A subset of Heavy Metal
which combines the musical intricacies of Progressive Rock
with the heavy, guitar/drum-driven sound of metal. Progressive Metal may also include more overt flavorings of Classical music, such as operatic vocals or symphonic arrangements. A concrete definition of progressive metal is hard to pin down, so the status of many bands as progressive metal can be ambiguous.
Also, see Technical Death Metal
, Avant-Garde Metal
and the "Avant-Garde/Progressive Black Metal" section in the Black Metal
article. Another notable subgenre is Neo Classical Metal, also known as 'Guitar Virtuoso Music'. This is basically heavy metal with an electric guitar playing classical music instead of rock, and it often overlaps with either Speed Metal
, Power Metal
, or Glam Metal
Notable Progressive Metal bands include:
- The 3rd and the Mortal
- Agalloch (overlaps with Doom Metal, Black Metal, and Folk Metal)
- Aghora (often called "Jazz Metal")
- Akercocke (also classed as progressive black metal, Progressive Death Metal, blackened death metal, and probably a number of other things)
- Alarum (mixed with death metal)
- Amorphis (First album was straight-up Death metal, and their second album was Melodeath/Doom Metal. However, from their third album on, they've been prog metal)
- ANT Ifaith
- Arkaik (circa Metamorphignition)
- August Burns Red (mixed with Metal Core)
- Battle of Mice
- Between The Buried And Me (mixed with Metalcore and Death Metal)
- Blind Illusion (mixed with Thrash Metal, also noteworthy as the band where Les Claypool and Larry LaLonde first played together)
- Cattle Decapitation (also Death Metal)
- Circus Maximus
- Coheed and Cambria (also falls under Alternative Rock, Post-Hardcore, and Alternative Metal, with slight Pop Punk influences as well; a strange combo, to say the least)
- Chaotrope (Electronic Metal)
- Crimson Glory (also Power Metal)
- Death, the first Death Metal band, gradually moved towards prog metal the further along they went with the band. By their last album, The Sound of Perseverance, they were most definitely a prog metal band.
- Decrepit Birth (had elements of this on Diminishing Between Worlds, but Polarity is where it became really prominent)
- Diablo Swing Orchestra (Also Avant Garde Metal, Swing, salsa... well they cover a wide range of styles in a single song)
- Disarmonia Mundi (also Melodic Death Metal)
- Dream Theater
- Edge of Sanity (also Melodic Death Metal)
- Enslaved (also Black Metal; prog influence is much stronger in recent material than early material, although it was always evident on most of their albums)
- Epica, one part progressive metal, one part Symphonic Metal.
- Evergrey (also Power Metal)
- Extol (with Death Metal, Black Metal, or Thrash Metal fused in depending on the album)
- The Faceless (Autotheism, along with death metal)
- Faith No More (also Funk Metal and Alternative Metal)
- Fair To Midland (also Progressive Rock, Alternative Metal, Folk Metal)
- Fallujah (The Harvest Wombs onwards)
- Fates Warning
- Freak Kitchen
- Galactic Cowboys
- Gorod (A Perfect Absolution, mixed with Melodic Death Metal)
- Haji's Kitchen (also Groove Metal and Grunge)
- Ill Nino (Enigma only)
- Kayo Dot
- King's X (also Alternative Metal, Funk Metal and Hard Rock)
- Liquid Tension Experiment
- maudlin of the Well
- Megadeth, although they are best known as a Thrash Band, they experimented with prog elements quite frequently in their music
- Mekong Delta (The Music of Erich Zann onwards, though they had some basic elements of this on their debut)
- Mercyful Fate (mostly on Melissa, though their later works still have elements of this)
- Metallica, much like Megadeth, also experimented with Prog elements. Their fourth album '...And Justice for All is pretty much a straight up prog metal album.
