Greatest Tech/Extreme Prog Metal Bands

Tech/extreme prog metal is a subgenre of progressive rock with roots in Extreme Metal or strongly influenced by it. The style developed by the end of the 80s in the Thrash Metal scene when a number of bands stretched the boundaries of their sound by including elements from Progressive Rock. Death Metal followed a similar path in the 90s and by the 2000s, also Black Metal and Metalcore saw an increasing amount of bands taking in Prog influences. Here are some of the bands and artists of the genre that I consider the best.

The items for this list are based off of the classifications used on the Progarchives website.
The Top Ten
1 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

Atmophseric, dark progressive death metal at its finest. The songs often will have some elements of beauty among them as well, courtesy of Mikael Akerfeldts incredible voice, being able to produce chilling death growls and some incredible clean passages. Their sound is also quite diverse in this area, with some early works sounding more like melodic black metal along the lines of Dissection, while they've also gone the opposite way and made some fairly decent standard prog rock, along with the amazingly haunting Damnation.

2 Death Death was an American death metal band formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band's... read more

Dishonorable Mention: For using the word Tech or Extreme to define this band
There's nothing technical or extreme about any of their albums post-spiritual healing. They were primarily a very accessible PROG METAL band, not extreme nor technical. I often see fans of mainstream pop metal bands listening to their stuffs like Symbolic and everything except the first three albums because they can't seem to wrap their head around death metal. Show them real death metal, they'll run away in a trice. I've no problem if you don't like death metal but please stop pretending you do when you don't listen to anything but this mediocre prog metal band's garbage prog outputs.

3 Gojira Gojira is a progressive metal band from Bayonne, France. The band was known as Godzilla until 2001. Gojira is composed of Joe Duplantier on vocals and rhythm guitar, his brother Mario Duplantier on drums, Christian Andreu on lead guitar, and Jean-Michel Labadie on bass.

What this band does best is making amazingly heavy music, with particular focus on bone crushing riffs. The production and mixing of their music provides it with an extremely large, spacious feel to it, further increasing the intensity of their music, making each individual note feel incredible impactful and powerful. They also are able to weave in some more emotional, beautiful moments in song such as Global Warming and The Gift of Guilt.

4 Between the Buried and Me Between the Buried and Me is an American progressive metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2000, the band consists of Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr.

The way this band transitions from one riff or section to another seamlessly, no matter what the change is, ranging from heavy death metal breakdowns to bluegrass, makes it an incredibly interesting listen. Each song is incredibly dynamic, going from riff to riff extremely quickly, while still being able to keep it sounding extremely good the whole way through. The clean sections also tend to be great, breaking up particularly intense sections and bringing in some amazing melodies in the process.

5 Ne Obliviscaris Ne Obliviscaris (Latin for "forget not") are an extreme progressive metal band from Melbourne, Australia, formed in 2003.

Ne oblisviscaris doesn't need to be in top ten when there are other bands on the list who are way more skilled, talented and great.
Their songs aren't anything unusual or of a new concept, Simply walks in the crowd - Generic and not complex at all.
Using violins all the time isn't going to do much, riffs are pretty overshadowed, their stuff don't flow well..and the albums sound similar to each other as they clearly lack inspiration.
And they aren't "extreme" prog from any angle.

I agree with Kempo, they are neither ridiculous nor incredible.

P.S - Ne obliviscaris fan(s)...Don't think of your opinion as a fact.
And try not be hypersensitive or delusional about It. Can't take my opinion? Ignore it.

6 Gorguts Gorguts is a Canadian technical death metal band from Sherbrooke, Quebec. The band was formed in 1989; its only constant member has been Luc Lemay.

Extremely challenging, dissonant music in every way, sounding what Captain Beefheart would have sounded like if he wrote death metal. The songs seem to transition every 5 - 10 seconds, bringing in new, heavy riffs, sounding as if it almost doesn't work properly, yet always just being able to have it work, providing the listener with a feeling that is hard to create, almost always having them be slightly put off due to how unpredictable the music can get.

