I think some of the other reviewers were unfair in how they reviewed this album - especially those that approached it after hearing some of the later Symphony X offerings first. Now, I'm not coming on here as the die-hard down-from-the-start toolbar fan, because this wasn't my first Symphony X album, either. However, I think that it is an incredible debut. Although it lacks some of the sophistication and quality of later releases, it is still a thoroughly complex and masterful Symphony X album.
The first thing that has to be said is that the sound quality is extremely lacking on this album. The other thing is that, yes, Russell Allen isn't the vocalist on this album. However, I don't think the vocalist is as bad as what other poeple were saying. He's got a pretty solid voice - not quite as powerful as Allen's, but still works well with the music.
It may be a little difficult to try get into this album after hearing the more refined and better produced albums by Symphony X, but I think it's still a great album and one that I definitely put on a lot.