Music

The Best Progressive Metal Bands 

Ranker Music
36.9k votes 4k voters 49.3k views 353 items

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 (353 items)
list ordered by
1
King Crimson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
John Griffin added
New Wave, Rock music, Experimental rock
2
IQ is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Neo-progressive rock, Progressive metal, Progressive rock
3
Haken is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Progressive metal, Progressive rock
4
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal
5
Porcupine Tree is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Progressive metal, Space rock, Britpop
6
Ayreon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Rock opera, Space rock
7
Mastodon is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Post-metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal
8
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal
9
Tool is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal
10
Fates Warning is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
John Griffin added
Progressive metal, Power metal, Heavy metal
11
Meshuggah is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Mathcore, Technical death metal
12
Symphony X is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal
13
Liquid Tension Experimen... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Jazz fusion
14
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
John Griffin added
Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal
15
Savatage is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Melodic Rock, Progressive metal, Power metal
16
The Devin Townsend Band ... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Heavy metal
17
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal
18
Animals as Leaders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Chris Abraham added
Progressive metal, Instrumental rock, Heavy metal
19
Periphery is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Christopher Woodward added
Progressive metal, Groove metal, Mathcore
20
Between the Buried and M... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Deathcore, Mathcore
21
Death is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Logan Frankart added
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal
22
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
passionsears added
Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal
23
TesseracT is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
swapnil-tiwari added
Post-metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal
24
Amorphis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
Doom metal, Death-doom, Progressive metal
25
Kamelot is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Progressive Metal Bands
John Turner added
Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal