Remember the days when an eight-minute song felt like a gift sent by the alt-rock gods? Back when we had to buy music by the track, and not through a monthly subscription, these long ones were like a gold mine.
Of course, times have changed since our iPod-centric scene years. Now, we’ve got the bulk of the world’s music catalog at our disposal. Still, there’s nothing quite like settling into an extended listening experience—especially when the song brings serious nostalgia.
Here are 10 of our favorite scene songs that are magnificently long.
VersaEmerge – “Lost Tree” (7:07)
VersaEmerge only graced the scene for a short while, so we’re fortunate that they really stacked their discography. But “Lost Tree” is the longest track in their catalog, spanning just over seven minutes long. The dreamy venture makes for the perfect conclusion of their debut album, Fixed At Zero, with its slow-building intensity and lyrical callbacks.
Silverstein – “The End” feat. LIGHTS (7:24)
What’s the best way to finish out a heart-wrenching and vivid 14-song concept album? With an emo AF, seven-and-a-half-minute ballad featuring LIGHTS, of course. “The End” is the whimsically melodic, albeit viscerally powerful, finale of Silverstein’s A Shipwreck In The Sand. Though it’s well arranged to wrap up the album’s narrative, the track also stands as an evocative masterpiece on its own.
Avenged Sevenfold – “A Little Piece Of Heaven” (8:00)
Avenged Sevenfold made a bold move in putting out an eight-minute, fictitious, musical chronicle on murder and necrophilia. Obviously, it worked for them because we ate it up. Who can blame us, though? Questionable subject matter aside, the dark theatricality of “A Little Piece Of Heaven” is nothing short of captivating.
Coheed And Cambria – “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3” (8:12)
Coheed And Cambria break out of creative molds quite often. From sonic experimentation to the development of an album-spanning concept narrative, they tend to deviate significantly from the norm. To this point, it’s not surprising to see them pushing the (imaginary) limit with their song lengths. The eight-minute title track of In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 isn’t even the longest on the album. It ranks third behind “21:13” and “The Light & The Glass,” respectively, which both run over nine minutes. However, it’s quite possibly the most dynamic and anthemic, setting the pace for the rest of the record.
Saosin – “Fireflies (Light Messengers)” (8:30)
Saosin’s “Fireflies (Light Messengers)” stands out from the rest of In Search Of Solid Ground—but not just for its run time. The finale reels in the angsty, near-aggressive air of the record for a tranquil reprieve. What’s really impressive about this song is that it doesn’t have a rhapsodic structure like most tracks of its length. Rather, it maintains the same pacing and tone relatively consistently throughout while still remaining sonically fascinating.
Anberlin – “(*Fin)” (8:53)
It’s shockingly easy to get lost in Anberlin’s discography. Their albums are perfectly arranged, wildly emotional rides that are as enchanting as they are hard-hitting. It’s hardly a surprise that their near-nine-minute track “(*Fin)” produces much of the same effect. A conclusion to their third album, Cities, the song is an apex of evocative power accented by imagery-rich narratives. It’s impossible not to fall straight into.
Green Day – “Jesus Of Suburbia” (9:08)
Full disclosure, it required a lot of self-restraint not to load up this list with half of Green Day’s American Idiot. Really, it’s incredible that they stacked a pop-punk album with so many extended tracks and still managed to keep it interesting all the way through. “Holiday / Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” and “Homecoming” are obvious honorable mentions, but we had to shout out “Jesus Of Suburbia.” The distinct mood swings, accented with edgy lyrics and punchy pop-punk energy, are just too good to resist.
From Autumn To Ashes – “Short Stories With Tragic Endings” (9:25)
If you wanted to introduce someone to early 2000s metalcore, “Short Stories With Tragic Endings” would be the place to start. The song provides an eclectic, representative assortment of heavy elements, which are beautifully contrasted by Melanie Wills’ lighter, melodic vocals. What’s even more impressive is that From Autumn To Ashes pulled off such an emblematic track on their debut album.
Something Corporate – “Konstantine” (9:36)
You know that pang you get when an emo line hits just right? Take that feeling and stretch it out for nine-and-a-half minutes and you’ve got Something Corporate’s “Konstantine.” The song radiates pain, effectively gouging out our hearts, and still we love every second. Just be sure you have a box of tissues handy before you press play.
Finch – “Ender” (13:28)
At over 13 minutes long, Finch’s “Ender” might as well be its own standalone EP. As the second-to-last track, the song winds down their debut album, What It Is To Burn. It begins with relatively soft vocals and pared-down instrumentals, growing gradually in energy and aggression for an emotional outpouring before fading off into transient instrumentals. We recommend laying down, closing your eyes and soaking it all in for a real cathartic experience.
What are your favorite epic long scene songs? Let us know in the comments below.