Best Progressive Death Metal Bands

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.

Opeth in my opinion is the greatest band of all time. Mikael Akerfeldt is God.

Masters of this sub genre. A lot has been expressed about their greatness and my opinion won't make much of a difference. I'm not not at all mad that they have switched their genre, because objectively they still sound great.

Thoroughly deserving of the top spot - the greatest band of my generation. I love their recent stuffs like Pale Communion too.

Very good Progressive Melodic Death Metal. Still Life and Blackwater Park are one of my all-time favorites.

I wished they kept their style, but unfortunately they do Prog Rock now...

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.

Myth debunk: Death did not invent progressive death metal. Only Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance are progressive death metal albums. Human and Individual Patterns are just technical death metal. So Death's first progressive death metal album was in 1995, which is predated by Atheist's Unquestionable Presence by 4 years

Late era Death (since the Human album) is definitely Progressive Death Metal and the best of its kind in my opinion. Human, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic and The Sound Of Perseverance are superb albums and not much bands reach this class!

First off, how is Death not #1 since they basically made the genre, and second of all, The Sound of Perseverance and symbolic are the best reasons for why they should be in the first slot. Opeth is great and all, but Death tops all.

No one tops them. They made death metal, and evolved it to something bigger since "Human".

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.

Most amazing entity of the 21st century to come along

The song writing and passion put in their albums is astonishing, awesome band m/

4 Edge of Sanity Edge of Sanity was a Swedish progressive death metal band that, alongside Opeth, is commonly regarded as being the first to fuse extreme metal styles like death and black metal with progressive rock. Their sound is often described as "Progressive Melodic Death Metal".

CRIMSON

Absolute gods of the genre. The best work of Swanö was done here.

Dan Swanö is a legend! Everything his hands touch becomes magical, I guess. Edge of Sanity with Dan Swanö as songwriter and vocalist made epic albums!
Only their debut was a bit weak and the 2 albums, where Dan didn't wrote all the songs (Cryptic & Infernal) weren't that great..

Nevertheless the 2 Crimson-Albums and Purgatory Afterglow are Progressive Melodic Death Masterpieces!

5 Atheist Atheist is a progressive/technical death metal band from Florida, founded in 1984 by drummer Steve Flynn and singer/guitarist Kelly Shaefer.

The best ever prog death band, the fathers of genre.

Incredible Avantgarde/Progressive Death Metal band. Not as melodic as Edge of Sanity or Opeth, but way more progressive!
Their sound is an excellent mixture of Jazz, Progressive Metal and many Death Metal elements.
Unquestionable Presence was a true masterpiece and Piece of Time was almost similary incredible!
(Their later albums are not that superb, but still good in my opinion.)

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

A clear and distinct focus on delivering absolutely beautiful melodies. This is music.

How is this band not right next to Opeth already?

Not a single bad song in their discography

its not just music, its an experience

7 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.

Interesting Progressive/Technical Death Metal band from Germany. Definitely good stuff!

When you want to get into Tech Death, I recommend this band to start with. It's not the very best in my opinion, but their sound is very catchy and "easier listenable" than e.g. Martyr. They don't get too complex as other bands, as well.

I'm pretty sure Flav wrote this before Obscura's albums of 2016 and 2018 - there were changes: they got pretty complex and even more technical but still kinda melodic. Great band. - Metal_Treasure

Their new album "Akróasis" is just
a hit and a joy to listen to.
A German band which should not
be missed in your cd/vinyl collection.

8 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.

Legit one of the best in this genre, hands down. Colors is an absolute masterpiece. How are you even on this page if you haven't heard this album?

How are they not top 5?

9 Gorod Gorod is a technical death metal band from Bordeaux, France. They formed in 1997 under the name Gorgasm releasing their debut album Neurotripsicks on Deadsun Records in 2004. They changed their name to Gorod in 2005 to avoid confusion with an American band also called Gorgasm, re-releasing their debut ...read more.

High-class Progressive/Technical Death Metal hailing from France. Leading Vision is one of my all-time favorite albums!

So much talent from these guys, just... unbelievable.

Such an amazing combination of extreme attitude and musical prowess but with great hooks and impeccable sense of style.

