This is an incredible cd. I honestly can't compare any of Iced Earth's cds to each other, or to those of any other band. That is how truly different and great Iced Earth is. I don't see any way that this recording could have been better. Every song is brutal, yet beautiful. The rhythm guitarist, Jon Schaffer, is one of the best i have heard. He combines tight, bone-crunching progressions with haunting melodies worthy of a horror movie. As much as I hate to compare, I would like to give new listeners an idea of what they're in for. Imagine combining vintage Metallica, Slayer, and Iron Maiden, and turning hypothetical "Brutality," "Evil," and "Violence" knobs up to 11 (Spinal Tap style).
Standout tracks: Burnt Offerings, Last December, Dante's Inferno (a 16 minute epic metal masterpiece, based on the epic poem)
One thing I would like to say, is that this album is not for the elderly, those with heart trouble, or pregnant women. Also, any god-fearing Christians might want to skip this one as well, for every song deals with Hell and/or death and/or torture and/or human sacrifice. Not in a disgusting, Cannibal Corpse way, but in a more "literary" sense, if you will. For example, Dante's Inferno is based on the epic by the same name. Jon is an excellent song-writer, as well as guitarist, so don't worry about puking or anything.