There’s been a lot of discussion about this album on Therion’s band site, with even Christofer Johnson commenting on it himself in interviews.
Each Therion album is different. This album is mainly focused on really cool drumming by the ex-drummer Sami and really well orchestrated classical singing (opera/choir). It is a very Opera oriented album. Therefore if you like classical music and opera singing and choirs you are going to be impressed by the brilliant choir performance. If you are more into the heavy metal part of the music you’ll like the album but get a bit bored with it. It is mainly an almost Wagner like Choral Opera work with heavy metal drums, guitar and bass backing it up. It also has a lot of brilliant guitar solos and a classical orchestra that plays some folkish violens and wagnerian trumpets and such along with the music.
The first thing to understand about ALL Therion albums is that you must listen to them several times before it sinks in. They almost always don’t sound so good the first listen until you have given it time to sink in.
Usually hard core Therion fans think this is their favorite Therion album along with people who are really into Opera singing. Heavy metal fans consider the album a bit weak. Symphony wise it is in the middle it has some symphony which is pretty good but not a whole lot. Personally it’s my favorite Therion album. The theme is very facinating and it has some really good album cover work and such. But I hope that explains the very mixed reviews.