Well, let me start by saying that there are a few things that hamper a review for an album: Initial hype, time after the release, and the legacy of the band. When Led Zeppelin's first 2 albums came out, Rolling Stone magazine basically called them uninspired crap. Today, they're on every Top 50 albums lists you ever see. Why? It's not entirely because they were good albums. Instead, the impact, or even perceived impact, is what propelled them to be legendary albums.
That said, I think this album sucks.
I love Judas Priest, and I even got to meet them briefly before the album was released. I was excited about this album after the incredibly disappointing Angel of Retribution after I heard the title track for this disc. The idea was pure Spinal Tap; a 2 Disc set about Nostradamus. It was the craziest idea I had heard in a long time and I was excited to see how they would pull it off.
Well, the result is an overly-bloated album that doesn't work half the time. Half of the album consists of musical interludes that exist to advance the story along, but instead hold it back from being a good album. A fake string section adds to a more hokey feel to the album, and the disc suffers from it.
On the flip side, if it was streamlined to one disc, this would have been a great Priest album.
"Prophecy" "Revelations", "Persecution", "Exiled", and "Nostradamus" are some of the best tracks on this disc, venturing from everywhere in the metal spectrum from traditional metal to sheer thrash.
If, over the 2 years they worked on this, they went the extra mile, the tracks I consider "filler" would have been worth it. Cradle of Filth for it's 2003 album "Damnation and a Day" told the story of creation "From Genesis to Nemesis" over the course of 1 disc and with the accompany of a 40-piece Budapest Film Orchestra and 32-piece Budapest Film Choir. Had Judas Priest gone the extra mile and done something similar, hiring an orchestra and a choir to put the finishing touches on this album, this would have been at least more interesting and, maybe, not as bloated.
In the end, this is something I'll rarely recommend: Go to I-Tunes and just download a few tracks instead.
4.5 Stars out of 10.