Sound — 10
My oh my. Beast represents everything Iron Maiden is about. The musicianship on this album is amazing. Adrian Smith and Dave Murray really gave it their all to make an impression on people, and made some of the most exciting guitar leads and riffs I have ever heard. The sound they get out of their rigs is so crunchy, yet not so distorted that it sounds like a bunch of fuzz. While Murray didn't really write much material, he still earned his keep with his great guitar solos. Adrian Smith, on the other hand, has credits on a couple songs, and shares lead duties with Dave. Their two distinct playing styles complement each other very well. Beast is also the last Maiden album to feature Clive Burr on drums. His playing on this album is very precise and technical. His style is relativly straightforward, but he'll put beats in different spots to make it stand out, which is a huge part of the Maiden sound. But the real genius in this band is Steve Harris, bassist and main songwriter. Like literally every Iron Maiden album he does most of the writing, including lyrics, but that doesn't mean that the songs sound the same. He is an incredibly gifted writer, as heard in tracks like the title track and the seven and a half minute classic, Hallowed be thy Name. His chops on the bass are great too. Instead of just playing the root notes of the song, he makes original bass lines that are at times even more exciting than the guitars. Invaders is the best example of this. Martin "Farmer" Birch produced the album perfectly.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics on this album is probably my favorite part of the album. Every song has great lyrics that really set the mood. Invaders is probably one of their least famous war songs but nonetheless great. Run to the Hills, despite having strong lyrics, just sounded a little too much like a single for them(and it was one too). Again the best lyrics are Hallowed Be Thy Name and the title track. But the real suprise is Total Eclipse. It was originally off the album and released as a B-Side, it later found it's place on the remastered album. And it stacks up very well despite missing the original cut of tracks. Number Of The Beast is the first Iron Maiden album to feature Bruce Dickinson on lead vocals. His range of tone is up there with the best, and his melodies are very good. But his biggest contribution is that he was really the final piece of the classic Maiden sound. Paul Di'Anno, despite being a good singer, just wasn't exciting enough for what they were striving for. Bruce comes in, and all of a sudden Iron Maiden sounded like the legendary metal band they are.
Overall Impression — 10
This is no doubt the best Maiden album to date. From start to finish this album never falters or disappoints in any area. It has some great tunes like The Prisoner and Invaders as well as all time classics such as Run to the Hills, Number Of The Beast, and Hallowed Be Thy Name. Every rock/metal fan must buy this album if they don't already do. For people new to Iron Maiden this is the album to buy. The first time I listened to this album I was on the verge of running outside and screaming holy. Number Of The Beast is to this date one of the greatest rock records to ever grace the earth, and that's not even me kissing ass.