I have to admit, after 2 listens to the entire album straight through, I must say that this is the best album I’ve purchased since Opeth’s “Blackwater Park.” This was the first Rhapsody album I picked up and I was a bit hesitant at first only because people talk about how the music is repetitive and too over the top and whatnot. Needless to say, I dont’ believe this. Rhapsody’s music is catagorized as “Epic Hollywood Metal.” To anyone who has yet to own this record, DON’T take that catagorization seriously. Associating the word “Hollywood” with this seems to me a huge slap in the face of a great piece of Art. Yes, it is Epic Metal, it does utilize almost every instrument you can think of, from guitars to keyboards to flutes to violins to even choirs in a lot of the songs. If listening to this doesn’t transport you back to medieval times, you don’t have ears! Most of the songs on this record are very epic and loud, but the blend of guitars and orchestrations are so perfect in many parts you’ll feel that this is the ONLY Rhapsody CD you’ll ever need (hard to believe they have 4 other albums besides this!). It’s just all together so much fun to listen to, the melodies and driving rhythms are all simply breathtaking. Chorus’s, like many power metal bands, are the shining moments on this album, many using grand choirs as I said before and are so uplifting and empowering you won’t know what hit you. There is one slow track in the mix that really isn’t metal at all, more like a very dramatic opera song, if you can get past the drama and non-metal sound, you’ll start to love it. On another note, the lead singer’s got an incredible voice and is definitely up there with Russell Allen of Symphony X (my favorite power metal vocalist) The final track is a 19 minute epic, I see it as more 16 minutes because the song really ends after that much; another great song w/ great chorus work. Now, as much as I love this CD, it’s not PERFECT. No album really is, but giving it any less than 5 stars just feels wrong to me. Anyway, there are FEW moments in the album where the keyboard work is just so cheesy it almost sounds like something out of an old Atari video game. These usually don’t last more than 3 seconds though. One other small hindrence was the last song, where towards the end, some voiceovers are used to try to create some kind of story I guess, but the voice used is just so flat and undramatic it just sounds like the guy’s reading off a piece of paper (anyone who owns Blind Guardian’s “Nightfall In Middle Earth” knows what kind of voice acting I mean). These are such small imperfections that they almost feel worthless mentioning, so don’t let them deter you from buying this.This isn’t one of those albums that a bunch of people say is amazing but when you go to hear it you find it boring, I find too many albums with overrated reviews like that. This album truly is amazing, and one should know because I don’t give 5 starts to just anything that’s “pretty good.” What MIGHT turn people off to this is its epicness. This is more for fans of power fantasy inspired metal and less for fans of Pantera/Slayer/Metallica etc. I’m addicted to this CD, the first couple of days I had it I probably played it 10 times over, I just still can’t get enough of it; definitely one of the best CD’s in my collection. Just a reminder, if this doesn’t grab you the first time, don’t give up on it. Spending 18 bucks on a CD and then listening to it once and discarding it seems to me pretty silly, right? Do yourself a HUUUUGE favor and buy this album now!