Best of the Beast
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The cover of the Iron Maiden retrospective Best of the Beast features the band's zombie mascot Eddie in seven of the various ghastly guises he assumed for the band's records. The image conveys volumes about the group's brash, visual form of heavy metal. Starting with Maiden's most well known track "Number of the Beast" (which was actually featured on the band's third album), the disc progresses through eight singles recorded during the height of its career and a handful of less memorable cuts that followed its glory years. Galloping beats, twin guitar leads, and eardrum-shattering vocals abound, along with lyrics that could have been plucked straight from the Tales of the Crypt comic books. Overall, a valid collection, but it suffers from the omission of classics like "Die with Your Boots On," "Flight of Icarus," and "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." --Jon Wiederhorn