Best Progressive Metal Albums


The Top Ten

1 Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory - Dream Theater

This is, by far, the best metal-prog ever made! And to those debating Led Zeppelin, sorry but no. Led Zeppelin will probably remain the best band ever to me! And it's true they did some prog-metal songs, even some pre-punk songs, and yes, to me, they remain as the fathers of hard-rock forever, but it is precisely that: hard-rock fathers, and even to some degree, metal ones too(Rover, Achilles Last Stand, etc...) But we are talking about progressive metal here! If at some point in time Dream Theater got influenced by Zeppelin I don't know, but this as nothing to do with Led Zeppelin! And it is one of the reasons why I love it! This is a masterpiece on it's own! They did this fkn brilliant album and they "owe" nothing for it! It is sublime and epic in it's own right!

Nothing will ever top Scenes From a Memory. The songwriting, the instrumentation, the storyline. Everything is just perfect.

Most amazing prog metal album ever written! the songs flow amazingly one after the other, and all have a different feel to them.

This is the definition of music as an art

V 6 Comments
2 Blackwater Park - Opeth

This album should not only top this list, but it should also be mentioned among the best albums of music art ever. 400 years from now, music scholars will revere Opeth the way literary scholars talk about Shakespeare today.

Definitely Opeth's magnus opus, It is dark and cold. Mikael's vocals go from the most demonic/evil to the most beautiful sounds you will ever hear. The album is packed with amazing musicianship as well, it is truly a Masterpiece. 5/5

THe complexity, atmosphere, and overall brain melting compositions that Opeth come out with never cease to amaze me, but Blackwater is definitely their greatest release. -

Best album eveer! - myasser

V 9 Comments
3 Lateralus - Tool

This is my favorite tool album, and also my favorite album of all time. I have to admit, I was a changed man after I heard the title track to this album. I can't really call it a "song", because that would kind of be an understatement. it is not just a song, it is like a meditation session. it is long and it teaches you something by the end. it starts out small with a quiet riff and you go through this long "pilgrimage" (is the best word to describe it as) by the end you feel like you've come a long way, and you remember that it all started with that quiet riff and you finally realize that this song has been going on for 9 minutes. I just get lost in this song.
This song and album is an amazing work of art.

Of course it's great. This album is a slow burn that takes 30-listens to like, 50-listens to love, then you come A Perfect Circle and realise it was love at first sight. Epic!

This and aenima are the best symphony x should also be higher please vote

One of the best album ever! it is progressive, dirty and clever

V 7 Comments
4 Images and Words - Dream Theater

I'd say this is slightly better than metropolis pt 2. There are no bad songs on this album and pull me under, metropolis pt 1, under a glass moon, and learning to live are absolute masterpieces.

I'd say this is better than Metropolis, Take the Time, Under a Glass moon, class songs like

Perfect and beautiful and powerful

Best prog album ever

V 2 Comments
5 Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche

Clearly all of you who aren't voting this as number 1 have simply never heard it. Yes, Blackwater Park, Images and Words, and Scenes from a Memory are all great, but this album is clearly the greatest. Incredibly story, fantastic vocals and guitar work, not to mention the fantastic rhythm section. Variety? Prog elements? Heavy riffs? Everything you could want in a Prog Metal (or any metal album for that matter) in one album.

Album that will last for the ages. There is not one song that would be considered a miss. Love to see to original line up just one more time!

It's creative. It has an awesome storyline. Fantastic work on instruments. And Tate's brilliant vocals. A masterpiece.

This is my favorite album of all time by far.

V 6 Comments
6 Still Life - Opeth

The moor, godhead lament, face of melinda, and white cluster. great album with all songs 100000/10 rating

My most beloved work of Opeth! And the foundation of the essencial Opeth-style. Blackwater Park just added a few more rock elements to it, but this one deserves the honor. Especially because it is more of a true concept album in my eyes.

Best concept album ever

7 Colors - Between the Buried and Me

I am amaze this not in the top ten. It is pure musical perfection. I would say bands like Tool, Opeth, and Dream Theater on the whole are better but Color is the best album! Lateralus, Metropolis 2, and Watershed are the only ones even close.

Between the Buried and Me, Dream Theater, Animals As Leaders and Tool are definitely the most talented bands out there. Colors is a true masterpiece and deserves to be in the top ten.

An album that can transition from death metal riffs to a polka breakdown truly deserves to be above 10.

This should be right behind Blackwater Park as #2.

V 4 Comments
8 The Divine Wings of Tragedy - Symphony X

One of the best albums ever made. Of Sins And Shadows, The Accolade, Sea of Lies and not to mention the masterpiece Candlelight Fantasia...

