Greatest Progressive Metal Bands

petrucci75hammet

The Top Ten

1 Dream Theater Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band. The band was formed in 1985 under the name of "Majesty", but had to change its name to Dream Theater later. ...read more.

DT is unmatched in musicianship. Not only are they extremely technical in the way they approach their instruments, but they also know how to inspire the listener. Notice I said "listener. " People who are brainwashed by the music industry just merely hear DT and don't understand the whole scope of the band. DT presents the classic struggle of swimming against mainstream pop culture. Of course they should have beat Foo Fighters for the Grammy, but at least they got a well deserved nomination. I have been listening to Dream Theater for just over 20 years. I have made the conclusion that there is no one else out there with enough guts to defy the odds like these guys have. Sure there are/were bands like Led Zeppelin, Rush, Van Halen, Metallica, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and the like. However, for all the reasons as previously posted DT stands in a class/category all their own. If you have never listened to them before don't look for a 3 minute fast food, quick fix. Their music ...more

There are plenty of quality prog metal bands out there but Dream Theater take it that step further, putting them in a class of their own. They are a testament to the genre. Fates Warning, Symphony X and LTE are also brilliant in quality and should be higher!

Too good, possibly my favorite band.. Metropolis Pt2 was simply a masterpiece along with Images and Words. Amazing metal band and one of the greatest of all times. They aren't doing TOO bad nowadays either.

Most talented musician in this class!

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2 Opeth Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990. Though the group has been through several personnel changes, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt has remained Opeth's only founding member and primary driving force throughout the years. Along with Edge of ...read more.

I think Opeth is the one of the few metal bands that mixes beauty and brutality--all in one song. The moods that they incorporate in their music proves that they are top-notch and should be number 1. "The Night and The Silent Water" and "Ghost of Perdition" = mm/ EPIC

Probably the best prog/death metal band all times, their music is full of emotions and true beauty... I think no band can capture so deep feelings as they do
LONG LIVE OPETH!

True masters of their craft. Combining soft rock and death metal. Polar opposite genres, but ones that go oh so well together. Opeth are true innovators of music and pushed their sound to the absolute limit. No metal band has been this consistently creative. Opeth have, as of late, unfortunately stripped away the death metal sound in favor of worshipping 70s progressive rock groups like King Crimson and Yes. As a result they've lost their own sound and spend time imitating rather than innovating. However this doesn't scar their legacy and the true perfection of their vast discography.

I think that should be on the death metal list more... but it s one of my favourite band in general, all throught, strictly talking about prog first it s Dream Theater and second Opeth, anyway one of my favourite bands, but the other bands on this list aren t right, I mean Meshuggah, it s a great band but not proggg - Deako

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3 Tool Tool Tool is an American progressive metal/alternative metal band, that was formed in 1990. ...read more.

Tool... Completely changed my music taste, I used to hear crap dupstep and other electronic, but then I stumbled on tool. I heard it the first time on gth, but for some reason I didn't like it, not until for years later, and I heard them again, still it wasn't great, but there was something, and I just keeps listening, and just got better each time. Tool got me into, Metallica, dream theater, black sabbath, pain of salvation, porcupine tree, iron maiden, circus maximus, or anything with prog and metal.

Something I find interesting, not just tool, but most prog metal band, the first time you hear a song, you don't love it, but slowly liking it more and more, the more you hear it.

One of the most interesting bands in human history I think.

Okay so I've tried listening to opeth their pretty good. But Dream theater how are they number one. The voice of the vocalist is Also an instrument, but they don't even have a singer what! I think tool is best because their bass is amazing, Maynard James Keenan has to be one of the best vocalists in the world. Maynard has a way of making any song sound good. I mean I have not heard one song by tool that I disliked. All of tool's songs are smart, have lots of meaning, and make you think. Now I will say this they only have about six albums out, but in my opinion that is smart because that will make people crave them more. Tool's sound can also vary, so they can twist and turn with their music about. TOOL is the definition of talent and are superior all bands. I will say Korn is also another band worth checking out, but they are nu metal.

