in CAT

C.A.T: The Number of the Beast

Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast (1982)

A lot of the albums I’ve reviewed this month have been on the border between hard rock and heavy metal, this album is full on metal. Though I’m certainly no metal head I have respect for the musicianship that goes into the genre and will admit that it’s good for some good careless fun from time to time. What stands out about this album over other metal albums is it’s accessibility in crafting catchy tracks without losing any edge. Not to mention the legendary Bruce Dickinson debuted with the group on this album and man does he soar with those operatic-like metal vocals of his. I know Nancy is all about this album so I dedicate this one to him.

The third album from Maiden, Number of the Beast was a critical and commercial standout in 1982 but was just as well known at the time for all of the stories of apparent evil-like phenomena that occurred during the album’s recording. Though that’s what happen when you write about and worship the devil right? This theme of “evilness” is clearly apparent in Number of the Beast and is probably the reason I find myself reviewing this album during Shocktober. Tracks with names like; “Number of the Beast”, “Children of the Damned”, “Invaders”, “Hallowed Be Thy Name”? It just couldn’t be more perfect when paired with this spooky season.

Dickinson really wails on the vocals and the rest of the musicianship is tight but after listening to the album and watching it’s episode of Classic Albums (still on Youtube last time I checked) I have a lot of respect for bassist Steve Harris. Not only is Harris the main creative force behind the band but he actually manages to show off his chops despite playing alongside two talented metal guitarists. I feel like if you can hear the bass at all in metal it’s a plus but he’s got some great moments on this album.

After hearing an album like this I think you can understand why metal-heads head bang. There simply isn’t any other human reaction more suitable to go along with the music than bobbing up and down after hearing songs like “The Prisoner” or either of the album’s two biggest classics. “Number of the Beast” and “Run to the Hills”, man those are something I can only smile at the craziness of those two metal anthems. A couple of nights ago I was walking around campus with a foam rubber Thor hammer in my hand listening to “Number of the Beast” and I got to tell ya, it was a sensation that simply transcended awesomeness.

Favorite Tracks: “The Number of the Beast”, “The Prisoner”, “Run to the Hills”