Sound — 10
So Iron Maiden is metal, of course, and this album definitely is metal. This is also their first album with Bruce Dickinson on vocals, and he makes his debut fantastic. The songs here sound great, and none make you want to skip the song because there really isn't a bad one. Every song is strong. That's how Maiden do it. It starts with Invaders, a song that influences how later thrash metal will sound like: fast and strong. Then you have songs with that classic Maiden feel like 22 Acacia Avenue, and Gangland. Of course, the title track is fantastic and one of their top songs here. Run to the Hills is also great, and has that trademark Maiden gallop during the verse that ties in so well with the lyrics. And the last track, Hallowed Be Thy Name is simply amazing. It has a great clean intro, leading into a distorted harmony and remains so for the rest of the song while being epic. What else can I say, it's Iron Maiden. It's not Metallica-heavy, but it's great metal, with strong guitars, great bass playing by Steve Harris, solid drumming, and Bruce shows that he has what it takes to be their frontman. He has a high range and you can really hear it on Run To The Hills, but his best work here is Hallowed Be Thy Name. The Number of the Beast album really showcases Iron Maiden's abilities and influenced metal for many years to come.
Lyrics — 10
With Iron Maiden, nearly every song is a grand tale of some sort. Here is a short desription of the songs: 01. Invaders - pretty much says it in the title. It's about Vikings coming and invading the Saxons, then overpowering them. 02. Children Of The Damned - it seems like this guy is performing a Satanic ritual, but ends up dying in a posessed glee. 03. The Prisoner - it's based off of the UK show, I wouldn't know, I'm not British. Basically about a man who wants to be free and will do whatever he can to break out of the walls that confine him. 04. 22 Acacia Avenue - about a prostitute who lives at said address. People go to have a good time, etc. Part of a series of Maiden songs about "Charlotte the Harlot" 05. The Number Of The Beast - a man tells his story of witnessing a Satanic ritual. Shocked at first, but becomes drawn to it and believes 666 is for everyone. 06. Run To The Hills - about the "white men" invading the land of the Cree Native Americans and fighting and killing the Cree. Told from both points of view. 07. Gangland - kind of hard to interpret, but it seems to tell what happens in the life of a Mafioso or gang member and how you're a "rat in a trap but you've got to survive". 08. Total Eclipse - the world becomes dark and the true test of life begins. People fearing and nations powerless to do anything. 09. Hallowed Be Thy Name - best song on this album imho. It's about a condemned man who fears death as he awaits the gallows. But as the song progresses, he overcomes his fear and welcomes death as part of the Circle of Life. Bruce's vocals are strongest here and the lyrics are no less: "When you know that you're time is close at hand. Maybe then you'll begin to understand, life down here is just a strange illusion."
Overall Impression — 10
This album is fantastic, and I only have this one, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave, but Number of the Beast is my favorite. It shows the greatness of Iron Maiden, the great influence to metal this album will bring, and great performance on vocals, guitars, bass, and drums. I highly recommend you get this. It has no low parts, and every song is good, if not better. If it were stolen/lost, I would just burn it from when I imported it onto my computer. If I had no digital/anolog copy, I would not hesitate to get it again. If you are even thinking about buying this album, then listen to Hallowed Be Thy Name. My favorite, and I believe, the most impressive song on here. And no, Iron Maiden are not Satanist.