When it comes to lyrical content, some of the best songs are always the ones that tell a story. What’s even better is when an entire album tells a great story from start to finish. Here are three favorite emo rock concept albums you should definitely check out.

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

Often considered one of the greatest emo albums of all time, My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade centers around a dying cancer patient, simply known as “The Patient.” The album opens with The Patient’s death as he is welcomed into the afterlife in the form of a parade. Each track narrates The Patient’s experiences in the afterlife as he reflects on his own past life. If you’re looking for a dark, yet emotional story, concept album The Black Parade is the perfect representation of those elements.

Senses Fail – Still Searching

Another album from a decade ago, Still Searching by pop punk/post-hardcore band Senses Fail revolves around personal struggles that almost anyone can relate to at some point in their life. The concept is based on lead vocalist Buddy Nielson’s past experience with depression and heartbreak. Covering the themes of depression, anxiety, and the act of self-medicating, the central character also faces challenges regarding his faith and struggle with alcoholism. The story ultimately ends with the character taking his own life in the track “All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues” and finally closes with “The Priest and the Matador,” his refusal of accepting any spiritual help. While the album can be considered quite dark and personal, the real-life struggles and conflicts addresses in the tracks is what really makes this album stand out.

Alesana – The Emptiness

“Sweetcore” band Alesana’s concept album The Emptiness was briefly mentioned in the article “Our Top 5 Alesana Songs,” centering around the character known as The Artist. One morning, The Artist wakes up to find the love of his life, Annabel, dead. Vowing to find who is responsible for the death of his true love, The Artist eventually is driven into becoming a mad man, with the thirst to kill nearly anyone in his sight. After an encounter with a mysterious man known as The Thespian, who is supposedly responsible for Annabel’s death, the album is set up to end with a huge twist. Love kills, and while it may take a few listens to really understand this clever story, Alesana’s The Emptiness is definitely a story you don’t want to miss.

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