All symphony X albums are under rated. I just could not believe how far I had to school down to find the odyssey! - Messej

Symphony X's best album to date. Landmark albums of prog metal.

Symphony x is largely underrated band

V 1 Comment
9 Aenima - Tool

Yes. I can't listen to this one anymore because I would, in all honesty, have played it over a thousand times. The gold standard of progressive rock/metal (though I don't think they're metal).

It's a classic, what else can be said? Everything comes together beautifully. Tool is hands down the most consistent band to ever constantly put out good albums.

Aenema 46 and 2 stinkfist

10 Ghost Reveries - Opeth

Amazingly produced album. The engineering and production value in this album is immense. Perfectly placed instruments, wonderful vocals and quality music. This album deserves number 1 for the production value alone.

The best prog/metal album of the last ten years

This is the album that brought me from prog rock to prog metal.

Just a great album full of great songs

V 1 Comment

The Contenders

11 The Detached - Anubis Gate

Very happy Anubis Gate is in the top ten and getting lots of attention. They really know how to range from intense to beautiful and atmospheric pieces of music. Another great album by an underrated band. If you haven't listened to them, I strongly encourage you do it now!

You haven't listened to prog until you've listened to Anubis Gate. Dream Theater and Opeth aren't the only prog bands out there expand your ears!

Not just one of the best prog albums ever made. Not just one of the best metal albums ever made. One of the best albums ever made, period.

You seriously can't beat this album. Absolute perfection!

V 1 Comment
12 Awake - Dream Theater

Songs, sound, simply superior!

Better than Scenes from a memory

Not even in the top 10? ARE you crazy? in my humble opinion their best work so far! A perfect balance between technical and sentimental, deep lyrics excellent orchestrations!

My favourite is SFAM but this needs to be higher!

V 1 Comment
13 Second Life Syndrome - Riverside

Just perfect, one of my favourite albums of all times.

14 The Human Equation - Ayreon

My honest, entirely truthful and highly critical opinion of this overcomplicated boredom festival is that for all it's galaxy, alien bull ayreon is quite a simple project. They are simply. Spread the word brothers, spread the word!

This should be higher on the list, what an incredible album. Probably my favorite Ayreon album.

15 Crack the Skye - Mastodon

A paraplegic wandering the astral plane gets sent on a time travelling mission to rasputin-era Russia. Now that's prog! "Oblivion" is an excellent intro track to ease you into the less-accesible masterpieces of this album, "the czar" and "the last baron." If you've ever wondered what a metal version of Yes or King Crimson would sound like, do yourself a favor and give this a listen

A purely amazing album, with epics such as The Czar and The Last Baron

Phenomenal album. One of the best bands of all time. Great instrumentation, amazing song progression.

16 A Dramatic Turn of Events - Dream Theater

Unrepeatable album
John what did you done for us?
you made us unpleasant with other music - Odinest

17 Awaken the Guardian - Fates Warning

Defined and still defines anything Prog has to express

Greatest album of all time. - Caleb9000

18 10,000 Days - Tool

This is one of their deepest albums. Starting with the heavy critic to our society, Vicarious, which transitions to Jambi, a beautiful song that talks about whatever you want it to talk about... And then Wings for marie and 10.000 days. My god, is this album deep.

I'll vote for this one, but it's my least favourite album of theirs. There are some standout tracks, but it becomes a bit of a chore, and is far too ponderous to compete with their other material.

In my opinion the best album Tool has made so far. Can't wait for their new album to finally be completed...

This is so good

V 1 Comment
19 Ocean Machine: Biomech - Devin Townsend

"It's like a death, becomes musical, it's musical." Not only the greatest progressive metal album, but in my opinion the greatest ALBUM of all time.

True prog in an atmospheric and emotIonal way. The music itself isn't complex but it conveys many complex emotions. Especially funeral bastard and death of music

Ranking Dream Theater and Tool over this masterpiece of music is an insult to music itself

Since I can't find Infinity on this list... OM will do the service. Dev's the man.

V 2 Comments
20 O3 a Trilogy Part 3 - Dominici

Anybody who considerd themselves a fan of Dream Theater should check out this MASTERPIECE of Progressive Metal! I would say it evens rivals the likes of Images and Words. The songs flow well, they are heavy, progressive, and Charles Dominici pulls off the aggressive vocal style much better than Mr. Labrie. So if you love Prog Metal, then what's not to like?

21 Altered State - Tesseract

Amazing album melodic and great and their best

This is a high-quality djent release, but it's not as heavy as One and is far ponderous.

V 2 Comments
22 Remedy Lane - Pain of Salvation

This album in my opinion should be in the top 20 at least...excellent musicianship, great vocals...their last great album unfortunately...