Greatest band of all time

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4 Symphony X Symphony X Symphony X is an American progressive metal band from Middletown, New Jersey. Founded in 1994, the band consists of guitarist Michael Romeo, keyboardist Michael Pinnella, drummer Jason Rullo, lead vocalist Russell Allen and bassist Michael Lepond.

Music is purely subjective. I respect other peoples likes. Symphony X is my ultimate favorite though. I like how the vocals have as strong melody composition as the rest of the music. I like how the lyrics are often negative but aren't too real or anything that you can strongly relate to so they don't bring your down. For a contrasting example, I love Dream Theater, but their lyrics are very powerful and very real and too much listening makes me start to feel miserable. Symphony X doesn't do that despite also having a lot of negative lyrics.

For me the guitarist skills or vocal not the point to be a best prog metal band... Creativity is the important.. I think Progressive Metal is just for Dream Theater.. No other band playing true progressive metal like Dream Theater did... For now. You have great skill in guitar, great vocal, drum or whatever, but you don't have a creativity to improvise your music genre, you can't be a great. We talk about the band, not the individual skill.

Fourth? Dont joke! Their guitarist is probably the most talented and skilled of the world. But I prefer Versailles xD

Decided to finally check their stuff out recently. Really impressive stuff. My favorite song of theirs so far is Iconoclast. - cjWriter1997

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5 Mastodon 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.

Mastodon has progressive in their music and there sound has changed many of but remained the same as it is amazing. This band will be a favorite for years to come to all prog lovers.

Mastodon is better than meshuggah and it should be in the top 5s. They don't sound like prog-metal but they are and they are amazing. - fidelcanojr

They are awesome. They have very brutal chanting heavy metal along with beautiful progressive melodies!

Do you self a favor and put one of their records on, smoke some herb, and experience the magic.. but if you're here, you already know this.

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6 Queensryche Queensryche Queensrÿche is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band the Mob.

Queensryche ws dream theater before dream theater even existed! This is the first real progressive metal band and thanks to them we now have awesome bands like tool and dream theater. Operation mindcrime is an essential album to any prog or metal fan

They are the best, followed closely by Dream Theater. Geoff Tate is also easily one of the best metal vocalists of all time. brilliant!

Oh, come on! Queensryche practically invented the genre of Prog Metal, and Operation: Mindcrime is inarguably one of the best concept albums in all of Metal, let alone in prog. They deserve to be Number 1.

The best prog. album. Love it!

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7 Meshuggah Meshuggah Meshuggah is a Swedish progressive metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. They are credited with crafting the Djent subgenre. Meshuggah's line-up consists of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, rhythm guitarist Mårten ...read more.

People often view this band as more extreme metal, which is understandable, but they do everything that makes Progressive Metal Progressive, just in their own way. Their compositions will never be as long as maybe Dream Theater or Opeth (Except for I and Catch 33), but each individual riff progresses, as the polymetric guitar floats over the drums, before snapping back into 4/4 for a single bar before blasting off into another bout of syncopated madness. Very underrated among mainstream metal listeners

Progressive Metal and Messuggah not even in top ten! This is joke or what? Sorry but you all are crazy!

There guys are Gods! If you haven't heard of them, I suggest you YouTube there stuff. They should easily be in the top 10.

They should be first no comparison

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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.

Fantastic musicians that incorporate many musical influences like blue grass, or even circus music into metal. They have long epic songs which will have you head banging, or just sitting in awe. The album "Colors" is a one hour long song broken into smaller songs. It is truly a master piece of complex musical theory, and emotions the whole way through. if you like metal at all you have to give it a listen. My two favorite songs on colors are the epic finale "White Walls", and my favorite son of all time, "Ants of the Sky".

This band is awesome! Such powerful guitar riffs and tripping instrumental! I recommend their albums Colors and The Great misdirect to any fan of good metal!

These guys deserve high than 10. the way they incorporate intricate metal riffs, and then go to almost what sounds like classic rock. they truly are a revolutionary progressive metal band. and all of them are flawless at what they do, and no matter how many bands I listen too, I can't find one that comes even close to how good these guys are at their instruments. absolutely amazing.

