This is a hard album to enjoy unless you can either get into, or get beyond, the American jingoism. I've been unable to. Two songs dealing with the September 11 attacks are fine, although it's been over two years between the attacks and this album coming out; one would have thought that if Schaffer was that upset, he could have put something out earlier. It was a terrible thing that happened; the songs that it inspired have been equally terrible. Metallica's Don't Tread on Me coming out around the first Persian Gulf war helped kill my interest in Metallica, so you can probably see where I'm coming from.
Declaration Day is an awesome song. Otherwise, nothing's really blown me away. The lyrics sometimes seem to interfere with the music, which is something that Iron Maiden started running into with their musical history lessons (Alexander the Great, anyone?). To paraphrase Chuck D., you can teach the seminar, but you still have to rock the boulevard.
Unless you're American, love the States, or aren't bothered by the extreme patriotism, I wouldn't recommend this album. And now I'm in a quandry - this is the only Iced Earth I've ever heard. Would I like Iced Earth if I tried another album, or are the themes of the album just covering up the fact that I don't really like Iced Earth?