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Review of the Album "The Number of the Beast" by British Heavy Metal Band Iron Maiden

Updated on May 2, 2022
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


Bruce Dickinson's First Full Length Album Appearance With Iron Maiden

The Number of the Beast is one of those Iron Maiden albums that this writer never really had a keen interest in. Not that it was bad, but it just didn't really capture my interest enough. However, my strong liking of Bruce Dickinson as a vocalist and the desire to explore Iron Maiden even further is one factor in reviewing this album. The Number of the Beast is the debut of Bruce Dickinson, the one man that turned around Iron Maiden's career as they were headed towards superstar status and did achieve that. The album came out in 1982 and was before Piece of Mind, the one that may be the finest moment for Iron Maiden as a band.

First Analysis of the Song Invaders

This album begins with the song Invaders and lyrically this song could have set the foundation for the songs that would come later. Iron Maiden's lyrics have focused a lot on themes such as warfare and conquest. These guys do this and make it creative and enjoyable. Bruce Dickinson shows his vocal prowess early on in his Iron Maiden career.

"The Prisoner"

The Number of the Beast Review & Analysis

Then comes one of the classic songs of this album called Children of the Damned. The acoustic song combined with Bruce's powerful vocals make this one an instant classic. At times it takes a long time to appreciate certain songs and this one is one of them. Bruce Dickinson's voice was at its peak from 1982 through 1988. Paul Di'anno may have been good as a punk rock singer but he was not the right fit for Iron Maiden anyway. Iron Maiden's music makes me appreciate the United Kingdom as well because this is an island nation that has given us so much to enjoy and it doesn't just stop with hard rock and heavy metal but this genre is one of this country;s strengths. “The Prisoner” is a song that starts with some dialogue as the song lyrically is about a man that is on the run as he kills to eat. He feels that he is not a prisoner, but that he is a free man. 22 Acacia Avenue is a good rock song about where to go to have a good time if you are down and depressed. But this is a place where men are at risk of contracting disease. “The Number of the Beast” in terms of the riffing is similar to the song Heaven Can Wait, a song that Iron Maiden would come up with four years later in 1986. There is a reference to the numbers 666 as a certain sacrifice has to be made. I am impressed with The Number of the Beast as Bruce Dickinson's voice is solid and superb! Even when he tries to scream, he does not overdo it. Run to the Hills tells the stories of what man did as they came and overtook the lands that were occupied by Native Americans as these tribes were chased and then killed all in the name of freedom.

Favorite Song On The Number of the Beast

What is your favorite song on The Number of the Beast?

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Final Thoughts About The Number of the Beast

In particular, this album begins with a sort of flourish as “The Invaders” lyrically is like the song Aces High or The Duellists. I realize that this first song isn't the song that most fans of the band would want to listen to from this album first, but it starts this one off in strong fashion. Instead of starting the album with an average instrumental song, for this album Iron Maiden just gets started with a full song and it pays off. Even the song Gangland isn't the strongest song on the album but still there is plenty of melody in the middle of the song as the bass guitar work by Steve Harris at this early stage of his career was superb! Iron Maiden shows me that they are a better band than Judas Priest. They just have a more consistent songwriting history and there are very few bad songs ever written by Iron Maiden. The strongest songs in The Number of the Beast include Invaders, Children of the Damned, 22 Acacia Avenue, Run to the Hills, and of course, Hallowed be Thy Name.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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