Lets be honest almost every progressive metal band deserves to be on here in my opinion, and I can't honestly rank them. But BTBAM are one of my all time favourites. I like that in the progressive metal community we like most of the bands instead of absolutely hating some for no reason whatsoever.

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9 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.

Go listen to all of "From Sirius to Mars" especially flying whales

Why don't I find gojira, meshuggah in top 10? They are a very innovative step in this genre

Beautifully criticized society, a journey to save the world through flying across the space to find another planet to live on since our planet got destroyed by, presumably, global warming and a soul crushing goodbye to Joe and Mario Duplantier's mother.

Excellent Prog metal band.

From mars to Sirius was an amazing death metal masterpiece, and their new stuff is pretty great too.

Personally I think:
1. Dream Theater
2. Opeth
3. Gojira
4. Mastodon
5. Meshuggah

But I voted for gojira because 12 is too low for them.

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10 Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree Porcupine Tree were an English rock band formed by musician Steven Wilson in 1987. The band began essentially as a solo project for Wilson, who created all of the band's music.

PT are a really underrated band I found about recently, their music is not only original and unique, but also really emotional - the lyrics match the instrumentations and atmosphere of the songs perfectly. - petrucci75hammet

Steven wilson and the crew are underdogs and underrated of course.. Steven wilson is one of the gods of prog/psych rock, gavin harrison is a technical drumming god, richard needs no appreciation and colin carries of a toughest of a bass line with just a simple smile :D and pt is at no. 13? Seriously? ? And from when did gojira and tool become progressive?

Absolutely amazing amounts of talent from every member of the band. These guys should easily be in the top 5 just because of Gavin Harrison!

Should be higher. - Metalfan2112

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The Newcomers

? Ghost Ghost Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that was formed in Linköping in 2008. Ghost consists of 5 masked instrumentalists, known as The Nameless Ghouls, and a demonic anti-pope known as Papa Emeritus. They have released 3 studio albums and 2 EPs . Each album brings in a new version of Papa Emeritus. Ghost ...read more.
? Nile 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.

The Contenders

11 Nevermore Nevermore Nevermore is an American progressive metal band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1991, they are known to incorporate elements from various styles such as power metal, modern hard rock, classic heavy metal and technical thrash metal. The band has been on hiatus since 2011, due to personal issues between ...read more.

Nevermore is fronted by Warrel Dane--one of the most amazing singers in the progressive metal genre with plenty of formal training. Jeff Loomis, the bands lead guitar player can barely be matched by many. They mix elements of complex time signatures, classical arrangements, and execute such synthesis with amazing precision.

While quite a bit harder than some other progressive metal bands, Nevermore also has a brilliant clarity both live and in studio.

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12 Artcell Artcell Artcell is a Bangladeshi progressive metal band formed in October 1999. According to The Daily Star, a leading English national daily, Artcell is "one of the leading bands of the country".

One of the greatest bands in the reign of metal, that's all what I can simply say. I suggest this band to every metal lover, and I m sure they gonna be amazed

Simply awesome these guys are. Just listen to the track ONIKET PRANTOR and your mind will get blown off, trust me.

Artcell is undoubtedly a great band, and they got total talents. One thing I feel important to mention that-whatever they make, they never compromise with quality. I guess that should be the motto of each and every band.

One of the most legendary band in the history of metal song & also undoubtedly the best band in bangladesh.Every word of artcell song flows towards every drop of our bloodcell.

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13 Rush Rush Rush is a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). ...read more.

I like metal in its various forms...

But metal is metal, and its all good, but RUSH is way up there and beyond in a separate ethereal place where any of the bands in this list could not even hope to touch let alone reach... RUSH too cool to be metal...!

Do not disservice this band by including them in this list. It would be a lack of respect to even rank them as #1. They do not deserve to be included here... They made history. Their place is in lair for better and greater things.

