Top Ten Progressive Metal Vocalists


The Top Ten

1 Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. more.

Labrie is garbage lmao

Love everything about his vocal technique... from extremely soothing & heart melting vocal work to the deep off-putting guttural ones... One more thing that I find very impressive is his point of transitioning to the extreme tone and to me it sounds like as if he's instantaneously under and out of demonic possession.. - Arhaan95

2 James LaBrie (Dream Theater) James LaBrie (Dream Theater) Kevin James LaBrie is a Canadian vocalist and songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the American progressive metal band Dream Theater.

The key to a great vocalist is consistency, James LaBrie has some amazing vocals in some of his songs but lackluster in other songs. When he actually tries he is good but when he doesn't he just sounds like your average metal singer - germshep24

Hard to choose between Mikael and Labrie as the best.

Super underrated. Tone, power and range at his current age is unbelievable. Not many can sing two hour shows of progressive music like he can. Not to mention his lyrical memory is impressive.

I can understand why some people don't like him, but I've always been quite accustomed to his tone. While I prefer John Arch and Midnight, he's still great. - Caleb9000

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3 John Arch (Fates Warning)

Best. - Caleb9000

4 Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation) Daniel Gildenlow (Pain of Salvation) Daniel Gildenlöw is a Swedish musician and songwriter. He is best known as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for the progressive metal band Pain of Salvation.

In what world is Labrie better than Gildenlow?

He should be at the top of this list! Distinctive, emotional, powerful vocals. And he can do raps also.

Has such a great tone and can sing any style. Pain of Salvation is so underrated!

5 Russell Allen (Symphony X) Russell Allen (Symphony X) Russell Allen is a singer and lyricist best known as the vocalist of American progressive metal band Symphony X.

He's already on the list.

6 Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad) Devin Garret Townsend is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad from 1994 to 2007 and has an extensive career as a solo artist.

Akerfeldt, Maynard, and Devin are the top 3. Get LaBrie out of there.

More for his solo work than SYL. - cjWriter1997

7 Maynard James Keenan (Tool) Maynard James Keenan (Tool) Maynard James Keenan, often referred to by his initials MJK, is an American musician, record producer, winemaker, and actor, best known as the vocalist for Grammy Award-winning progressive metal band Tool.

Thought he would be number 1

I'm at least happy to Mikael is number one, But Labrie in number 2? You gotta be kidding me. The dude is not even top 20. And MJK at 10? The hell is wrong with you people? he's easily top 3.

Why isn't he at the top? - FLIPMODE

Why is he not in the top 3? - ryanrimmel

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8 Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Geoff Tate (Queensryche) Geoff Tate is a German-born American singer and musician who rose to fame in the 1980s with the progressive metal band Queensrÿche.

In his prime his vocals technique was almost with no weak spots and his vocal technique is the best on this list so technically he's the best progressive metal singer. I am not his fan, not even a Queensryche fan but I give credits where deserved. - Metal_Treasure

He may have lost his voice now (and turned into a complete douche), but when he was in his prime, he blew pretty much everyone else on this list out of the water. I would put him at #3. - Caleb9000

Should be at the top of the list.

He can sing the highs and the lows. In my opinion, he's #1. He deserves to be at least top 5.

9 Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. (Between the Buried and Me)
10 Chuck Schuldiner (Death) Chuck Schuldiner (Death) Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck more.

The Contenders

11 Joe Duplantier (Gojira) Joe Duplantier (Gojira) Joseph "Joe" Duplantier is a French musician best known as the guitarist and vocalist of metal band Gojira.

The way Joe is able to scream on key, by blending in his regular singing voice is nothing short of impressive and relatively unique in the metal world.

12 Midnight (Crimson Glory)


His range was STRATOSPHERIC and wicked to the core. No one had as much pain in their voice as he did. Rest In Peace John Patrick. I put Midnight at #2, just behind John Arch. - Caleb9000

13 Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) Steven John Wilson is an English musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, most closely associated with the progressive rock genre. He is best known for his band Porcupine Tree.

Not really a metal vocalist though.

Great but not metal so... - Metal_Treasure

14 Troy Sanders (Mastodon) Troy Sanders (Mastodon) Troy Jayson Sanders is an American musician, singer, and songwriter best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he plays bass and shares lead vocal duties with guitarist Brent Hinds and drummer Brann Dailor.
15 Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) Jonas Petter Renkse is a founding member, songwriter, lead vocalist and ex-drummer of the band Katatonia, founding member, songwriter, bassist, backing vocalist, ex-guitarist of the band Bloodbath.

I know I may be a minority, but I prefer his vocals on Dance of December Souls over all else. - Caleb9000

His voice is incredible. - Metal_Treasure

16 Jens Kidman (Meshuggah)
17 Daniel Heiman - Lost Horizon, Heed Daniel Heiman - Lost Horizon, Heed Daniel Heiman (born June 11, 1974) is a Swedish power metal singer. He is most famous for his time in Lost Horizon. After leaving Lost Horizon, he recorded an album with the band Crystal Eyes, and later founded the band Heed.

Try this: Lost Horizon - Highlander.
Insanely good vox. - Metal_Treasure

Prog/power. - Caleb9000

18 Ross Jennings (Haken)

Ross Jennings’s range is out of this world. The number of styles he can sing is outrageous as well. Listen to Visions. He can do so many things with his voice. Truly underrated.

19 Tim Charles (Ne Obliviscaris)

He provides the clean vocals and his voice is literally angelic (another vocalist, Xenoyr, provides grows/harsh vox) - Metal_Treasure

20 Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle)
21 Ray Alder (Fates Warning)

100% underrated vocalist!

Best voice ever

22 Les Claypool (Primus) Les Claypool (Primus) Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, author and actor best known as the bassist and lead vocalist of the band Primus.

Weird does not mean progressive - Alkadikce

Is primus even progressive? I don't think they are at all - ryanrimmel

Primus is not a prog metal band. They're a more of a funk/experimental rock band. - zxm

Primus is progressive. - IronSabbathPriest

23 Einar Solberg (Leprous)

Easily my top pick. I see how his voice wouldn't jive with everybody, but it turned out to be exactly what I was looking for when I found them.

24 John Haughm (Agalloch)
25 Dan Tompkins (Tesseract)
26 Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity) Dan-Erland Swanö is a Swedish musician who is currently the vocalist, guitarist, ex-bassist and ex-drummer for the band Nightingale, lately vocalist, keyboardist and drummer for the band Witherscape, as well as the Owner of Unisound but he achieved fame as the vocalist and songwriter of progressive more.
27 Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) Arjen Anthony Lucassen (born 3 April 1960, Netherlands) is a Dutch progressive rock/metal songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer, best known for his long-running progressive opera project Ayreon.
28 Kjetil Nordhus (Green Carnation)
29 Spencer Sotelo Spencer Sotelo
30 Mike Lessard (The Contortionist)
31 Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder) Tommy Karevik (Seventh Wonder) Tommy Karevik is a Swedish metal vocalist, best known as the singer for metal bands Seventh Wonder and Kamelot.
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List Stats

100 votes
31 listings
4 years, 124 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Geoff Tate (Queensryche)
2. John Arch (Fates Warning)
3. Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth)
1. James LaBrie (Dream Theater)
2. Maynard James Keenan (Tool)
3. Russell Allen (Symphony X)
1. Geoff Tate (Queensryche)
2. Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth)
3. Devin Townsend (Strapping Young Lad)

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