Best Avant Garde Rock Bands

The Top Ten

1 King Crimson King Crimson King Crimson is a British progressive rock band that was formed in 1969. While the band has had numerous lineup changes, the head of the band has always been Robert Fripp (guitar). However, the most notable lineup is between 1972-75, consisting of Fripp, John Wetton (bass/vocals), Bill Bruford (drums), ...read more.

King Crimson are usually underrated but surprisingly they appear twice in the top 10 of this list (at # 6 and #9). - Metal_Treasure

The most prophetic band ever

Take an aqualung my friend and it'll take you in the beyond with a locomotive breath

2 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd Pink Floyd was an English progressive rock band formed in 1965 in London, England. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members - David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitar), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters ...read more.

Seems some people here do not understand the meaning of Avant Garde rock, lol. And, if you think Pink Floyd was commercial or main stream for their time you weren't even close to being born much less a twinkle in your daddies eye!

This list is a joke. Bands like Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and The Who aren't even avant garde. If you want some real avant garde rock then I recommend you check out Buckethead.

Not even avant garde

Why isn't the residents #1?

2 Comments
3 The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground The Velvet Underground was an American rock band, active between 1964 and 1973, formed in New York City.

I don't know how Pink Floyd is considered Avant Garde in anyway. Most of their albums were commercial music well suited for its time, regardless of quality

I am sure these rock artists are avant-garde: The Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Captain Beefheart, The Residents. - Metal_Treasure

Why is this not #1?

Lou reed and nothing else
Psychedelia and poetry at it's best
My personal favorite band
Certainly the best American band

4 The Beatles The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented ...read more.

How are they avant garde they only did two avant garde songs and one of them is one the anthology

From 1967 to 1969 there were avant garde

5 Frank Zappa Frank Zappa Frank Vincent Zappa was an American musician, songwriter, composer, record producer, actor and filmmaker.

Imma move to Montana soon! I'll be raisin' my lonely... Dental floss...

6 Mr. Bungle Mr. Bungle Mr. Bungle was an American experimental rock band from Northern California. Known for a highly eclectic style, the band often cycled through several musical genres within the course of a single song, including heavy metal, avant-garde jazz, ska, disco as well as funk.

My namesake and favorite band. I even have the officlal $150 Mr. Bungle clown mask. A perfect reimagining of quirky prog acts like zappa. - BungleBoy69

This is just one of Patton's bands that is recognized.

This band is insane

This and Zappa is the only avant-garde band of this list, the rest is NOT avant-garde

1 Comment
7 Captain Beefheart Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet was an American singer, songwriter, musician and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart.

A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous. Ya got me?

One of the only bands on here that could be considered avant garde rock

yes

8 The Who The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964. The most recognizable lineup was Roger Daltrey (lead vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass guitar), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O'Riley, My Generation, and ...read more.

Not the generation
But gems like pinball wizard and baba o riley

9 The Residents The Residents The Residents are an American art collective best known for avant-garde music and multimedia works. Since their first official release, Meet the Residents, the group has released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects, and ten DVDs.

This band is the very definition of Avante Garde.

10 Sonic Youth Sonic Youth Sonic Youth was an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Lee Ranaldo remained together for the entire history of the band, while Steve Shelley followed a series of short-term drummers in 1985, and rounded out the core line-up.

The Contenders

11 Radiohead Radiohead Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwoood (bass guitar), Phil Selway (drums), and Ed O'Brien (guitar).
12 Swans
13 Bjork Bjork Björk Guðmundsdóttir, known mononymously as Björk, is an Icelandic singer and songwriter. She is most famous for her eclectic music styles and experimentation on electronic pop music.

Part of her music is really avant-garde but it's not rock. - Metal_Treasure

14 Can Can Can was a German experimental rock band formed in Cologne, West Germany in 1968 by the core quartet of Holger Czukay (bass), Irmin Schmidt (keyboards), Michael Karoli (guitar), and Jaki Liebezeit (drums). The group cycled through several vocalists, including Malcolm Mooney ('68–70) and Damo Suzuki ...read more.

What the Beatles and Pink Floyd aren't even avant garde lol

15 Cream Cream Cream were a 1960s British rock supergroup power trio consisting of bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, drummer Ginger Baker, and guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton.
16 Butthole Surfers Butthole Surfers Butthole Surfers is an American rock band formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1981.
17 Roxy Music Roxy Music Roxy Music were an English rock band formed in 1970 by Bryan Ferry, who became the band's lead vocalist and chief songwriter, and bassist Graham Simpson.

