It was a close fight. It was a huge list with a lot of good contenders, but one song nudged ahead to stomp on the others while they were down. That song, chosen by you, is Pantera's Cemetery Gates, off their Cowboys From Hell album.
Though there were several choices that I would have been happy with if they had won, I cetainly think that this was a worthy choice. It's a great example of metal's ballad and hardcore side. It has great guitar work and good vocals.
I remember when this first came out. It really broke the mold that most popular metal bands were setting themselves in. Everyone coming out sounded like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax or Megadeth -- or a combination thereof. Pantera proved they could be melodic and different and hard at the same time.
We wannabe guitarists were drooling over Dimebag's riffs, wondering how he did that octive pitch duel thingy at the end of the song (he used an octoplex octive pitch shifter, if you're still wondering) and no one sang like Phil.
It was the dawn of Pantera. Some of us didn't realize just how big a thing this was until Vulgar Display ... hit the shelves. I was listening to Nuclear Assault a lot at the time, hoping for something that heavy but more listener-friendly and I got it.
So, crank up your radios/MP3 devices in honor of the Best Metal Song Ever! - Cemetery Gates.
And don't forget, the nomination thread for the Best Metal Album Ever! is still open, but closes today around noon EST.