I'm not really sure of the protocol with comments and responses, since this is all fresh for me.
@nitrozsz First, your guess is as good as mine regarding the emotional shifts/representation in the track. Normally I'd be very conscious of those kinds of things, but I was in a bit of a fog doing this one. It's certainly clearer in retrospect for me, and I can't say you're far off in your estimations. It's all storytelling, and finding your own narrative is part of the adventure.
Second, everything you pointed out as nitpicks were all issues I had with it as well. The choir synth was my backup because the other was on the fritz for whatever reason. The mixing of the drums bothered me then, and still does. I'm just really revisiting the track now, since I hadn't thought about it for a long time, and there are a bundle of things I take issue with. But the structure and sort of emotional core/pacing of the piece hold up, so I'm pretty satisfied with that.
The Jeremy Soule comparison is interesting, and certainly flattering.
I saw that one of the judges - @Chimpazilla - ask if the piano section you also mentioned was referential to Midna's Lament. While it clearly does not utilize the piece melodically, it was certainly intended as an evocation of the way that theme breathes, to further transition the track as it builds towards a release (when the drums come in).
Finally, thank you for the criticism, as well as the praise. It's very cool, indeed, to have thoughtful considerations of something you create.