I am sure only about these 4 bands (that they play avant-garde 'rock music in the strict sense). - Metal_Treasure

18 System of a Down System of a Down System of a Down formed in 1994 as an Armenian-American Alternative Metal group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. ...read more.

How is System of a Down an avant-garde band? There legitimately like every other Nu Metal, or aggro-metal, band out there.

If you think that then I doubt you've listened to an System of a Down song other than Chop Suey. - DarkBoi-X

19 Yes Yes Yes is an English progressive rock band formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire and singer Jon Anderson. They first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music. Their best known song is their 1971 hit "Roundabout" off of their album Fragile.
20 Meshuggah Meshuggah Meshuggah is a Swedish progressive metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. They are often considered the fathers or founders of the djent metal sub genre due to their use of downtuned guitars. They are also known for their song “Bleed”, which is known for its extremely complicated instrumentation, ...read more.
21 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their strong influence on the development of extreme metal. Formed in 1981 as Hellhammer, the band became Celtic Frost in 1984 and was active until 1993.

They are a good band

22 The Dillinger Escape Plan The Dillinger Escape Plan The Dillinger Escape Plan is an American mathcore band from Morris Plains, New Jersey. The group originated in 1997 after the disbanding of Arcane, a hardcore punk trio consisting of Ben Weinman, Dimitri Minakakis, and Chris Pennie.
23 Agalloch Agalloch Agalloch was an American black/folk metal band from Portland, Oregon. They were formed in 1995 by frontman John Haughm. They released five studios albums, four EPs, two singles, one split single, two demos, four compilation albums, and one live video before disbanding in May 2016.
24 The Beach Boys The Beach Boys The Beach Boys are an American pop rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961. The group's original lineup consisted of brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine.
25 Twenty One Pilots Twenty One Pilots Twenty One Pilots is an American musical duo that originates from Columbus, Ohio. Currently there are two members. The lead singer, Tyler Joseph, and the drummer, Josh Dun. At the 2016 American Music Awards, they won two AMAs for Favorite Pop/Rock Artist, and Favorite Alternative Artist. Twenty One ...read more.
26 Boris Boris
27 Voivod Voivod Voivod is a Canadian heavy metal band from Jonquière, Québec. Their musical style has changed several times since the band's origin in the early 1980s. The band's current line-up consists of Denis "Snake" Bélanger, Daniel "Chewy" Mongrain, Dominique "Rocky" Laroche and Michel "Away" Langevin.
28 Procol Harum Procol Harum Procol Harum are an English rock band formed in 1967. They contributed to the development of progressive rock, and by extension, symphonic rock.
29 13th Floor Elevator
30 Talking Heads Talking Heads Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison.
31 Sunn O)))
32 Therion Therion Therion is a Swedish symphonic metal band founded by Christofer Johnsson in 1987. Its name was inspired by the Celtic Frost album To Mega Therion.
33 Tool Tool Tool is an American progressive/alternative/post-metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.
34 Earth
35 Mayhem Mayhem Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. The band is also known for the infamous events surrounding them including the 1991 suicide of vocalist Dead (in which former guitarist Euronymous took pictures of Dead's ...read more.
36 Deftones Deftones Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. The band, which was founded in 1988, consists of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega.
37 Opeth Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with ...read more.
38 Carcass Carcass Carcass are a British extreme metal band from Liverpool, who formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. A reformation was enacted in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons.
39 Napalm Death Napalm Death Napalm Death are a British grindcore/death metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent ...read more.
40 Primus Primus Primus is an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, currently composed of bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander. Les Claypool is regarded as one of the best bassists of all time for his slap-bass ability in notable songs like "My Name Is Mud", "The Toys ...read more.
41 Einstürzende Neubauten
42 Portal Portal Portal is an Australian extreme metal band whose style is an unorthodox fusion of death metal, black metal, dark ambient and experimental music.
43 Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian extreme metal band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; ...read more.
44 Les Rallizes Dénudés
45 U.S. Maple
46 Kayo Dot
47 Leprous Leprous Leprous is a Norwegian progressive metal band formed in 2001 in Notodden, Norway. The band gained prominence as the backing band for former Emperor frontman Ihsahn's live shows.
48 Ween Ween Ween is an American experimental rock band formed in 1984, in New Hope, PA. It's members are Dean and Gene Ween.
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List StatsUpdated 15 Aug 2019

200 votes
48 listings
8 years, 31 days old

Top Remixes

1. The Velvet Underground
2. Captain Beefheart
3. The Residents
Metal_Treasure
1. Frank Zappa
2. Mr. Bungle
3. Sonic Youth
JCHOW
1. The Beatles
2. Pink Floyd
3. The Who
ziggy

WRemix

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