Today, we’re looking at my favourite Maiden song in the titular cut from the band’s 1983 masterpiece The Number Of The Beast. Check the video below:
Opening on a Vincent Price-esque monologue ripped straight from Satan’s tongue, you can see the reasoning behind a slew of Christians from the 1980s branding Maiden as harbringers of the apocalypse — it’s because they are the apocalypse, and will burn everything in the flames of METALLLLLLLLL!!! As is always the case with a Maiden song, the vocal performance from Lord Bruce Dickinson, from his opening death wail to his wicked pronunciation of “craizayyyy dream” (listen for it), is the highlight, simply because it’s the greatest thing on the planet and it is what I live for. On top of the this, the proper riffage from Adrian Smith retains the heaviness of something like Rime Of The Ancient Mariner while keeping the accessability of Run To The Hills, striking the perfect balance for the perfect riff, while also having a proper guitar battle with Dave Murray, a sight to see I’m sure. Then, you’ve got the rhythm section, with Steve Harris’ trademark galloping bassline and Clive Burr’s hi-hat godliness and offbeat mastery. It’s a lesson in how to do proper, proper, heavy metal right and remains one of my favourite songs from the genre and a reason why Maiden are one of my favourite bands.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations