The beauty of progressive metal is that it combines the genres of progressive rock and heavy metal to crate a genre that is as innovative as it is exciting. Prog metal started in the 1970s in the UK and US before shooting to prominence in the 1980s. While there are elements of hard rock intertwined as well, progressive metal bands also incorporates other avant garde structures and genres that usually wouldn't be associated with heavy metal. The best progressive metal bands have some of the strongest followings in all of metal music, and can sell out arenas and stadiums across the globe. While progressive metal bands don't move the needle like they use to, they're still among the most original and exciting bands in heavy metal.
So, what are the best progressive metal bands? For starters, you need to look at the likes of Dream Theater, Opeth, Mastodon and Meshuggah are well known progressive metal bands that are known to be at or near the top of the heap. These bands are widely recognized as some of the greatest progressive metal bands and everyone knows that if you're loyal to a prog metal band, they'll return the behavior with epic albums and incredible live performances.
That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best progressive metal bands. All of the top prog metal bands are known for their skill and charisma. If you notice that a particular prog metal band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best progressive metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest progressive metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular progressive metal bands that you might've heard of (351 items)