What’s the best heavy metal album of all time? Well, we could definitely make an argument for Iron Maiden’s Number of the Beast.
Number of the Beast was the album that took Iron Maiden from New Wave of British Heavy Metal purveyors to one of the greatest metal bands of all time. That alone put’s it in the running for the title of Best Metal Album Of All Time.
In this mini Maiden documentary we dive into the risks Iron Maiden took on Number of the Beast that led them to greatness.
READ MORE: Ranking the Closing Song on Every Iron Maiden Album
Number of the Beast was released in March of 1982 and would become the bands first to top the U.K. Albums chart. It has since sold more than 20 million records across the world, and is regarded as one of the most important metal albums of all time.
Throughout the album, there are definitely morbid subject matters, some are gory just for the sake of being gory, but there’s no denying that with Number of the Beast as an album, Iron Maiden solidified themselves as being great storytellers, too.
Speed and soaring guitars were already elements of the band from before, but Number of the Beast was the first instance in which they adopted a pure metal sound; something they would go on to make famous.
At the time, Number of the Beast represented a high-water mark for the heavy metal genre. It struck a balance between accessible melodicism and challenging intensity. Even 40-plus years later, the operatic nature of the songs, the tight performances, never mind Bruce’s incredible voice, has held up remarkably.
It was a big gamble replacing their proven frontman with a kid in his early 20s and in pivoting their sound away from that punky edge. But it was that gamble that helped turn Iron Maiden from a cog in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal genre into one of the most important metal bands of all time.
Learn more about the risks that led to Iron Maiden took, making Number of the Beast one of the best metal albums of all time in the documentary below.
The Best Metal Album Of All Time?
Iron Maiden’s Eddie – A Look at Over 40 Years of Metal’s Best Mascot
Iron Maiden’s undead mascot Eddie, as seen on single and album art throughout the band’s 40-plus year history.