23 The Sound of Perseverance - Death

Never would have guessed it was a prog album, but good anyways! Wait... No it's not good, it FANTASTIC! - InsanityJoe

Fantastic album! - Spineapple

24 In Absentia - Porcupine Tree

A great album from start to finish.

V 2 Comments
25 Hypothetical - Threshold

A m a z I n g.

Nothing more to say, dramatic, dreamy, emotional melodies and atmospheres, with a great heaviness and WONDERFUL solos... A MUST!

26 Paradise Lost - Symphony X
27 Octavarium - Dream Theater

Whoever didn't vote this because they never heard it, go listen to the title track, then say with a straight face you prefer something by opeth or queensryche

Very well made album (musically and lyrically). Great meaning and songs are strong, sentimental at times and epic, especially the last one!

Title track is one of the best songs I've ever heard, but most of the rest of this album is pretty mediocre in my opinion

One of Dream Theater's best. Deserves to be higher.

V 1 Comment
28 Tall Poppy Syndrome - Leprous

Definitely my favorite Leprous album. Incredible album by an amazing band that deserves more recognition.

Best album by the best band out there!
I'm so excited which band will take it's place in the future if any band ever does..

29 Hemispheres - Rush
30 Back to Times of Splendor - Disillusion
31 Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Dream Theater

Why is this so low?!

32 The 1st Chapter - Circus Maximus

I would put this top 20 for sure. Circus Maximus is probably the best progressive metal band of the last 10 years or whose debut album came out after 2000.

33 Train of Thought - Dream Theater

If you're struggling to find a #1 progressive metal album, just log in to eBay, type in Between the Buried and Me's album Parallax II: Future Sequence, punch in your credit card details, and you'll soon be in possession of the greatest 72-minute progressive metal album ever made. Easy.

I accept that it is close to impossible to choose an number 1. and f you voted for so thing else I don't blame you. there are so many awesome albums on this list that I was overwhelmed at the choice. although this my favorite albums like ocatavarium, images and words, metropolis pt2, blackwater park lateralus, divine wings of tragedy, paradise lost, iconoclast, and many many others are almost unbelievably awesome! - Messej

34 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Iron Maiden

This is maidens 2nd best in my opinion after "Somewhere in Time", but it's not prog. So this album is superb! - InsanityJoe

35 Watershed - Opeth
36 From Mars to Sirius - Gojira

Fantastic album! It's a solid listen all the way through, as soon as you hear "Ocean Planet" kick in you know you're in for a ride.

Simply an amazing album from the French progressive band Gojira. Take a listen if you haven't yet, it will blow your mind!

37 V - Symphony X

Classical metal, songs, Singer!

Should be so much higher

Best Symphony X album

38 Focus - Cynic

This was the gold standard of progressive death, but Between the Buried and Me own that honour now.

39 This Godless Endeavor - Nevermore

All of their albums have been solid releases but on This Godless Endeavor, all the ingredients (musicianship, vocals, lyrics, chemistry) combine to provide us with the best album I ever listened to.

Yeah, standout progressive thrash.

40 Periphery II: This Time It's Personal - Periphery

Yes, I'm not a huge fan, but you cannot deny their musicianship, vocals, production values, and class. A bit more riffage and I'd buy everything of theirs, but only have this one for now.

41 My Arms, Your Hearse - Opeth
42 Hall of the Mountain King - Savatage

Savatage is the best... And I don't know why there really not so famous, and some people barely heard of them, there solos and lyrics and music is divine!

V 1 Comment
43 Dimension Hatross - Voivod

Are you kidding me? These youngsters don't seem to know Voivod. This is certainly their best album; it's Motorhead meets Pink Floyd on bath salts, and I'm not talking about the kind your mom uses! Listen to Tribal Convictions.

V 1 Comment
44 Language - The Contortionist
45 Permanent Waves - Rush

Rush aren't metal.

46 Crimson - Edge of Sanity
47 Transcendence - Crimson Glory

What?! It's one of the best! Top 10!

Very Underrated!

48 Crimson Glory - Crimson Glory
49 Autotheism - The Faceless
50 Morningrise - Opeth
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Top Ten Greatest Modern Progressive Rock and Metal Albums Best Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal Albums Best Progressive Thrash Metal Albums Best Progressive Rock and Metal Albums of 2015 by Underground Bands Best Progressive Death Metal Albums

List Stats

1,000 votes
178 listings
6 years, 297 days old

Top Remixes (19)

1. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory - Dream Theater
2. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
3. Images and Words - Dream Theater
1. Still Life - Opeth
2. Bath - Maudlin of the Well
3. Blackwater Park - Opeth
1. Still Life - Opeth
2. Blackwater Park - Opeth
3. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche

View All 19

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.