Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast

Written by Joshua Jeremiah

Baritone

January 25, 2018

Welcome to Thorsday! On this day we give thanks to the Norse God of thunder, lightening… and METAL!!!!

Yes, I know Thor isn’t REALLY the God of Metal… but just imagine if that hammer had some strings and frets… it would be magnificent!

But, before I jump into the music, I want give a bit of background on how I came to have such strange musical tastes. I grew up in a very conservative part of central Pennsylvania. We lived in a small farmhouse with Amish next door neighbors and no cable… heck, the internet didn’t even exist yet. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and life was safe and predictable. I remember listening to my parents’ records which were mostly religious music, some classical, and oldies. So to say my musical influences were limited, might be a slight understatement. Almost no popular music at all… no Michael Jackson, no Stevie, no Hall and Oates, no U2, no Bon Jovi. This persisted until puberty, mostly because the lost social capital from not being “cool” didn’t have any negative effects yet, and I had very little time away from supervision to explore music for myself.

But everything changed in middle school when I met a science teacher, Mr. Schwalm, and the chorus and music teacher Mr. Sheaffer. Mr. Sheaffer, whose musical influence probably shaped me more than any other, had something he called the ‘Album of the Month’ which introduced me to artists like Bela Fleck, Jeffrey Gaines, and Live. Mr. Schwalm would often let students play music during tests and quizzes, provided it didn’t have any bad language. These were some of the first times that I heard non-parent sanctioned music and it had a profound effect on me. And, it was during one of our first quizzes that Mr. Schwalm played his music, and exposed me to the unique genius of Yngwie Malmsteen. This Viking can shred. His music is equal parts dramatic 80’s metal, and absolutely astounding musical proficiency. He even wrote a Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar.

Since those early middle school days, I’ve been on a mission to seek out the odd and extreme wherever I can find it.

So, what metal do I listen to now (asked no one)? Well let me give you some highlights…

Yngwie’s newest Album: World on Fire – It isn’t his best, but it is his latest…

Metallica’s newest Album: Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

The Metallica album St Anger rerecorded by a different band. The original sounded so terrible that it was actually insulting to listen to…

AND, my song of the day, The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden. The scream at 1:17, like the band, is a classic!! Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. I’ll catch you tomorrow for my final day on the blog.

Hail Satan and have a great day!

Joshua Jeremiah

Already this season, Grammy-nominated baritone Joshua Jeremiah made his LA Opera debut in Persona, sang the role of Silvio (Pagliacci) in his debut with New Orleans Opera, and performed with NYC’s Heartbeat Opera in All the World’s a Drag. Early in 2017, Joshua returned to Arizona Opera to originate the role of Lassiter in the world-premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler and Steven Mark Kohn. He performed the role of Gianni Schicchi in Opera Company Middlebury’s production of Il Trittico, and sang the role of Ford (Falstaff) with Resonance Works in Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received accolades for his performance as the title role of Verdi’s Macbeth with Opera Company Middlebury, where he was described as having a “marvelous voice,” and giving “a nuanced, fascinating performance as a conflicted Macbeth.” Other recent appearances include: Col. Von Kalle (Mata Hari) 2017 Prototype festival; Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with Hawaii Opera Theater; Rigoletto, Arizona Opera; Iago (Otello) with Berks Opera; Sonora (La fanciulla del West) and Starek (Jenůfa), Des Moines Metro Opera; concerts with the New Haven Symphony; and the title role of Gianni Schicchi, Mobile Opera.

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