@os_teriyaki, agreed on that particular line "Sometimes the traces of life with you / Are clearer in my mind than ever" -- superb, both the singing melody and the rise in the song's intensity! Yet I somewhat still stay with my two-year-old statement, even though the song has grown on me even a bit more afterwards. There are still parts where your (my) concentration doesn't remain with the song, and those that are a bit boring. There's certainly "longness for the sake of longness" in this song. It's a great song, but most 18-minute+ metal songs I have heard are even better! They have the substance to go all the way, or otherwise remain interesting all the time. Almost all the best moments of the song come towards the end. From the breakdown at 11:17 and especially from 14:19 it's gold pretty much all the way to the end. Agreed with PatrickProg below that Jens' last solo (and how the choir singing cuts into it), for example, is just HUGE!
Its my favorite "long track" of the year. I had kinda figured that either Rhapsody or Nightwish would beat it out... then they didnt.  Even though the third part still sounds kinda lame and overly pretentious to me.
Finally got into Elysium after all this time (it just wasnt "clicking" with me), and wow, holy crap... Those last 3 or so minutes are just amazing... That guitar solo has to be one of the greatest solos of all time
The few ending minutes are awesome, otherwise it's a snoozefest. Very inconsistent track - not nearly as great and epic as Porra's (or sounds more like Tolkki's) Emancipation Suite on Polaris was. Still the best song of the album which is kinda sad. They used to do so much better. They also lost their style and sound on this album, the one that was so dear to me. :) It seems they're becoming more like a Dream Theater copy now with Kupiainen in the line-up and Tolkki influences gone.