Various Artists – “Numbers From the Beast”

Album Reviews | Oct 11th, 2005

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Record Label: Restless/ Rykodisc
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I’m sure there as has been plenty of tribute albums for Iron Maiden, but this one is an ALL-STAR tribute…so it’s different! Some of the people featured on this album are Dee Snider of Twisted Sister, Lemmy of Motorhead, George Lynch of Dokken, Mark Slaughter of Slaughter, Scott Ian of Anthrax and other current/former members of Kiss, Dio, Judas Priest, Testament, Whitesnake and Helmet. That lineup is impressive to anyone who ever donned a mullet. So yeah, I’m digging this CD a lot since I had a massive hockey hairdo! I have the photos to prove it too.

I actually only got into Iron Maiden last year or so, after seeing a local Maiden cover band, Sanctuary (from Orange County, NY), play and now I can’t stop listening to Maiden. I think the song “2 Minutes to Midnight” got me hooked on them, and I even got that song as my ringtone now ha. But I eventually got into their other stuff and love it now. I’m not sure why I never got into the band when I was younger because I was a metal head. I just listened to other bands besides Maiden I guess.

This album was produced by Grammy Award winner Bob Kulick (KISS, Metallica, Aerosmith) and Brett Chassen. “Run to the Hills” opens the tribute album to a great start and is sung by Robin McAuley of MSG and the cover sounds awesome! By far the best song on this album though is Dee Snider singing “Wasted Years.” Such a great song to begin with, but hearing Mr. Twisted Sister singing it makes it so much cooler. Plus there’s a great guitar solo towards the end of the track by George Lynch of Dokken/Lynch Mob. I was kind of disappointed with the version of “2 Minutes to Midnight.” It was the one song I was really looking forward to and it ended up sounding like a bar band doing the song. The original had this intensity that’s hard to reproduce and the cover of it was just mild and for a lack of a better word, boring. Other tracks that rocked were Lemmy growling to “The Trooper,” Mark Slaughter singing “Can I Play With Madness,” and some of the Anthrax guys doing “The Wickerman.” There was only about 2 songs I didn’t really like on this album, but other than that, the album was really good. Any Maiden fan should check this out and see how other people did the classic songs.

Bottom Line: A great tribute album with lots of cool appearances by notable rock icons
Notable Tracks: Run to the Hills, Wasted Years, Wrathchild, The Trooper, Can I Play With Madness, The Wickerman
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