Best Progressive Death Metal Bands

ryanrimmel

The Top Ten

1 Opeth 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.

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.

Go listen to Serenity Painted Death all the way through and tell me they're not #1? Most brutal song I've ever heard, and I've been swimming the death metal sea for a loong time.

The most important band of this genre.

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2 Death 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.

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! - Flav

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.

Death is the GOAT

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

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3 Gojira 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.

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

Most amazing entity of the 21st century to come along - heavyheavy

4 Edge of Sanity 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! - Flav

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

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.) - Flav

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

underrated

They’re so similar to Opeth

Not a single bad song in their discography - San_Lakshitha

How is this band not right next to Opeth already?

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7 Obscura 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. - Flav

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. - CannibalCorpse

8 Between the Buried and Me 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 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.

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

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

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 The Faceless 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 - Flav

The Newcomers

? Devin Townsend Project 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.

The Contenders

11 Persefone Persefone Persefone is an Andorran progressive 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.

12 Cynic 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 - ryanrimmel

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 Oni Oni Oni is a Canadian progressive / djent metal band formed in 2014. In 2016 they released their debut album - Ironshore. ...read more.
14 In Mourning In Mourning In Mourning is a progressive death metal band from Falun, Sweden. They are currently signed to Spinefarm Records.

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

15 Martyr 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. - Flav

16 Pestilence Pestilence Pestilence were 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.. - Flav

17 Beyond Creation Beyond Creation

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

They have recorded real masterpieces.

18 Katatonia 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.

19 Rivers Of Nihil

Incorporating Sax in Death Metal? Next level prog.

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

20 Akercocke 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 - ryanrimmel

21 Be'Lakor 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.

Best of the best

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!

22 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.

23 Fallujah Fallujah
24 Nocturnus

This band is incredible! Check out the album *The Key*.

25 Alkaloid

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

26 The Contortionist The Contortionist The Contortionist is an American progressive metal band from Indianapolis, Indiana. Formed in 2007, the band consists of guitarists Robby Baca and Cameron Maynard, drummer Joey Baca, vocalist Mike Lessard, bassist Jordan Eberhardt, and keyboardist Eric Guenther.
27 Extol Extol Extol are a progressive extreme Christian metal band from Bekkestua, Norway that was formed in 1993. The band is known for playing a variety of different styles of metal which include progressive metal, death metal, black metal and thrash metal.

Definitely should be in top 10

28 Swallow The Sun Swallow The Sun Swallow the Sun is a Finnish melodic death/doom metal band. They have a melodic, atmospheric doom metal sound.

Great band. The Morning Never Came is such a terrific album where each and every track on it is simply memorable.

29 Sadist Sadist Sadist is a death metal band from Genoa, Italy, founded in 1991. The band split up in 2000 after releasing their Lego album, but reunited in 2005 and released their self-titled album in 2007.
30 Barren Earth
31 Necrophagist Necrophagist Necrophagist is a German technical death metal band, founded and fronted by guitarist and vocalist Muhammed Suiçmez.

Necrophagist was a German technical death metal band, founded and fronted by guitarist and vocalist Muhammed Suiçmez. The band used classical music influenced compositions paired with extreme metal drumming.

32 Horrendous Horrendous

Not very popular band, but worth a try! Their music is similar to the late era Death. - Flav

33 Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian extreme metal band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; ...read more.
34 Revocation Revocation Revocation is an American technical death metal band from Boston, Massachusetts founded by guitarist and vocalist David Davidson, bassist and vocalist Anthony Buda and drummer Phil Dubois-Coyne in 2000.

Great band - InsanityJoe

David Davison and his jazz background makes this band awesome! Great riffs and great solos.

35 Inanimate Existence
36 Dark Tranquillity Dark Tranquillity Dark Tranquillity is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg formed in 1989. They are one of the longest-standing bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene.
37 The Chasm

Formed in Mexico City in 1992 by vocalist/guitarist Daniel Corchado. Awesome Prog-Death with influences from Classical, Black Metal, Thrash & Doom. Anyone looking at this list NEEDS to hear The Spell of Retribution at the very least!

38 Ghost Brigade
39 First Fragment

Neoclassical Metal / Technical Death Metal from Montréal, Québec, Canada

40 Novembre

Italian Progressive Death/Doom metal band. Go and check them, if you do not know them!

41 Witherscape

Another of Dan Swano's inventions

42 Redemptor

Redemptor is a post death metal act from Poland. Founded in 2001. Following traditions of Death, Gorguts and Morbid Angel, band turns now into some more avant-garde soundscapes. The 3rd album, entitled "Arthaneum" will hit the stores by November 30th 2017. Watch out, this will bring some fresh blood onto a quite generic (recently) death metal scene.

43 Mushroomhead Mushroomhead Mushroomhead is an American nu metal band from Cleveland, Ohio. Formed in 1993 in the Cleveland Warehouse District, the band is known for their avant-garde sound which includes influence from heavy metal, art rock and electro-industrial and their imagery which features masks and costumes as well as ...read more.

What? - FromScytheToSceptre

44 Cormorant
45 Gorguts 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.

One of the best Canadian DM bands alongside Cryptopsy, Martyr and Obliveon. Arguably more Avant-Garde or Experimental but there should be no debate that Pleiades' Dust is a Progressive Death Metal masterpiece! Huge influence on modern bands like Ulcerate and (obviously) Obscura.

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List Stats

800 votes
46 listings
3 years, 219 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Death
2. Opeth
3. Gojira
christangrant
1. Opeth
2. Gojira
3. Edge of Sanity
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1. Opeth
2. Death
3. Edge of Sanity
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