THE CRUSADE OF EPICS: nominations CLOSED!

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I need one more final list from someone who didn't send it before. I am expanding the game to 128 songs so that I can do a straight knockout tournament as it gets more voters compared to groups. Rules from the first post apply.
 

JudasMyGuide

A Moravian soul
Yeah it is. It is a very good song, but it's definitely overrated.

Part of my personal problem with a lot of 80's/90's prog-metal epics (including the ever-beloved Divine Wings of Tragedy or A Change of Seasons) is that the music doesn't really progress much - it's more of a hodgepodge mess of ideas strung together, sometimes with the overall intention to make them escalate the tension within the song logically, sometimes not (the "tripping the light fantastic" should - by the internal logic - be the climax of ACOS, near its end, like for example the "Triumphant, champion of Ithaca" part of The Odyssey ... but you get another almost ten minutes after that) and Metropolis is definitely an example of that. It sounds great, the individual parts are nice and I can respect it, just as I respect Outcry (which - as its "follower" - has similar completely nonsensical wankery section which is just so great to listen to), but as a whole it just can't work as one of the bests.

For all the talk about how... e.g. Endless Sacrifice makes no sense with random noodlings in the middle, it's actually the complete opposite - even in the instrumental part almost every individual passage logically grows out of / reacts to the previous one which is very well noticeable especially if you concentrate on the backing riffs and such - with all of it culminating in that "All you've forsaken" part and the final chorus, which brings an emotional catharsis. It has many times over been decried as an example of DT "wankery" getting in their songwriting, but it's actually a particularly well-written song, including the "wanking" parts.

Even some of the other latter DT epics, like Count of Tuscany or ITPOE, which both do have parts that shift gears rather abruptly, it still makes much more of a cohesive whole, allowing for familiarity, playing with motives (in different instrumentation even) and in general working really well; much of the early stuff is indeed hard to remember - so kudos to them for being able to play it live - but not particularly substantial, methinks.
And, like, Scarred is just a wreck in that regard.

That might explain why I'd take even the 12-step suite, for example, over some of the "classics".

On the other hand some of the obviously separated songs put together in a "cluster" of sorts (A Mind Beside Itself, SDOIT) can actually work, because sometimes these bring out the best in one another in their "intertextuality". Sometimes with actual repetition of certain themes and moods (the "preview" to The Silent Man in the middle of Erotomania might be one of the most beautifully poignant moments in DT discography in general) or with kinda ingenious sequence to the moods (from the hectic and nervous War/Test That Stumped to the numbing and gentle and depressing Goodnight Kiss to an actual campfire hope ascending in Solitary Shell) which again, is kinda lacking in those early epics, because of not enough "repetition and previews" or lesser variation of moods (because these are much more unified, genre-wise, which limits their amount of "moodiness")

And it's not just thing of the past - The Seventh Wonder, for example, though I love them, have this exact problem, which culminated in the title track to The Great Escape which is mostly just 30 minutes of (admittedly very beautiful) meandering.
(just for the record, the same goes for Blind Guardian's And Then There Was Silence - kick-ass individual parts, not much sense as a whole)
 
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