In honor of having seen Iron Maiden this past summer. I wanted to do a review of their 1982 album, The Number Of The Beast! This is the third Iron Maiden album, and the band’s first with their classic lineup including the new vocalist, Bruce Dickinson. This was the first full-length Iron Maiden album I listened to, this entire album screams (literally) early 80s classic metal. Whether its the rasp and melodic voice of Bruce Dickinson with his large vocal register screams at the end of "The Children of the Damned" and the title track "The Number Of The Beast", or its the talented drumming of Clive Burr with his single-handed accented 16th notes at the beginning of "Run To The Hills" this whole record has large amounts of talent within its amazing songwriting. All the songs on this album feature extended guitar solos. This is also the first Iron Maiden album which features spoken-word introductions in several of its songs, notably in The Prisoner which has as well as the title track The Number Of The Beast which opening line is taken from The Book Of Revelation 12:12 and 13:18 and read by Barry Clayton. All of the songs on the album are written by the bassist of the band Steve Harris, all based on either historical or on Steve's own dream. The song after that "Run To The Hills" documents the beginning of settler contact as Europeans began arriving in the US with the first verse told from the point of the natives and the rest of the song being told from the Europeans for the rest of the song. While this album is considered a classic, with almost seven of the nine tracks being Iron Maiden classics, the second half of the album until the final song is sort of forgettable. That being said, the final track on the album, Hallowed By Thy Name, is sometimes considered to be one of the bands best, almost a mainstream fan favorite even though never released as a single. The song title comes directly from the lords' prayer specifically known as "Our Father", the song is a first-person narrative told of a condemned, man awaiting his death by hanging. However, he can't understand why he's scared because he is certain his soul is immortal however in the third verse there are several parts where he is questioning his own believes "If there is a God why doesn't he let me go" with an extended instrumental solo before returning to the form with a variation, a sort of urgency. With the ending of the man screaming the song title "Hallowed Be Thy Name" before cutting to the end of the song. While this entire album is classic track after classic track, the two tracks are thrown in at the end sort of make this album not able to be one of the perfect albums, however, it is almost as close to perfect as 80s heavy metal gets.
The Backdrop during Iron Maiden's performance of "The Number Of The Beast".
The backdrop during the opening of "Hallowed Be Thy Name" depicting Bruce Dickinson, the singer, as the man who is in prison awaiting his execution.
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Cameron E. Narimanian