Album Review no.6: Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden

I believe that this is one of the most overrated albums in history, it's definitely good, but I find it the worst of the classic Maiden albums. The review should allow you to realise why I feel this way.

While the intro is pretty good, I found the chorus on this song to be ridiculously cheesy. The entire song in general feels like an extremely generic Maiden song. The riffs are generic, the drumming is decent, and Bruce doesn't show off his amazing power or range at all.

Children of the Damned:
After the disappointing first song, we get one of the best songs on the album. The tone is much darker and less generic. The haunting first half of the song is made better by the amazing bass-work by Steve Harris and the incredible singing by Bruce. The second half increases its speed and provides and amazing riff. The solo is also quite nice. It's one of the few songs on the album that doesn't sound overly commercial.

The Prisoner:
My first issue with the song is the fact that it contains 2 intros, I believe that only one was needed as it slows the song down a fair bit. My other issue is once again, the chorus. I feel that it's overly happy and poppy and a jarring contrast to the aggressive vocals that Bruce displayed mere moments ago. I also think that the song carried on for a bit too long, as I find it quite repetitive.

22 Acacia Avenue:
Another one of my favourites from the album. The intro alone makes this song awesome, however other than that, the song has many great riffs. The way the song transforms into a much more upbeat, fun song while still maintaining the extremely dark lyrics is great, as it doesn't sound generic, just more upbeat. This is definitely a song that I wish Dianno would sing though, as it seems to be catered more towards him, either way, Bruce does a great job on this song.

Number of the Beast:
After the chilling intro, I found this song to be quite underwhelming. For a song about the devil, this song is unbelievably commercial sounding. While 22 Acacia Avenue was able to pull off a more upbeat sound despite dark lyrical content, this song sounds so unbelievably average, so it really doesn't work. Other than the tonal flaws with the song, it is quite good, but I have no idea how this is one of Maiden's most loved songs.

Run to the Hills:
This is easily the most commercial song on the album, as well as the most simplistic and catchy songs, yet despite this, it works really well. I really enjoy this song, I think it's because it sounds like they tried being highly commercial in this song rather than making a song that happened to be generic. It also didn't feel generic.

I feel that this is one of the worst Iron Maiden songs. The vocals are whiny, the instrumentals are basic and the tune is forgettable. The production of this song also seems to have all of the instruments sound like they are muffled to some extent. My final issue is that I hate the chorus, which is repeated too many times. All in all, I really don't like this song in the slightest.

Total Eclipse:
On the other hand, this is quickly becoming one of my favourite Maiden songs. The atmosphere in this song is nothing short of amazing. Bruce also sings very well, sounding dark and ominous. The last minute of the song changes from dark to sad and slightly depressing, his range at the end is also amazing. This is easily the most underrated Iron Maiden song ever.

Hallowed Be Thy Name:
Everything about this song screams perfection. The instrumental tone is amazing, Bruce's singing is mind-blowing and extremely powerful. The riffs in this song are amazing as well. My favourite part is easily near the start where everything goes silent, Bruce sings, and is then followed by 2 guitar chords, it's the greatest part of any Maiden song, and possibly any song full stop. Along with the perfection of the band members, the lyrics are my favourite by Maiden by a landslide. The latter half of the song is full of solos and awesome riffs as well, although is isn't as great as the first half.

5*10 + 8 + 2*7 + 5 + 8.5 = 85/100

Final Thoughts:
As I said, I think that this is a good album, just vastly overrated. The main issues I have with it are that it sounds too commercial and generic a lot of the time, and that the album is very patchy. This album is easily my least favourite out of the 5 classic Bruce Dickinson albums.


Great review.I agree with almost everything you said. - visitor