Here are the 10 best death metal songs over 10 minutes long.

Death metal in its purest form might be more riff driven, maybe with a horror or Satanic aesthetic. But it has other elements and can often get progressive and doomy, as evidenced here. There are also other artists who are a bit outside the already expansive death metal framework, but have sounds that lean toward this style and have been included in the mix as well.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Death Metal Covers of '80s Metallica Songs

It can take a while for the band to effectively convey their message, sometimes to the tune of 10 minutes or more. The length allows for the ability to experiment with new sounds or to stretch out more common genre conventions.

So listen on below for a mix of progressive, death/doom, straight up death metal and others that are better left up to the ears to decide.

  • Opeth, "Ghost of Perdition" (10:29)

    The most memorable Opeth album opener is from Ghost Reveries with a track that also makes a fitting opening to this list of great, lengthy death metal songs.

    Right from the outset you are treated to an explosive riff and Mikael Akerfeldt’s gruff delivery without much regard for your surprise.

    This is a great introduction to longform death metal and one from one of progressive death metal’s true standouts. And it's the shortest one here!

  • Akercocke, "Shelter From the Sand" (10:40)

    Touches of black metal decorate the opening passages to the third track from Akercocke’s fourth album, Words That Go Unspoken, Deeds That Go Undone.

    There are lots of progressive metal elements that make the song feel like it was partially written by Canadian masters Voivod. However, it’s a bit more free and longform with spoken word meeting with extremity as the song marches onward.

    Akercocke offer a lot more than what this track has to say, but this is a centerpiece track that ends up bordering on the avant-garde, but never truly goes off the rails.

  • Triptykon, "Goetia" (11:00)

    For extreme metal stans, a name such as Tom G. Warrior’s is enough reason to pay attention. As one of Celtic Frost’s founding members, he is well known for helping to push the needle forward for all things thrash, black and death metal.

    In the late 2000s, from the ashes of said band, Triptykon were formed as a true follow-up to the former band’s Monotheist album.

    The opening track to Eparistera Daimones is the perfect sequel, revealing itself to be death, black, and goth metal at the same time. It’s a dark track that has aged well since 2010 and an excellent experiment in the extreme to make their mark.

  • Tomb Mold, "The Enduring Spirit of Calamity" (11:36)

    Tomb Mold returned to the extreme metal populace in 2023, this time with a more refined and progressive eye.
    When the (mostly) title track to The Enduring Spirit hit, it showcased itself as a collection of all the prior albums had to offer.
    These Canadians have evolved over time. They are well known for playing a grosser style of death metal and this track instead borders on the beauty that genre forebearers such Cynic were doing back in 1992 when Focus dropped.

  • Nile, "Unas, Slayer of the Gods" (11:44)

    South Carolina-based, Egypt-loving death metal band Nile (by way of South Carolina) pay tribute to 2300s B.C. pharaoh Unas on this track from In Their Darkened Shrines.

    Slow death metal with technical aplomb is something that Karl Sanders and crew have been doing for over 30 years.

    On this 2002 song he really lets loose with horns interspersed to announce the arrival of the slayer himself, making it feel even more like an actual event than a song.

  • Blood Incantation, "Vitrification of Blood (Part 1)" (13:09)

    Outer space seems scary enough already. It’s also a thematic place where death metal should thrive and for Colorado’s Blood Incantation, it has continued to be a focal point of their appeal.

    Their 2016 debut Starspawn opens with this track that runs the extreme metal gamut. You hear sounds that are progressive, doomy and all around cosmic creating a feeling as though you were hurtling through space.

    If you are able to make it through to the other side of this celestial body, then give the rest of the album a spin, this is the first of their LPs that evoke the sense of being alone in the vastness of space.

  • Between the Buried and Me, "Ants of the Sky" (13:15)

    While they may be known more as a progressive metal band, they certainly convey enough heaviness that they can act as a gateway band for either progressive metal or even death metal proper.

    Colors is one of those albums that changed heavy music history and is referred to by the band as “adult contemporary progressive death metal”.

    If you want to put Emerson, Lake and Palmer into a room with legendary Death visionary, Chuck Schuldiner and Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, you may end up with “Ants of the Sky”.

  • diSEMBOWELMENT, "A Burial At Ornans" (14:38)

    One of the purest examples of death/doom as a genre comes from Australian band diSEMBOWLMENT.

    This excruciatingly slow music makes you work for your headbanging, while this acts as a precursor to what funeral doom metal is.

    “A Burial At Ornans” is casket-dragging metal taken to the next level as 1993 was a unique time when metal explored a lot of new directions. Experimentation was one of the ways to get noticed and Relapse Records, one of the underground’s most famous bastions for heaviness, snapped them up.

    Though their debut Transcendence Into The Peripheral remains their only LP, this band has stood the test of time.

  • Incantation, "Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty of Infernal Damnation" (16:47)

    Incantation are one of the originators of slow and crawling death metal and this closing track to their third album, Diabolical Conquest, is a crushing number that leaves very little in its wake.

    Daniel Corchado’s cavernous bellow is something that matches the slow decay of the music you are taking in, in droves. It can be pretty amazing to believe that a track like this can keep its extreme intensity for as long as it does, but it plays at two different speeds allowing it to balance out in the end.

    “Unto Infinite Twilight / Majesty of Infernal Damnation” gives as much variety as death metal in its purest form can offer.

  • Edge of Sanity, "Crimson" (40:00)

    Legendary death metal linchpin Dan Swano, who has been in his fair share of death metal projects, originally helmed the superb Edge of Sanity. Their fifth album is a one-track tour-de-force called Crimson.

    It tells the story of the end of humanity due to infertility and the impact of royal lineage on the throne at that time. It boasts lyrics such as, “It takes a life to create a life,” which weighs heavily on the music that ranges from crushing buzzsaw riffs to sections with acoustic flair.

    Crimson is one of those albums that attention to detail will reveal more and more as you revisit each and every passage on repeat. It could be considered the pinnacle of progressive death metal as a whole.

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