Yours truly,

ROD

At 44? Whoever put them down this low should be ashamed Rush is one of the best bands ever to grace the planet they were innovators, they are legends and will forever be amazing and timeless they proved that intellectual music can connect and resonate with people plus even Kirk Hammett calls them the high priests of conceptual metal

I wouldn't call them metal, although they are one of the best prog rock bands of all time - Songsta41

These guys can't be compared on any other band. Its tantamount to putting a man up against a boy. NO band can compare to these guys. Every single band you Bozos so proudly defend were influenced by RUSH. You spout off about technical playing and musicianship, Rush is the epitome of technical and still able to make music people want to listen to. Anyone can get a bunch of Berkley educated musicians or back woods hillbillies to put together the hardest notes to play and call it a song. But if nobody wants to hear it, well except for the basement dwellers who also enjoy marching around nude tweaking their nipples. - HaroldBawlz

Well, that's just not true. Sure, lots of bands are Rush-influenced, doesn't mean they're talentless. Not even sure how the fact that they're Rush influenced makes them "untalented". But people who go to Berkley don't come out being able to think of harder notes, they learn how music works and how progressions of these complex riffs can create masterpieces, and a lot of them do a great job of executing that. Listen to Dream Theater and you'll see. - Songsta41

As these comments confirm, Rush is brutally overrated. Allegaeon's cover of Subdivisions proves that many bands can play their music better than they can. They may have one of the greatest spheres of influence on progressive rock and metal, but their music is really nothing spectacular.

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14 Pain of Salvation Pain of Salvation Pain of Salvation is a Swedish progressive rock band led by Daniel Gildenlöw, who is the band's main songwriter, lyricist, guitarist, and vocalist.

Every album is conceptual and dramatically different. Masters of their craft. One of the few bands where the musicians could play whatever music style they wanted, and still make it their own.
Daniel is sure a genius and an amazing songwriter. Easily one of the best prog bands to ever rise during the 90's.

Absolutely brilliant, seriously - and these guys are awesome live too!

The most creative Band.

Be"

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15 Ayreon

Take some of the biggest and best vocalists & musicians to grace the world of prog rock, and many various forms of metal... Put them in a great big melting pot. Stir with care, and you get Ayreon.

Heck, the current top 2 on this list (DT and Opeth) both had their respective vocalists taking huge roles on the SAME Ayreon album.

Ayreon is a concept that has been masterfully carried out by Arjen Lucassen in order to present some of the world's greatest album line-ups presenting some of the world's greatest music.

You have your prog, folk, metal, neo-classical, symphonic, and god knows what else when you listen to Ayreon. Each album is a concept album, some of which have the best stories and characterisation to ever grace the world of music.

As you can tell from my endless raving, there is a lot to be said about why Ayreon is as special as it is. It is an awe-inspiring musical project that deserves every bit of attention it gets.

With the recent release of "The Theory of Everything", Ayreon is quickly solidifying Its' identity amongst the top bands and musicians. The project is simply outstanding in every conceivable way.

It's not only the musicianship and vocals that will blow you away; It is the entire way the arrangements fit their titles.

Ayreon will make you believe the unfathomable!

It is impossible to be more progressive than Ayreon. Arjen Lucassen is simply one of the best musicians around these days. There is simply no other band to compare Ayreon with.

Arjen got me started in the genre. The best thing about these albums is that you can listen and listen and still not hear every good song. I have been listening to him for 10 years now, and I just found an incredible song on the human equation the other day that I missed on the first listen through.

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16 Seventh Wonder Seventh Wonder Seventh Wonder is a progressive metal band from Stockholm, Sweden formed in 2000. They are currently working on their 5th studio album, which is planned for a 2017 release.

Best progressive metal. All five members are talented. All albums are beautiful art. The great escape is one of the best metal album. Hope they will release more masterpiece albums. Kamelot deserve the second place.

Kamelot isn't progressive metal, but one of the best symphonic bands - germshep24

The best progressive metal band in my opinion. The vocals are impressive, as well as the rest of the group. They got beautiful touching songs, as well as energetic songs. Their last albums are two masterpieces.

Vocalist is phenomenal, nothing in the music is overpowered, and one of the best prog metal bands out there. Tommy the vocalist has the most amazing control I've ever heard I think.

