Best Progressive Rock and Metal Albums of the 21st CenturyThe 2000s as well as the 2010s definitely have one great thing in common when it comes to music. Prog was better than ever, with many prog classics being release in this century. In this list I want to list off my favorite as well as just some of the best progressive rock and metal albums to be made in the 21st century.
The requirements are simple:
- the album has to be considered prog by many sources
- it has to be released in the 21st century
The original list will have one album per artists but please add and vote for your favorites. Share some amazing prog music!
Best Tool album in my opinion. This was a big breakthrough for the band and Prog in general. Many know the song Schism which was very popular around the time. It also contains many other great songs like Lateralus, Parabola and Ticks and Leeches. In general this album was a huge stepping stone for the band and genre.
If there were prog power rankings, Haken would deserve to be at the top right now. Four albums released over a six year period, each ranging from great to excellent. However, it is with their third album that they truly crafted a sound of their own. You can still hear the DT influences of their first two albums here and there, but they fuse it with brilliant Gentle Giant-inspired vocal harmonies, jazzy sections, Eastern-sounding sections... the list goes on. What Haken does better than many other metal bands is knowing when NOT to be metal. They don't go heavy for the sake of it, and very rarely will you ever catch the band out being guilty of technical showmanship purely for the sake of it. More than that, they are actually amazing at playing mellow or mid-tempo sections, unlike many other prog bands which end up sounding very cheesy and cringey at such times. But don't worry, when Haken want to let things go they really know how, and they certainly have the chops to back it up. ...more
One of the most beautiful metal albums I have ever heard. Every moment has been filled to the brim with emotion. Yes, there are awesome riffs and killer drumming and kickass solos, but each second MEANS something. The weight of the personal story driving this album is always at the forefront. Nothing but a group of true musicians could make something some complete. I'm not one for growls but there would be no other appropriate way to convey the loss felt in the title track's lyrics: "Momma don't let them take her / Take her down". If a line ever needed to be growled it was that one.
Considered Mastodon's greatest record and one I can certainly agree with. This album was the one to truly unleash Mastodon's creative potential as well as having one of the most personal concepts in a metal album as it is based on the death of Brann Dailor's sister, Skye. With amazing songs like Oblivion, Divinations, The Czar and The Last Baron.
Considered by many to be their best album, Gojira nails it on this record with good heavy crushing tunes, intricate technical playing and a consistent tracklist that never falls back. Their most complete record by far. The Way of All Flesh garnered great critical acclaim from the Prog scene as well as the whole Metal scene. This album contains the brilliant The Art of Dying, as well as other amazing tracks like Oroborus, Toxic Garbage Island and Vacuity.
Arguably one of the best Opeth albums and quite possibly one of the best metal records of all time. It was hit with huge success for them as well. Some may argue Still Life, Ghost Reveries or Deliverance is the better album, but this truly gave Opeth the recognition in the metal community that it deserved. This album contains the song Blackwater Park as well as The Drapery Falls and The Leper Affinity.
Any one who's a fan of prog should at least hear this album once. Said by many to be the band's best record, it tells the story of man dealing with the struggles of relationships, childhood and the love and lust cycle he deals with his lover. It's written based on lead singer Daniel Gildenlow's personal experiences. The album is filled with wide variety of metal and various other styles. It's an all around well crafted album worth listening to. The best tracks are Undertow, A Trace of Blood, Beyond the Pale and Fandango.
While Dream Theatre's best works were in the 90s (Images and Words, Metropolis Pt. 2 and Awake to be exact) they still had some solid records in the new millennium, including this masterpiece of a record. Octavarium is easily one of their best. This album included the epic 24 minute prog metal song Octavarium as well as other notable songs like Panic Attack, These Walls and The Root of All Evil.
This amazing masterpiece is my favorite progressive metal album. I tried to be more objective based in this list, otherwise this would be at the top. Colors is an incredible achievement for prog and metal in general. The band unleashes their most creative, unique and amazing record that features a wide variety of metal and other genres mashed in to one continuous record. White Walls, Ants of the Sky, Prequel to the Sequel and Sun of Nothing are all considered some of their best works.
Depending on what kind of style of Porcupine Tree you prefer, they're best record may vary. However, for their prog side, nothing beats Fear of a Blank Planet. The 17 minute epic Anesthetize is worth a mention but there many other great songs such as the title track, Way Out of Here and My Ashes
I think this is the best Opeth album from a progressive perspective. Damnation/deliverance may have been more ambitious in scope and ghost reveries may have been a better concept, but his is the best blend of music that defines Opeth and prog. It is epic from start to finish and you never know what the next track will feel like.
Huge breakthrough album for Meshuggah that inspired and pushed what we call the Djent sound we have today. An unreal sound for it's time and it blew away many metalheads including me. Many know the track Bleed, but it also contains some of their other greatest songs such as obZen, Combustion, Dancers to a Discordant System and Lethargica.
The newest album on this list, released in 2014. Ne Obliviscarus has shown themselves as one best upcoming bands of prog and metal in general. Spotless discography and this album in particular is probably their best. With tracks like Devour Me, Colossus and Painters of the Tempest, there is plenty to like about and discover in this album
They have a violinist (Tim, also lead singer) and you can hear the violin in every song. Hearing Tim's violin in an extreme prog metal song makes me wanna jump into a field of daisies. And there to headbang like there's no tomorrow.
Love this album. Favorite song - Devour Me, Colossus, (Part I): Blackholes.
Awesome band with unique sound.
The title track is one of the best 20+ minute prog epics of the 21st century. And incredible display of musicianship and composition. The word "epic" is overused in general, and even moreso in relation to prog, but if I was only ever allowed to use that word a handful of times in my life I'd dedicate one of those to "The Odyssey". On top of that, the album is also filled with great riffs and plenty of symphonic and power metal moments. Michael Romeo truly is one of prog's most technically gifted guitarists, and Russell Allen is one of the best metal vocalists across any subgenre - his ability to nail harsh, subdued and theatrical vocals is unparalleled. Also: the intro riff to "Inferno" is one of the most kickass riffs you will ever hear.