The album includes a trilogy entitled Gettysburg (1863). Each of the three songs represents one day in the Battle of Gettysburg, the largest battle ever conducted in the Western Hemisphere and considered the turning point in the American Civil War.
This album features the debut of lead singer Tim "Ripper" Owens, formerly of Judas Priest. Owens, who at that time was still in Judas Priest, was asked to do the vocals as a side project. However, he joined the band full-time after Judas Priest reunited with Rob Halford. The album was first recorded with Matt Barlow on vocals, but band leader Jon Schaffer was not satisfied with his performance. Due to the events of September 11, Barlow became more interested in law enforcement than the music business, and according to Schaffer "Matt's heart was not in it and it showed in his performance." As a result, Matt left the band and the album was shelved until a new vocalist could be found. However, some of Barlow's initial recordings remain on the record as backing vocals, and he is credited with co-writing two songs.
^Jon Schaffer explanation of Matt Barlow's departure."Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 5, 2004. Retrieved December 14, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)