This album was the first thing I ever heard by Stratovarius and, when I heard the final section of the epic title track on Spotify, I was hooked. This was mainly due to how wonderful I thought the singing and the vocal melody was. Timo Kotipelto quickly became my new vocal hero!
With the exception of a track or two, this album is absolutely fantastic from start to finish. Particularly the first three songs really pack a punch with a combination of speed, power and wonderful melodic vocal lines. Also, the lyrics are notably very good as they generally are with Stratovarius. There are also some nice softer moments on the album particularly the track 'Fairness Justified'.
But I would say the crowning glory of the album is the amazing title track which clocks in at 18 minutes. But, for all its length, through brilliant composition, it does not feel this long. It sets up a nice theme and then cleverly weaves it into the whole song in differing variations, the final one of these being the moment which made me acknowledge Stratovarius as a potentially brilliant band.
I suppose I'm unusual in that this album is the first Stratovarius I ever heard and I had no preconceptions about whether or not this album sounded like the old Stratovarius, which is quite different. But now hearing a lot of Stratovarius' albums both old and new, I would still say this album is a great place to start!