This album was my introduction to DCD, and remains my favorite although it certainly has no shortage of competition from their later efforts.
I don't know how to relate to you how truly inspiring "The Host of Seraphim" is to me, both as a fan of the music and as a songwriter myself. I can only say with any effect that, for once, the title of a song like "Host of Seraphim" does not belie the pretense of the artist. It has that title because it REDEFINES the word angelic in my mind. I spent a great deal of time listening to Brendan Perry's takes on the album, mainly because when I was younger I was always very skeptical, being a man, that a woman's voice could have the same reach and dramatic effect as a man. And that I would equate that to Perry's voice is no mistake, because there is no doubt that he is a gifted singer, and Perry's slow sonorous tones in "Ulysses" still (and always will) give me the willies....but about three years after I first got this album (and was then listening to their later albums), I pulled out Serpent's Egg again and realized that the real depth of this album will always remain with Gerrard's songs, and particularly with "Host". The only gripe I could possibly have about this album is that they got the song order backwards...."Ulysses" really would have been more appropriate as an opener, and "Host" as the powerful finale. Instead, I find myself reordering the tracks in Winamp, but that's really not a major (and hardly a minor) complaint.
I don't want to waste myself away trying to describe the way this album moves me - and truly it would be a wasted effort, because I don't even think I'm through processing my reaction to it in a lot of ways musically - but to the potential listener I say: if you are curious about DCD at all, you can safely start here (or at the compilation called A Passage In Time, which contains both of the above-mentioned songs) and you'll never have to wonder again what all the hype is about.