and he has a lot of flavour in his style.

The guitars on this album are also quite impressive. Dave Murray's signature legato combined with the insanity that is Adrian Smith, as always, makes for a lethal combination. Solos are extremely memorable, as can be seen on the title track as well as on "Hallowed Be Thy Name". There are a lot of trade-offs and even more twin harmonies. Can you ask for any better? This reviewer thinks not.

If you want an album that has a kick to it, holds status as a classic and influential metal release and holds a musical variance which is nothing short of awesome, then this is the album to get. You may hear the name of the album almost every day amongst other metalheads, but trust me, it lives up to it. Just remember when you buy it though; you may be marked by the beast.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10


Band profile: Iron Maiden
Album: The Number Of The Beast


 


written by Arian Totalis | 18.02.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
HS

Rating:
10
At that time, Iron Maiden had already released two studio albums, Iron Maiden and Killers, which had made them known in the British metal scene. However, vocalist Paul Di Anno was fired from the group due to his uncontrolled alcoholic problems. Although this could have been proved a painful strike, Iron Maiden's golden era was about to start. Soon, vocalist Bruce Dickinson joined the group and in 1982 they released the historically important album The Number Of The Beast.

Read more ››
published 18.09.2003 | Comments (21)



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Ellrohir - 18.02.2010 at 21:18  
Up the irons
Fat & Sassy! - 18.02.2010 at 21:21  
This is a fantastic review. Great closing paragraph.
Arian Totalis - 18.02.2010 at 21:21  
Haha, thanks guys
Athropos - 18.02.2010 at 21:59  
Good review. This album and Powerslave are IMO the best Maiden albums.
Wopatoolie - 19.02.2010 at 00:45  
Hey heres an idea: how about posting a review about an album that isnt almost 30 years old and isnt older than the guy who posted it. please dont put these reviews of very old albums on your news feeds, its not news, no matter how much i do love iron maiden.
Troy Killjoy - 19.02.2010 at 00:54  
^ Someone's a Negative Nelly. I think this is a great review, regardless of the album's release date and reviewer's age.

I was expecting some fanboy writing given the rating, but I was happily disappointed by the time I was finished. Nice review and I agree with everything you said about the album. Dickinson is an immensely talented vocalist.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.02.2010 at 01:35  
Imo although a very good album it is also overrated. Some great tunes but also a couple of filler tracks. But then again Iron Maiden have never released a totally brilliant album. Every single albums is always marred by fillers.
Fat & Sassy! - 19.02.2010 at 02:20  
Written by Wopatoolie on 19.02.2010 at 00:45

Hey heres an idea: how about posting a review about an album that isnt almost 30 years old and isnt older than the guy who posted it. please dont put these reviews of very old albums on your news feeds, its not news, no matter how much i do love iron maiden.


Hey, here's an idea: Quit being a dick. The album's age has nothing to do with the quality of this review. Way to come off as a twat with your first post on this site. :l
I_Die_Often - 19.02.2010 at 02:46  
...if only Maiden could release something good again...
R.I.P. Eddie
Richard - 19.02.2010 at 04:40  
Good review - and this is obviously a classic album, from perhaps the ultimate traditional Heavy Metal band. Good that you mentioned the 'lyrical concepts' too, as Maiden have often written about interesting, varied topics, inspired by literature, historical events and such.
BitterCOld - 19.02.2010 at 07:30  
continuing with lyrical themes... "The Prisoner" ... that was a trippy ass show. never saw the original, but they recently did a remake with Ian McKellen (2), and Jim Caviezel as six/the prisoner. the show made little sense at all at times, but after watching it, the song made more sense... and i gained an additional appreciation for it.
Arian Totalis - 19.02.2010 at 09:14  
Thanks for the feedback guys. I really apreciate it.

@Marcel: I do kind of agree with it being overated, but I feel that there isn't any filler, really. Even Total Eclipse, a not so mentioned song, has alot of good qualities. The album deserves it's hype in alot of ways. imo most of what makes it overated is that everyone and their grandma has it.
Marcel Hubregtse - 19.02.2010 at 15:41  
Written by Arian Totalis on 19.02.2010 at 09:14

Thanks for the feedback guys. I really apreciate it.

@Marcel: I do kind of agree with it being overated, but I feel that there isn't any filler, really. Even Total Eclipse, a not so mentioned song, has alot of good qualities. The album deserves it's hype in alot of ways. imo most of what makes it overated is that everyone and their grandma has it.


Total Eclipse isn't on the original release though. It was only added in the age of cd's
Gangland I find a filler of the highest order. Same could be said for Ivaders and Run To The Hills imo.
thewall30 - 19.02.2010 at 17:35  
Nice review, agree with everything you said bout this album
Fat & Sassy! - 19.02.2010 at 18:54  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.02.2010 at 15:41

Written by Arian Totalis on 19.02.2010 at 09:14

Thanks for the feedback guys. I really apreciate it.

