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Jacob’s (Final) Playlist:

“The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden review

Now for my last album, I must do one that was truly a shining gem, a true supernova that really cemented a legacy that still lasts to this day. Iron Maiden is synonymous with peak heavy metal and delivering timeless classics that defined heavy metal itself.  


I chose “The Number of the Beast” because it’s one of the major metal albums of all time, launching them to the top of the U.K. charts and others globally.  


The album opens with “Invaders,” a song about how Vikings invaded numerous countries in the 1100s. Mixing history into metal has become a staple of Iron Maiden’s style– this song is just a warmup. 


Then we get a big hitter “Children of the Damned,” oozing with powerful vocals and roaring bass and classic riffs. It’s a master class on sound, music and how to make a gripping song. It’s named after the classic British horror film, inspired by “Children of the Sea” by DIO-era Black Sabbath. 


Next is “The Prisoner.” This one is based directly on an old British TV show by the same name about a secret agent that is held hostage in a village. Then, “22 Acacia Avenue,” the second song in the Charlotte story, continues on in later songs. 


The self-titled song is one of the greatest heavy metal songs. It opens by quoting the book of Revelations from the Bible. It doesn’t have Vincent Price reading it, because they apparently found a guy who sounded just like him, but for less money. 


The song includes an iconic master scream which describes the horror of witnessing a satanic ritual. It has incredible potency in the lyrics, the drums, the guitars and the bass, lining up to make quite the experience. 


Following is another absolute gem, “Run to the Hills,” detailing the conflicts and tension between the Native Americans and the European settlers. This song gives perspective from both accounts and is one of the band’s most powerful songs.  


“Run to the Hill” is a beautiful composition of riffs, a chorus blaring with a master harmony and having some of the best vocals off the album. It was one of Bruce Dickinson’s best vocal performances, despite contractual issues. 


I think the next song, “Ganglands,” receives far too much hate for what it is. Yes, it doesn’t match the vibe or tone of the album, but otherwise, it tells a good story.  


Ending with another masterful work is “Hallowed Be Thy Name,” named after an important line from the Lord’s Prayer. This song details a prisoner’s struggling process of accepting his execution. This song has unforgettable lines and playing that showcase the skill of Iron Maiden. 


For my top picks, I easily choose “Children of the Damned,” “The Number of the Beast,” “Run to the Hills” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” These songs are easily the go-to for excellence in music. 

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