My personal favorites are Leading Visions (10/10) and A Maze of Recycled Creeds (10/10). The first is slightly more song-oriented where the latter shows off more their playing skills, but I love them both equally.

Bottom line - they make good songs. Check em out today!

10 Persefone Persefone is an Andorran progressive melodic death metal band formed in October 2001. The band's name is derived from Persephone, a figure in Greek Mythology.

Absolutely should be higher. Possibly handicapped for exposure simply by being from an unknown place.

Should be higher. More people need to know about this band. The Majestic of Gaia is otherworldly.

The Contenders

11 The Faceless The Faceless is an American technical death metal band from the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

Started as a Technical Deathcore band, but turned into one of the best Progressive/Technical Death Metal acts. I'd recommend Planetary Duality to everyone who likes Tech Death

12 Cynic Cynic is an American band which incorporates elements of progressive, experimental, alternative, and heavy metal. Founded in Miami, Florida. Founding members Paul Masvidal and Sean Reinert publicly revealed their homosexuality in May 2014, a move that was broadly supported by the heavy metal community. ...read more.

Great band, but only released a few Progressive Death albums

Even among Opeth and other big names, and only showing hints of DM in their first 2 records (mainly the first) these guys play in a higher league.

13 Devin Townsend Project Devin Townsend Project was a Canadian progressive metal band founded in 2008 and another venture of Devin Townsend, considered separate from the material released as Devin Townsend.
14 Oni Oni is a Canadian progressive/djent metal band formed in 2014. In 2016 they released their debut album - Ironshore. ...read more.
15 In Mourning In Mourning is a progressive melodic death metal band from Falun, Sweden. They are currently signed to Agonia Records.

Really an underrated band. Check out their album The Weights of Oceans.

16 Pestilence Pestilence is a death metal band from the Netherlands founded in 1986. They are known for incorporating jazz and fusion elements into their music.

They started as a great Thrash Metal band, then became one of the most prestigious Old-School Death Metal acts and then turned to an "okay" Progressive Death Metal/Jazz Fusion band in my opinion.

I liked their previous sound more. I think the new sound isn't bad, but not great either..

17 Martyr Martyr is a Canadian death metal band from Trois-Rivières, Québec, founded in 1994 by brothers Daniel and François Mongrain.

Awesome Progressive/Technical Death Metal band. I really dig their stuff, especially the "Warp Zone" album.

18 Rivers Of Nihil

Incorporating Sax in Death Metal? Next level prog.

Album- where owls know my name...
and I rest my case.

19 Beyond Creation Beyond Creation is a Canadian technical death metal band from Montreal, Quebec. They are currently signed to Season of Mist records.

This Canadian band has just turned metal on a higher instrumental level.

They have recorded real masterpieces.

20 Katatonia Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band has released nine studio albums spanning the course of three decades, and their tenth studio album, The Fall of Hearts was released on May 20, 2016.

For Funerals To Come EP is what I consider to be their best. Authentic, unique... Jonas is severely underrated for his extreme vocals. This is where they surpass peers and friends Opeth in every way.

21 Akercocke Akercocke are an English progressive blackened death metal band from London, England, formed in 1997 by Jason Mendonca and David Gray.

Progressive Blackened Death Metal. The only one I've heard

22 Be'Lakor Be'lakor is an Australian melodic death metal band from Melbourne, Victoria. The band's name originates from the character Be'lakor the Dark Master, in the Warhammer Fantasy game setting.

After Opeth and Edge of Sanity, Be'Lakor is my favourite progressive death metal band. Go to listen "Countless Skies" and you will understand what this band can do!

Best of the best

23 Black Crown Initiate

Black Crown Initiate brings progressive vocal singing, melody split between guitars and vocal and drums especially to a death metal genre they aren't limiting themselves to. They like to own the atmosphere of the track ; the grain of the wood to deliver their nails of riffness. I feel its more apt to call them deathcore side by side with Heaven Shall Burn. You'll get your blast beats and crushing gain guitars ; just don't name drop wanting to claim you have the heaviest typecast for your bragging rights. BCI has their own identity; it's a feat that I liken to an early 1990s band "Into Another" which also dodged major acclaim despite enviable recorded material.

24 Fallujah
25 Alkaloid

Can't really go wrong with Hannes Grossmann and Christian Muenzner in your line-up.

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