@Marcel: I do kind of agree with it being overated, but I feel that there isn't any filler, really. Even Total Eclipse, a not so mentioned song, has alot of good qualities. The album deserves it's hype in alot of ways. imo most of what makes it overated is that everyone and their grandma has it.


Total Eclipse isn't on the original release though. It was only added in the age of cd's
Gangland I find a filler of the highest order. Same could be said for Ivaders and Run To The Hills imo.


I agree. I was going to say the same. I actually don't find Total Eclipse a filler at all. I'm also not sure about Run to the Hills being a filler though... I would think that it was put on the album for for single purposes, not filler purposes.
Arian Totalis - 19.02.2010 at 23:28  
Imo even gangland is a good song. I guess it doesn't stand up to the rest of the album that well, so in that sense I guess it could be called filler. And invaders imo is perfectly placed in the album. It's a great opener.
clauespa - 19.02.2010 at 23:39  
:banger:
Richard - 20.02.2010 at 05:25  
Written by BitterCOld on 19.02.2010 at 07:30

continuing with lyrical themes... "The Prisoner" ... that was a trippy ass show. never saw the original, but they recently did a remake with Ian McKellen (2), and Jim Caviezel as six/the prisoner. the show made little sense at all at times, but after watching it, the song made more sense... and i gained an additional appreciation for it.


I haven't seen the remake yet, but the original series of The Prisoner, from the 1960's, is brilliant! I own all the episodes on video and DVD and loved it since I was a kid. Of course, that's where the sample of dialogue in the introduction to Maiden's song is taken from. It's a timeless drama about what it means to be an individual, the meaning of identity and such, and is fantastically surreal!

The late, great Patrick McGoohan played the main character, and wrote most of the episodes, and when Maiden phoned him for permission to use a sample from the programme in the song, they were nervous as McGoohan had a reputation for being a rather intense fellow. Apparently McGoohan said "what's the name of the band? Iron Maiden? A rock band? Do it!" and that was it!
Ellrohir - 20.02.2010 at 14:09  
Run To The Hills being a "filler"...i must be seriously misunderstanding the meaning of this word...
BeastOfMetal456 - 23.07.2011 at 01:45  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 19.02.2010 at 15:41

Written by Arian Totalis on 19.02.2010 at 09:14

Thanks for the feedback guys. I really apreciate it.

@Marcel: I do kind of agree with it being overated, but I feel that there isn't any filler, really. Even Total Eclipse, a not so mentioned song, has alot of good qualities. The album deserves it's hype in alot of ways. imo most of what makes it overated is that everyone and their grandma has it.


Total Eclipse isn't on the original release though. It was only added in the age of cd's
Gangland I find a filler of the highest order. Same could be said for Ivaders and Run To The Hills imo.

I agree 'bout Gangland being a filler, but I certainly disagree 'bout the latter two.
Void Eater - 24.07.2011 at 08:58  
I don't see why people constantly refer to low quality Maiden songs as fillar. A filler song is a song written purley to take up space on the album, and has nothing to do with the song quality. Paranoid is a filler song, yet it is widely regarded as a metal classic. We can't know if Gangland, and other poor quality Maiden tunes are actually filler or just bad songs. It just seems like people don't want to admit that early Iron Maiden did have a fair amount of low quality songs, although much more brilliant songs.

Oh yeah, and this album. Above average for metal standards, below average for Maiden standards. The title track and Run To The Hills are among the most overrated metal tunes out there-good songs, but nothing that special, aside from Bruce's scream in the title track. The Prisoner, Total Eclipse, Children Of The Damned, and Twenty-Two Acacia Avenue are all great songs, but not quite as good as the best songs off of later 80's Maiden albums. Invaders in just kind of there, not doing any harm, but not adding anything, while Gangland does do some harm. Hallowed Be Thy Name does deserve all the praise heaped upon it; it really is one of metal's all time greatest songs.
Void Eater - 24.07.2011 at 09:06  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 19.02.2010 at 00:54

^ Someone's a Negative Nelly.

It's Negative Nancy, for the record.
Arian Totalis - 31.07.2011 at 21:55  
Written by Void Eater on 24.07.2011 at 08:58

I don't see why people constantly refer to low quality Maiden songs as fillar. A filler song is a song written purley to take up space on the album, and has nothing to do with the song quality. Paranoid is a filler song, yet it is widely regarded as a metal classic. We can't know if Gangland, and other poor quality Maiden tunes are actually filler or just bad songs. It just seems like people don't want to admit that early Iron Maiden did have a fair amount of low quality songs, although much more brilliant songs.

Well i'm not even saying gangland and total eclipse are low quality song, I do like them. THey just kind of feel weak when compared to the rest of the album...and also I guess my definition of 'filler' was a lil bit wrong...

oops.

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