hello folks! this week for the weekly review, we’re gonna check out the third studio album from Iron Maiden, Number of the Beast, released in 1982. i’m a bit of a stranger to Iron Maiden, but looking into it i can imagine that this occupies an interesting point in their discography – they had just swapped lead singer, and after this record, their drummer will leave the band. while i don’t have a ton of context for that, i’m still interested to see the energy that kinda overlap brings – let’s check it out!

Invaders is our opener here, and it’s incredibly effective opening track. describing a Viking raid on a coastal village, this one’s got some really good sounds. i think the thing that struck me most, and this will come up with other tracks, was having such a clear window into the inspirations for Rhapsody of Fire, who i recently revisited. the link here is so strong, they basically set out to make music that sounded like this, but more symphonic, and was about a consistent fantasy realm, rather than the variety of topics found here. its wild. Invaders itself is quite good – the instrumental breaks between verses are where the real gold is, no shade to Bruce Dickenson’s performance or bassist Steve Harris’s writing. Children of the Damned is a slower, more methodical track. i like that they give Dickenson a chance to flex here. The Prisoner was a surprising earworm. i wasn’t expecting this one to stick with me the way that it did, but it sure did. i feel like this one very successfully moves between the more melodic choruses to the more frantic, energetic verses and bridges. p neat song. 22 Acacia Avenue is… a musically quite strong song but i feel mixed about it lyrically. Charlotte, the prostitute in question here, is apparently a recurring character, and the song’s view of her borders between compassion and the desire to see someone leave a life that’s dangerous for them, and some shitty opinions about sex work. Number of the Beast kicks ass. unironically the best song on the album, no doubt. Run to the Hills is fine. i’ve discussed my opinions on non-Americans and non-indigenous folks making music from the perspective of and commenting on Native Americans before (and i am conscious of the fact that i may be speaking up for folks who don’t hold those same misgivings about the music), and this track doesn’t really budge the needle on those thoughts. Gangland’s another fine track, musically. what’s funny is that this competed for a spot on the record with a song that ended up as the B-side for Run to the Hills’s single, and the band feels they made the wrong decision in retrospect. Hallowed Be Thy Name is a big epic closer – had a really good time with this one, and feel its a really appropriate closer.

faves – Number of the Beast
dislikes –

i’m not sure i have TONS to say about this record as a complete package – this was a very tight package musically, with some interesting inspiration sources lyrically, and the record is an incredibly fun and interesting listen. i enjoyed it, but im not certain i’ll be more than a passive enjoyer here – not a ton enthralled me or jumped to the top of my must listen list. that’s no crime though, and ESPECIALLY if you really dig bands that drew obvious (or not) inspiration from this record, it’s definitely worth your time.

Number of the Beast – 6/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be checking out System of a Down’s self-titled debut album, System of a Down. i’ll be back next Friday, September 22th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)