The beginning always makes me think "Wait, is this a new song?" with its uber-generic riff and lack of proper introduction, but the harmony section starting at 2:39 through the lead parts more than make up for it.
barlow is by far the better vocalist. the reason Barlow doesn't do the section you are talking about is cause it sounds terrible. Barlow's best feature is he stays far away from the cliches of powermetal, especially the (over)use of falsetto.