Just listen to the 30 minute masterpiece that is the Great Escape - germshep24

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17 Periphery Periphery Periphery is an American progressive metal band based in Washington, D.C., formed in 2005. They are known for their heavy, progressive sound which employs poly-rhythmic patterns and soaring melodies.

They have been popularizing the genre even more among metal fans. While Dream Theater definitely deserves number one, these guys should be at number 2. Not many bands are able to put the amount of work into their music that theses guys are doing. And only a year after Alpha Omega they are making new music. That is what I call dedication to the fans.

These guys are quite unique... they should definitely be higher up. I love bands like Symphony X, but in some cases they just sound like Dream Theater but with a better vocalist. Periphery has very interesting and awesome guitar, bass and vocals, and their drummer is just something else. Usually with metal bands, the drummer just hits a ton of double bass and uses basic rudiments, though Halpern just takes creativity to another level for a metal band. He may not be as fast as Mangini, but at least he doesn't sound like a robot half the time.

I very recently started listening to Periphery and I instantly fell in love with them. The amazing guitars and the vocals are just EPIC. Can't get enough these guys

Should be higher - Metalfan2112

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18 Fates Warning Fates Warning Fates Warning is an American progressive metal band, formed in 1982 by vocalist John Arch, guitarists Jim Matheos and Victor Arduini, bassist Joe DiBiase, and drummer Steve Zimmerman in Hartford, Connecticut.

I would argue that this was the first progressive metal band. Sure, Queensryche was around first but they were making heavy/power metal with a few slightly odd time signatures. Crimson Glory had yet to write any original material. The moment where progressive metal truly started was when Fates Warning released their second album, The Spectre Within. But they perfected it with their third album, Awaken The Guardian, which was where they shed their Iron Maiden roots in favor of a progressive/power metal sound. Perfect Symmetry is arguably the first progressive metal album that couldn't be placed under any other sub-genre (Crimson Glory was prog/power, Dream Theater's debut had power metal influences as well). Awaken The Guardian is my all time favorite album. - Caleb9000

While I agree with Fates Warning I don't agree with your selection of "Awaken the Guardian" selection. Their first two albums with original singer John Arch were more "heavy metal" than progressive. "No Exit" is definitely their best work followed by "Parallels" you can't go wrong with either of these. My top 3 progressive bands in order..1. Rush,2. Queensryche; 3. Fates Warning.

This band should be higher on this list, that's why I voted for this, but my real favorite band is dream theater

This Band and Dream Theater brought the Progressive Metal genre to a new level and they arrived in the same years!

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19 Liquid Tension Experiment Liquid Tension Experiment Liquid Tension Experiment was an instrumental progressive metal band founded by Mike Portnoy, then Dream Theater's drummer, in 1997. The band has released two albums through Magna Carta Records.

A side project by the members of Dream Theater except the bassist and the vocalist. Check out "Acid Rain", "Universal Mind", "Paradigm Shift" from the Liquid Tension Experiment albums among the prominent ones and say "I hate Dream Theater".

They are like a prog metal dream team!

A great side project from Dream Theater altough is not as good as the band its self, it give us an inside look of the heavy tecnical side of Dream Theater.

20 Anubis Gate Anubis Gate Anubis Gate is a progressive metal band from Denmark. Despite having formed Anubis Gate only in 2003, the members have regularly worked together since 1984. They have released six studio albums and two singles/EP's.

First time I heard Anubis Gate I was sold. The way they play metal and still have those great melodies and the way they build up the emotions and feelings in a song as it rises or falls in dynamic and the pieces in the songs is just fantastic.
I simply love Anubis Gate.

Very few bands are as consistently great through their discography as Anubis Gate are. Progressive metal perfection.

These guys gradually climbed up into my top 5 favorite bands and are highly contagious! Cheers!

Love the Jacob Hansen Tracks as well as the two new CDs. Try "Breach Of Faith", "Dream Within A Dream", "Circumstanced", or the older tracks like "The End Of Millennium Road". Perfect Prog / Power Metal with heart and soul.

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List StatsUpdated 28 Jul 2017

6,000 votes
180 listings
7 years, 286 days old

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1. Opeth
2. Dream Theater
3. Mastodon
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1. Opeth
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