(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
The Number of the Beast is the third studio release from legendary English metal band Iron Maiden, and is kind of a transitional album. With new vocalist Bruce Dickinson on board, the band seems to be searching somewhat on how songs should be played and arranged to suit his voice; which is very different from previous vocalist Paul Di'Anno's. At the same time, the band starts showing off more of what will be their own trademark sound here, with fast-paced riffing, more harmonic guitar-playing and the bass guitar clearly a solid foundation in many tracks.
Musically Iron Maiden to some extent leave their punkishness on this release; production and playing eliminating many of the rough edges of punk in the past, while the fast paced and at times staccato riffing developed due to the punk influences now to a greater extent has been developed into something new.
Iron Maidenís trademark type of songs are developed here, with fast-paced riff-based rockers, some more mellow atmospheric tracks and the first raw examples of what would develop into the classic epic tracks being in place on this release.
The music is clearly heavy metal throughout; but influences and inspirations are not as easily identified here; and in many aspects this is the album where Iron Maiden lay down the foundations for their individual version of heavy metal.
There are many classic songs on this release, but also a few that are a tad on the weak side. The classic tracks here are all household names for most; and as with previous release Killers these songs are the main reason for adding this release to the music collection.
My rating: 71/100