One of the least accessible metal bands ever. Which is a compliment in a metal context.

7 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
8 Nile Nile is an American technical death metal band from Greenville, South Carolina, United States, formed in 1993. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Ancient Egyptian/Near Eastern mysticism, history, religion, and ancient art, as well as the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
9 Obscura Obscura is a technical/progressive death metal band from Germany, founded in 2002. The band became prominent when members of Necrophagist and Pestilence joined Steffen Kummerer to release the critically acclaimed second full-length album, Cosmogenesis. The band was named after the Gorguts album Obscura... read more

They are a very overrated metal band. I find their music/riffs lacking in emotion and substance. The only thing that they do arguably better than most of the bands on this list is pretentious wankery. They never seem to utilise their strength in the right way or direction and therefore, the output sounds like a hodgepodge of one hundred different elements of music. Technicality at a reasonable degree adds a whole new dimension into the music but this band oftentimes tends to go beyond that limit.

10 Cryptopsy Cryptopsy is a Canadian technical death metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 1988. The band has sold over 300,000 records.

Hmm, I guess they kinda are.

The Contenders
11 Enslaved Enslaved is a Norwegian extreme metal band formed in Haugesund in June 1991. They are currently based in Bergen, Norway.
12 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.

I haven't listened to too much of them so far, but I really love what I'ver heard so far (Nothingface). I've heard it described as Gentle Giant if they went metal, and I can somewhat see the comparison, as both favour much shorter stretches of music that are filled with many different ideas, along with embracing the quirkier side of their respective genre.

13 Spawn of Possession Spawn of Possession was a technical death metal band from Kalmar, Sweden, founded in 1997. In 2017, the band announced their split up via their Facebook page.
14 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.

Each album they make is quite difficult to get into, and each is different from one another, but always very complex and interesting. The band always sounds very fresh and interesting, never seeming as if they've hit a roadblock, with some albums focusing more on vocal harmonies and a slightly symphonic sound to them, while other delve deep into extremely dark atmosphere, while always clearly maturing as each album passes.

15 Vektor Vektor is an American progressive thrash metal band from Tempe, Arizona. The band was formed under the name Locrian around June 2003, but changed their name to Vektor in 2004.
16 Horrendous Established in 2009, Horrendous is an American metal outfit with a distinct approach to death metal. Their music features a melodic undercurrent, merging it with technical aspects to yield a nuanced sound. With a discography that has received praise from critics, the band has carved out a unique space... read more
17 Sikth

While I'm not a major fan of most 'Djent' bands. I find Sikth to be the massive exception to this, due to how unhinged they sound, sounding similar to System of a Down if they decided to become heavier. The vocal work in particular provides this, being quite bizarre in general. Their more experimental moments also separate them from other 'Djent' bands. including some elements of eerie atmosphere and the like.

18 Mastodon Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in early 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor.

While a couple of their later albums are somewhat questionable, in general, this band has put out some incredible material, ranging from extremely heavy, chaotic and aggressive, to sludgy and more prog focused. The technicality here provides for some great songs, especially in terms of some of the riffs that the band comes up with.

19 Beyond Creation Beyond Creation is a Canadian technical death metal band from Montreal, Quebec. They are currently signed to Season of Mist records.
20 Blotted Science Blotted Science is an instrumental technical metal supergroup formed in 2004. It is headed by Ron Jarzombek, bassist Alex Webster and drummer Hannes Grossmann.
21 Animals As Leaders Animals as Leaders is an American progressive metal band from Washington, D.C. It is composed of guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes along with drummer Matt Garstka, having been formed by Abasi in 2007. Their musical style has also been described as djent.
22 Haken Haken are an English progressive metal band formed in 2007 by multi-instrumentalist Richard Henshall, guitarist Matthew Marshall, and vocalist Ross Jennings.
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