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I distinctly remember being converted on the spot seeing Halford support Iron Maiden back in 2000, and bought this album very shortly after. Then it was a killer, safe and solid headbanging Heavy Metal album, now a few holes are appearing over time. For starters, the "safe, reliable rockers" now feel like mere "fillers", and after more time you begin to realise that most of the album is made up of these. Bruce Dickinson's appearence on The One You Love To Hate only just saves this song from being another below-average filler.
However, to take away from this album too much would be a mistake. My favourite songs on this album are Resurrection, Made In Hell and Silent Screams, and they each give something different to the album. Rob talked extensively about this album being "auto-biographical", and those first two songs are the only examples of that you'll get. Resurrection features monstrous screams and soloing throughout, and the lyrics for Made In Hell are just so charming! Silent Screams has to be the high point of the album, going through highs and lows, calm to storm, and just generally being a classic song. Depending on taste, you'll also probably find something in some of the fillers that attracts you to them - Temptation does this for me inparticular.
I can see the biggest potential failing point of this album for some being how they take tracks 7 - 12, and one or two before them. Either they will be uninspired filler or the aforementioned straightforward rockers I saw them as in the beginning. It's not much of a risk, really - if you like Heavy Metal you can't really be offended by this album. A song like Silent Screams means it can't possibley fail!