Sound — 10
Iron Maiden is and hopefully always will be a good balance of well crafted solos and riffs, galloping bass lines, pounding drums, and of course, the incredibly epic bellow of the one and only Bruce Dickinson. All of the songs have their own story behind them that are usually rather colorful (wikipedia them). Really you can't say that what Maiden played on this album was much different from previous album but when you listen to it, you still have that feeling that the next song is going to be just as, if not more powerful than the one before it.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are typical Maiden lyrics: fantastic (not necessarily amazing but derived of fantasy) and somehow clever. Steve Harris is a master craftsman of lyrical fantasy, if you listen closely to one song's lyrics, you can't help but be seduced into listening to the story in the next one. Singing skills are awesome! Bruce Dickinson's screaming in songs like "Run to the Hills" and, the most obvious, "Number of the Beast", is so powerful you can't help but scream along with him. He is a phenomenal singer that you have to hear to believe.
Overall Impression — 9
There really is no band to compare Maiden to, nothing can compare to such a pounding yet somehow happy sound. To me, the most impressive song is "The Prisoner", it's very free. Bruce Dickinson gives a fine example of why he is so talented in this song with his chilling bellow on the main chorus and Murray and Smith give some of the most awesome solos and rythyms presented on the whole album, this song is by far one of the most impressive songs I've ever heard by Maiden. I love almost all of the songs on this album and I will always love the band in all of their metallic glory. I hate "Children of the Damned", and, what is to me, one of their most overrated songs, "Invaders", I didn't find them terrible, but they paled in comparison to the rest of the songs. I would buy this again in a heartbeat, although this isn't their best album, it is a testament to why Maiden will always be a staple in the Metal genre.