- Moonsorrow (not so much to begin with, but their albums beginning with Kivenkantaja have begun incorporating more prog influence, and Viides luku - Hävitetty and Tulimyrsky are undeniably prog; also Folk Metal)
- Obliveon (along with Thrash Metal)
- The Ocean (with influences drawn from Post Rock and Sludge Metal)
- Opeth (mixed with Death Metal)
- Orphaned Land (mixed with Folk Metal, Death Metal, and Doom Metal among other influences)
- Pain Of Salvation
- Pharaoh (mixed with Power Metal)
- Porcupine Tree (starting with In Absentia and getting heavier ever since; formerly Progressive Rock / Psychedelic Rock)
- Queensr˙che (with strong traditional heavy metal influences)
- Rush (from Counterparts onward. Possible Ur Example)
- Seventh Wonder
- Shadow Gallery
- Shining (Norway) (more than a slight case of Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly, as they also incorporate elements of Industrial Metal, Black Metal, fusion jazz, and numerous other styles. Blackjazz marks the point where their material becomes consistently metal-oriented; before that, most of their material was acoustic jazz or progressive rock, although their live shows had always incorporated quite a lot of metal influence)
- SikTh (also Nu Metal)
- Sonata Arctica, started as a power metal band with some progressive elements, went pure progressive with Unia and fused power and progressive evenly with The Days of Grays.
- Stemage (AKA the guy who does the 'Metroid Metal' project)
- Strapping Young Lad, though they also have obvious Thrash Metal roots.
- SYL singer/guitarist Devin Townsend's solo albums are more unambiguously this.
- Symphony X (crosses over with Power Metal and Symphonic Metal)
- System of a Down (also Alternative Metal)
- Therion (also Symphonic Metal)
- Tiamat (Only Wildhoney is properly part of this genre, but some of their other albums have prog elements.)
- Tool (also Alternative Metal)
- Tourniquet (also Thrash Metal)
- Tribulation (circa The Formulas of Death)
- Vektor (along with Thrash Metal)
- Voivod (though their earlier albums were Thrash Metal)
- Wormed (along with Technical Death Metal)
- X Japan
- Yngwie Malmsteen ( basically The example of Neo Classical Metal)
Tropes that apply to progressive metal:
- Epic Rocking: Good luck finding a progressive metal band that hasn't ever used this trope.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Varies wildly up and down the scale; it can go anywhere from a low 6 to 10. It can usually be found near on the scale to its non progressive equivalent.
- Neo Classical Metal is often found from between 5-8
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Progressive metal bands are well known for incorporating elements from other genres, to the point where over half the acts in the genre have their own signature style. Here are some examples:
- The Scrappy: There are quite a lot of prog metal bands who can't seem to get praise from metalheads, but Coheed and Cambria tends to be almost universally panned by metalheads, primarily due to their Pop Punk and Emo influences.
- For that matter, even Trope Makers Dream Theater receive tons of flak due to their music being seen as unnecessarily long, boring, and over-the-top hipster metal that eschews musical substance in favor of exceedingly drawn-out noodling and time-signature abuse, never mind the overly hammy nature of their singer and their ex-drummer's bouts of rude and unprofessional behavior over seemingly petty things. Of course, the fans are just as vocal as the detractors, so your mileage may vary.
- Quite a large number of Djent bands earn the disrespect of the metal community due to their more accessible and simplistic sound. This sounds familiar...
- Neoclassical metal sometimes gets this treatment as well; metalheads perceive it as unoriginal and pretentious music-school metal made for guitarists who wish to shred as inhumanly fast as Versailles or DragonForce. Though this hate seems to be directed towards the more Power Metal-oriented side of neoclassical - metalheads do love the harder varieties that border on melodic or tech death.
- Prog metal in general is a Love It or Hate It style of music.
- Trope Maker: Probably Queensr˙che or Dream Theater. Fates Warning or Watchtower would count if you don't consider either of them to be Ur example instead.
- Uncommon Time: Used frequently. Again, pretty much all bands in the genre have used this trope at least occasionally, although some are more blatant about it than others.