Best Progressive Metal Albums

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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

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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. -

Overrated, not even Opeth's best!

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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

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4 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.

I remember downloading this album at 3am one night that I just couldn't sleep, I was new to the band and was curious to hear it, that night turned out to be one of the most satisfying experiences, insomia never sounded so good.
This being a concept album made the experience as a whole even better, reading along the lyrics made even more sense as the story is very deep with characters that will have an impact on you.
Later on I bought the remastered cd with bonus tracks and saw them live in nyc when they played the album in its entirety along with some other classics.
Will never forget that cold winter sleepless night though. 5/5

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5 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

Damn good album

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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 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.

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8 10,000 Days - Tool

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...

It's a landmark album in progressive metal genre.It's a masterpiece.

9 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

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10 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!

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The Contenders

11 Second Life Syndrome - Riverside
12 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

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13 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.

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14 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.

BTBAM is one of the bands that have revolutionized the prog scene in the last years and Colors is clearly a milestone in the history of proggresive metal. This album includes so many influences and manages to blend them into a masterpiece.

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15 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!

This is my personal favorite from DT. Not a big fan of James' vocals but I do enjoy them here.
The album has a darker feel as well and the production is so clear you can hear every note. The whole album just feels so musically inspiring from beginning to end in all of its aspects. 5/5 a must for any prog metal fan out there.

16 Paradise Lost - Symphony X
17 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.

18 A Dramatic Turn of Events - Dream Theater

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

19 Ocean Machine: Biomech - Devin Townsend

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

"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.

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

Probably THE best album ever

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20 Awaken the Guardian - Fates Warning

Greatest album of all time. - Caleb9000

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List StatsUpdated 25 May 2017

1,000 votes
169 listings
5 years, 301 days old

Top Remixes (16)

1. Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory - Dream Theater
2. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
3. Images and Words - Dream Theater
JamesHetfield13
1. Still Life - Opeth
2. Bath - Maudlin of the Well
3. Blackwater Park - Opeth
headlokband777
1. Still Life - Opeth
2. Blackwater Park - Opeth
3. Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
headlokband777

WRemix
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