Before metal turned into speed, anger, and insanity, there were bands who had singers who sang(and with vocal range),guitarists who could play cool riffs,and drummers who could play heavy grooves without double bass thunder. This album came out at the same time that “extreme” metal was taking flight, but it retains what I feel that thrash and death metal lost in an effort to kick it up a notch….that being the elements of early Maiden and Priest, the ability to make kick[ing] rock music.I would put this album up there with Sabbath’s “MASTER OF REALITY”, Priest’s “STAINED CLASS” and Maiden’s “NUMBER OF THE BEAST” as essential metal.I’ve heard that King Diamond’s voice bothers some people,I don’t see why because it fits the music perfectly. His vocal ability coupled with the dark lyrics create a cool eerieness and the tempo changes in the music is something that(for me),good metal should have. I’ve heard some of what’s called Progressive Metal now, and the singers [are bad], the players create no tension with their playing, it just seems BLAH! I listen to all different kinds of music now that I’m older but if I were going to put in a METAL album to jam on…this would be it!