Not the Maiden we love
By Baseballl Dude
As a longtime Iron Maiden fan, it pains me to say that this album is just not doing it for me. I love everything they've done since 7th Son, and I'll even concede that The Book of Souls ranks among my favorite Maiden albums, but I just can't get behind The Number of the Beast. Here is a track-by-track ranking:
1. Invaders: 1/5. With virtually no rhythmic variation in the verses and a chorus with an exceptionally weak melody, Invaders is unfortunately a good indicator of just how bad this album's gonna be.
2. Children of the Damned: 1.5/5. Bruce Dickonson has always been a vocal powerhouse, but his high-pitched crooning never sounds more out-of-place than it does on this track, which I guess is Maiden's attempt at a "doomy" track even though it falls flat on its face.
3. The Prisoner: 3.5/5. What is up with vintage Maiden starting their tracks with these weird, out-of-place monologues that always seem to ruin the song? Such is the case in The Prisoner, which one of the album's more solid tracks once it gets going. Now let's take a moment to admire that The Prisoner is one of this album's better tracks, yet it would rank among the worst on albums like The Book of Souls. Just goes to show how pathetic this band used to be.
4. 22 Acacia Ave: 1.5/5. Boring instrumentals, lyrics are decent until about 2/3 of the way through the song at which point I don't know what they're trying to do with this song's storyline.
5. The Number of the Beast: 1/5. I'm pretty sure Iron Maiden is aware of how little talent they have at this point in their careers, so they throw in a non-satanic satanic song to try to gain infamy among elderly Christians. Oh how original, a band writes a song about a nightmare they had about Satan and makes it their title track so that Christian leaders can publicly denounce it, increasing the band's exposure! Totally not ripping off Black Sabbath's idea for their title track.
6. Run to the Hills: 2/5. People who support vintage Iron Maiden have touted this as Iron Maiden's best song ever. So I was very disappointed when I listened to it and it sounded just like every other song on this album except with a slightly better chorus.
7. Gangland: 1/5. Even people who defend this album acknowledge that this song is pretty bad. Nuff said.
7. Total Eclipse: 0/5. This song is so bad that Iron Maiden didn't even include it in their US release of this album.
8. Hallowed be thy Name: 3/5. It is laughable that this song passes as an "epic" for a band whose catalogue boasts albums where the majority of songs are longer than Hallowed be thy Name (such as The Final Frontier). Iron Maiden is capable of dazzling, sweeping, satisfying epics, but look elsewhere if that's what you want.
Overall: Very disappointed that one of my favorite bands could put out such mediocre garbage as this album. I guess you know what they say, you have to start somewhere. But really, this is where they chose to start? Sad! All right, this review has been long enough, it's time for me to click the "submit" button and then start listening to Brave New World, when Maiden was actually GOOD.