Haggard is certainly one of the more interesting bands out there, especially considering the usual stuff that is sold here in the U.S. We don't see too much of this metal/symphony type of mixed music in the states.
If you are not familiar with Haggard, check out the audio clips of Tales of Ithiria or some of their other albums to get a feel for what I am talking about. It may be a bit different than what you are used to. The band is sort of a spin-off of the "Black Metal" genre. Their sound can best be described as a mixture of metal, opera, symphony, and German folk music. Haggard has always leaned more towards the opera/symphony/folk aspects, with metal only playing a minor role. Hence, fans who are only interested in hard metal (death metal, black metal) may find Haggard too mellow for them. However, for those willing to be open-minded, you will find quite an impressive sound.
I have Haggard's two previous albums, Awaking the Centuries and Eppur Si Muove, both concept albums about Nostradamus and Galileo, respectively. Haggard continues their traditional sound and approach with this album, albeit the concept of this album is purely fictional. However, Tales of Ithiria is their best-produced album to date. I can say, most assuredly, that the song-writing has gotten significantly more complex than the previous albums. The songs are more layered and "whole" in nature, as opposed to some of Haggard's previous songs where it felt more like metal just playing as a background rhythm to the symphonic fore-front. In other words, the different genres are blended more seamlessly in Tales of Ithiria than in previous albums. The songs are even more "epic" and grandiose in their sound than in previous albums. There is also a lot more harmony from the singers, and the sopranos are more in-tune than previous albums. The sound is very clean and refined, resulting in a very accomplished album. Fans of the previous albums should not be disappointed.