I think this album is very good on the "ends". First 4 and last 4 tracks absolutely rule. The middle starts sounding too samey after a while, but The Suffering has a great hook and Wake Up is a nice change of pace. Also, the Neverender version of The Final Cut is the most surprising thing they did, I almost wish they included it on a reissue as a bonus
This whole album is the thesis of what makes Coheed and Cambria so great. The hard rock and electronic elements that would come later started their roots here, and the metal / emo combo is perfected as well. Still not as good as Second Stage, but a close second.
My first CoCa album. I hated it at first. I Just bought it because of Welcome Home... Like the 80% that also bought it. After the first 3 song I was like "omg what a piece of shit" and that was it. Two years after, I listened it again because........ That's one hell of a cover lol. And then... the rest is history. One of my favorites of all times.