David Grad
November 08, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Heavy metal is about celebrating excess, and nobody has perfected that art as well as Iron Maiden. The two-CD compilation Best of the Beast captures their 20-year legacy of lyrical bombast, blistering technical virtuosity, and overkill production. The 27 tunes included here are a well-balanced selection of the thunderous adolescent fantasies that the band has offered its legions of headbanging fans over the course of several lineup changes and 14 albums. B+

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