Friday, April 27, 2007

Post 666

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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.

13 Comments:

Blogger bob_vinyl said...

It's a tribute to Maiden that they could release what is arguably their best record with a new vocalist. I still prefer Piece of Mind, but there a number of Maiden albums any of which one could argue is their best.

10:00 PM  
Blogger The Mule said...

I think this is my favourite Iron Maiden album too. I remember the local rock radio station premiered the album in its entirety--my first exposure to a complete Maiden album. I was blown away. Then I saw them on the "Beast" tour, opening for Scorpions. Pretty life-changing stuff.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

Mark, this is my favorite Maiden album too. I first saw them on Piece of Mind tour and wasn't really into them much. I'm almost ashamed to admit it now, but I was mainly going to see Quiet Riot, who was opening for them!!! (Hey, I was young!!!!) I was blown away and kept remembering Run To The Hills and Number of the Beast from the show and went out and bought Number of the Beast the next day!!!!

5:48 AM  
Blogger Luiz said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Luiz said...

Before I first listened to an Iron Maiden song, I spent almost two years looking at their album covers and wondering "who are these guys? And what is this skull?". So, just imagine what hapenned inside my head when I finally had the chance to hear/see them for the first time, in the "Number of the Beast" promo video. The werewolf intro, the Vincent Price speech, the guy dancing with the lady/beast, the giant Eddie... I was only 12, it was the end of 1983, and it changed my life.

7:18 AM  
Blogger rock_of_ages said...

Mark, it's interesting you pick up on Gangland and Invaders as the ones that drew you in as I find these the two weakest tracks on the album. Almost throwaway, standard metal that seem a little insignificant next to monsters like Hallowed Be Thy Name and Children Of The Damned. Still, each to their own and its a fine album whatever!

Bill

http://rockofages.wordpress.com

7:54 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

This is on my top five all-time list, even if I almost always skip Gangland. Nice link to your post number!

-- david

10:17 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Congrats on 666 lol. Never really was a big Maiden fan but I can't deny their talent.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

bob-Maiden were just so far ahead of everyone in the 80's.

the Mule-This album has only gotten with time.

Robert-I imagine it didn't take Maiden long to erase any memory of Quiet Riot's set.

luiz-I would be a rich man if I had a nickel for every time I stared at a Maiden cover.


Bill-I must have wrote that part in a confusing way. When I saw Invaders struck me first, I mean that's because it's the opener. Not because it's my favorite track. I listed Gangland after it because these two are similar in style. I like everything song on the album a lot. My thre favorited here are probablt Hallowed be thy name, the title track and th Prisoner.


David-It's just such a strong album.


Jeff-Thanks.

6:42 PM  
Blogger dschalek said...

A true classic that was amongst the first albums that I ever owned. I still give it a spin now and then...

8:50 PM  
Blogger aXe mAn said...

Yeah, I agree, that was a a great album! But, I don't think it is my favorite Maiden album. Very close though...

8:24 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Powerslave will always be my favorite, but Number of the Beast was just so devastating to me when I first heard it. Is definitely is as close to perfection as it comes

4:30 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Powerslave used to be about my third, but now it might be more like a five. Piece of mind and the new album have passed it in my book, but it's close.

6:55 AM  

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