The Odyssey is light years ahead of this DT song. Everything on it feels purposeful, even when it’s shredding. The solos section of ITNOG could literally be cut out and placed in the middle of 50 other DT songs.
I'm a bit surprised that ITNOG made it this far, so I won't be mad if it loses here. A Change of Seasons will probably win the final anyway, and I like it these days more than ITNOG and my other DT pick The Glass Prison.
Tough battle, I went with Blackwater Park. It might be that ACOS has the best single bits out of the two songs but it has always sounded slightly disjointed to me, whereas Park is a massive track that flows well.
Yeah, this is honestly a good final round. Both these songs are epics in every sense of the word, stretched out yet not at all overstaying their welcomes.
But The Odyssey.
I mean I’d vote pretty much anything with Russell Allen on it over pretty much anything with James LaBrie on it. But like, it’s such a fucking amazing song. Perfect from beginning to end. Somehow every single second of that song is perfectly placed.
This is a rough final. Relistening to both tracks, it's pretty clear that these are both true exemplars of the ideal metal epic -- long, winding musical journeys with light and shade, memorable but aesthetically distinct segments that flow naturally into each other, and not a dull moment to be found. I think these two songs were the best of all the nominees, and either track would be a worthy winner.
"A Change Of Seasons" really puts the best of Dream Theater on display. LaBrie stays on the rails and doesn't try to wail so much that his enunciation falls apart, and he gets to spend a fair amount of time in his warm ballad voice where he typically sounds the best. The musical parts are challenging without ever becoming masturbatory, and most sections are pretty memorable.
"The Odyssey" is a similar showpiece for Symphony X, with Allen mostly avoiding the over-the-top scenery chewing he can sometimes fall prey to, and the musical parts serving the song and staying interesting without going overboard. It does suffer a bit from the band's typical low-rent synth sounds in the early going, but the vocal melodies in particular seem to land harder and leave more of an impression than on the Dream Theater track. And in the end, that advantage and the even grander scale of the Symphony X track give it a slight edge.
So, sorry The Dillicent, your nominee was worthy, but MrDickerbooleven's choice takes this one. Winner: Symphony X - "The Odyssey"