Best Progressive Metal Albums

truemetal

The Top Ten

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

I love Opeth and Tool more than DT but this album is the magnum opus of prog metal, nothing will ever top this.

Top two are correct - DenyYourMaker

Perfect Album, 10/10. Not many can claim that

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!

11 Comments
2 Blackwater Park - Opeth

The only reason this is at #2 and not #1 is because some people dislike growls and aren't open-minded enough to give them a chance.

I love most of the bands in this list but this album is just superlative.

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

12 Comments
3 Lateralus - Tool

Best just I can say

Great

├ćnima and 10,000 days deserve to be higher. Lateralus and Blackwater Park. Close to the Edge, and Animals are my favorite albums. EVER. MASTERPIECE too. Personal taste, I don't like Metropolis Part 2 from Dream Theater and there are other albums I very much prefer, I find that that album to be too cheesy + do not like the vocalist + from what I remembered the lyricism itself was pretty repetitive to the point you're sitting there thinking " We get it, the girl is dead." I swear they repeat that 7 times throughout the album. It's not even a "good" story. I'll probably have to look back into it again, because after listening to that album twice I couldn't get into it other than the Dance of Eternity, that instrumental is a a work of art. I prefer my Tool & Opeth though

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.

12 Comments
4 Images and Words - Dream Theater

You can tell its older... It doesn't have Videos, Maps, Shopping, etc.

Amazing album! You can play it 1000 times and always find something new in it! Absolute masterpiece. Vivaldi would be a fan of DT!

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

4 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.

Simply the best for me.

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.

7 Comments
6 Colors - Between the Buried and Me

This should be right behind Blackwater Park as #2.

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.

4 Comments
7 Still Life - Opeth

This is probably the only album on this list that I won't mind listening to on occasions. - Vip3r

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

8 Crack the Skye - Mastodon

Epic.

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

Not good! This over-praised album is filled with bunch of boring and dull tracks barring The Czar. - Vip3r

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

1 Comment
9 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!

1 Comment
10 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

I would say that Six Degrees of Inner Turbulance is a better DT album - germshep24

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

2 Comments

The Contenders

11 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.

This is so good

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...

1 Comment
12 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

1 Comment
13 Second Life Syndrome - Riverside

Truly the one of the shiniest gems in the history of prog metal. A very versatile and yet extremely cohesive album. The very best of Riverside.

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

14 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).

Not a single decent track in here. - Vip3r

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

15 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

1 Comment
16 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!

1 Comment
17 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

18 Paradise Lost - Symphony X
19 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.

20 Back to Times of Splendor - Disillusion
21 The Sound of Perseverance - Death

If you're not at least familiar with this, you have no idea what you're missing out

Chuck is the best, heard everything till 2019 and he's still the best, I know petrucci is amazing vai romeo, I played rondat vivaldi's tribute I know I know they are all amazing musicians, but chuck was the one who made me love music. RIP

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

Fantastic album! - Spineapple

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 A Dramatic Turn of Events - Dream Theater

Besides Milke Portnoy not being on here, this album was really good with some of DT best tracks out there. Becomes better per listening also.

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

24 Altered State - Tesseract

Amazing album melodic and great and their best

Perfection... Almost

Next all star

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

25 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?

26 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!

27 The Astonishing - Dream Theater
28 The Mountain - Haken

Possibly the best Progressive Metal album of the 2010s. It's inventive, grandiose and diverse. From the comedic Cockroach King, to the scale and grandeur of Falling Back to Earth, and the fantastic riffage in Pareidolia, this album doesn't falter a single time, even with shorter but just as impressive songs mixed in-between the monster 10+ minute tracks mentioned above. People say that the influences are very clear, but I will argue that this is better than anything that THAT band has put out since 1999 (and possibly ever, though that's just me). Haken are the new prog gods of the metal scene, and this is their magnum opus.

This being at 83 astounds me. Easily the best album of the year it was released, definitely top 5 in the 2010s. Haken packs a punch of musicality, complexity, and just a little oddity to create a MASTERPIECE. Absolutely 10/10.

29 Awaken the Guardian - Fates Warning

Defined and still defines anything Prog has to express

Greatest album of all time. - Caleb9000

30 Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree

Best Prog Album Ever tons better than DT.

A Underrated masterpiece, deserves to be higher. Definitely deserves

Best album of Porcupine Tree

31 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..

32 The Way of All Flesh - Gojira
33 Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Dream Theater

Dream Theater never fails to release abominations after abominations --- great consistency! - Vip3r

Why is this so low?!

34 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.

35 In Absentia - Porcupine Tree

A great album from start to finish.

It's great, but it's not metal.

Agreed.

36 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.

2 Comments
37 Focus - Cynic

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

38 Permanent Waves - Rush

Rush aren't metal.

Not metal, but still bloody awesome! - CaptDeadeye

39 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.

40 V - Symphony X

Best Symphony X album

Should be so much higher

Classical metal, songs, Singer!

41 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!

42 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.

43 Language - The Contortionist
44 Hall of the Mountain King - Savatage

This album deserves to also be on the best power metal genre list. I believe it also counts as a proper power metal album, even though Savatage was not an all-around power metal band. Also, it deserves much more recognition than it gets. I mean, Savatage was one of the first metal bands to truly orchestrate and combine rock, opera, and classical music in to metal with the help of the producer, Paul O'Neil, and this album was the wonderful product of doing so. Just listen to "Prelude to Madness" and the title track. You'll see what I mean.

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!

This is just an amazing album!

45 Autotheism - The Faceless
46 Crimson - Edge of Sanity
47 Salival - Tool

The most profound, expensive, and great cd/dvd set a prog fan can own. It's so good that you'll pay $140 US just so your best mate can talk to you how great it is. The live revamped version of Push It. My Third Eye, You Lied, No Quarter...I'd buy this epic set 3-times over. The business!

48 Watershed - Opeth
49 Citadel - Ne Obliviscaris

Deranged Aussie progressive act. Watch this space.

50 Aquarius - Haken

Great album. Masterpiece

8Load More
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal Albums Best Progressive Metal Albums of 2015 Best Progressive Metal Albums of the 1980s Best Progressive Metal Albums of the 1990s Best Progressive Thrash Metal Albums

List Stats

2,000 votes
208 listings
8 years, 108 days old

Top Remixes (23)

1. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory - Dream Theater
2. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
3. Images and Words - Dream Theater
JamesHetfield13
1. The Mountain - Haken
2. Focus - Cynic
3. Crimson - Edge of Sanity
Alkadikce
1. Still Life - Opeth
2. Bath - Maudlin of the Well
3. Blackwater Park - Opeth
headlokband777

WRemix
View All 23

Error Reporting

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