Originally I was going to post about Heavy metal nicknames, but then I saw that this would be my 666 post. So I could not pass up the chance to talk about my all time favorite metal album. No album is perfect, but a few come close and Iron Maiden's The number of the beast is one of those in my book. It's not the typical Iron Maiden album either. I think the styles of the songs are far more varied than most of Maiden's albums. The first time I heard it was when I was like 14. Now I had already heard Powerslave and Piece of Mind so I was into them. Still there was something about The number of the beast that just grabbed me and drew me in. It was a real mesmerizing album and it had me trying to focus on every little detail. The rapid fire pace of "Invaders" hit me right away. Later in the album is another fairly fast killer called "Gangland" as it flies on and the band just tears into it. "22 Acacia Avenue" always appealed to me because of how it seemed yet it's a very appealing song with lots of peaks. "The Prisoner" is a showcase for the whole but primarily for Clive Burr's drumming and Bruce Dickinson's spot on vocals. "Children of the damned" is a demonstration of the ability to control the pace and squeeze out the emotion. "Hallowed be thy name" might be the most innovative song on the album as it's all metal yet it's slow and deliberate and shows off the band's ability as storytellers. An ability that has set them apart from the pack of other metal bands. "Run to the hills" we all know and it has a catchy beginning and manages to have a memorable chorus, but overall the song was anything except routine. The title track is just a complete masterpiece of a song that encompasses fear, anger, excitement and all kinds of emotion rolled up into a relatively short length. Just an amazing album that changed the face of metal the moment it came out.