Thumbs up: +9
I'll start with the disclaimer that I am not, nor ever have been, a musician. This list is of my own favorite performers, not the actual technical best musicians as I am a layman and can only go by what my stupid ears tell me. You'll notice the list is vocalist heavy which is a byproduct of my lack of musical talent. The list contains the artist, their instrument and the release where I feel they are at their best. **Last Update 08/16/11**

Created by: Pyramid God | 07.08.2011



1. Symphony X - The Odyssey
Michael Romeo - Guitars - While this is only my third favorite Symphony X release, I absolutely love how Romeo sounds. Having already shown his undisputed mastery of neoclassical prog shred your facing, Romeo turns up the rock factor a bit on this album. Memorable riffs are on display throughout.
2. Septicflesh - Communion
Spiros "Seth" Antoniou - Bass, Vocals, Amazing Art - Its no secret that Septicflesh is my favorite band and Seth is one of the main reasons why. Not only is he one of the best, most menacing growlers ever, his chunky bass sound really pounds and drives many of my favorite songs ever. Bonus points for doing all of the band's art. This man is talented in more ways than one.
3. Symphony X - V: The New Mythology Suite
Russell Allen - Vocals - Sir Russell Allen, Lord Of The Golden Pipes. This man can sing, not much more to say.
4. Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress
Christian Alvestam - Vocals - Definitely the best vocalist in his genre. When Christian left Scar Symmetry they had to hire two guys to replace him. If that isn't a compliment I don't know what is.
5. Symphony X - The Divine Wings Of Tragedy
Michael Piniella - Keyboards - My favorite keyboardist. Technically sound, diverse and never overbearing. He is the perfect keyboardist in my opinion.
6. Opeth - Ghost Reveries
Mikael Akerfeldt - Vocals, Guitar - The driving force behind one of the most beloved bands of all time, Akerfeldt is undisputedly one of the best musicians ever. His vocals are utterly amazing. He can growl like the devil and sing like an angel, all the while shredding a guitar as well as anyone.
7. Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome
Tor Oddmund Surhke - Vocals, Guitar - Tor has terrific vocals including a great, aggressive harsh and haunting cleans. He is also a very good guitar player with a good tone. This band is underrated in general. Check Tor and company out today if you haven't yet had the pleasure.
8. Pagan's Mind - Heavenly Ecstasy
Nils K. Rue - Vocals - This is not my favorite release by Pagan's Mind but I feel like there was a concerted effort made to make Rue the focal point. Check out "Intermission" for a sampling of clean vocals that will rock your socks.
9. Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory
John Petrucci - Guitar - Watch "Live In Budokan" and try not to like Petrucci. He slays and I love his work on this album best.
10. Dream Theater - Images And Words
Mike Portnoy - Drums, Backing Vocals - He is a polarizing figure, but no matter if you think he is best or not, you can't deny his overall skill. Add in his tremendous showmanship and you have an amazing musician. I could do without the cookie monster backing vocals but I guess it can't all be good.
11. Three - The End Is Begun
Joey Eppard - Vocals, Guitar - I love Joey's unique, almost Geddy like vocals. Even more unique and impressive is his slap style guitar. Joey is the main force behind this excellent prog rock band.
12. Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
Geoff Tate - Vocals - Forget about what they've become, instead focus on how freaking awesome Tate is and how great this release still is.
13. Dream Theater - Octavarium
Jordan Rudess - Keyboards - Yes, yet another Dream Theater musician. They aren't known as one of the best technical bands ever without reason. I love Rudess and his weird faces and mostly one handed playing style. He gets a bonus for being a good showman, much like Portnoy.
14. Riverside - Anno Domini High Definition
Mariusz Duda - Bass, Vocals - A prog master with terrific vocals and solid bass lines.
15. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Agony
Francesco Ferrini - Piano, Orchestration - This guy is the reason why Fleshgod went from being a band I liked to a band I love. His orchestration skills are so awesome and the fact he uses them in a band as brutal as this make my ears squeal with joy.
16. Porcupine Tree - In Absentia
Steven Wilson - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards - A multi-talented musician and an accomplished arranger. His vocal style is unique and moving.
17. Animals As Leaders - Animals As Leaders
Tosin Abasi - Eight strings and he melts every single one of them. This guy can flat out shred. I think its neat (and semi disgusting) how he uses his thumb as another pick.
18. Be'lakor - Stone's Reach
Steven Merry - Keyboards, Piano - Merry isn't the best ever, but his sound is amazing and very understated.
19. Agalloch - The Mantle
John Haughm - Vocals, Guitar, Drums - Haughm is probably not super talented in the technical sense but he is very talented in the pleasing my ear sense. Agalloch has yet to release something I haven't liked and Haughm is probably the biggest reason why.
20. Tool - Lateralus
Danny Carey - Drums - I love me some Tool. They are probably my favorite non-metal band and Carey's work on the skins is one of the main reason's why.
21. The Gathering - Sleepy Buildings - A Semi Acoustic Evening
Anneke Van Giersbergen - Vocals - I am in love with the haunting quality of Anneke's voice on this album.
22. Fleshgod Apocalypse - Mafia
Francesco "Scythe" Paoli - Drums - He is not the technical best, but damn do I love his pedal work.
23. Tomahawk - Tomahawk
Mike Patton - Vocals, Keyboard - I love me some Patton. This guy has had his fingers in a lot of music, some good, some bad, but all creative as hell.
24. Cynic - Traced In Air
Paul Masvidal - Vocals, Guitar - I'm not a giant fan of his vocals but I do love his guitar work.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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qlacs - 08.08.2011 at 10:11  
There you go! Great list!
R'Vannith - 08.08.2011 at 10:17  
Have yet to hear Leprous, sounds like something I would enjoy. Nice list btw
scapeplan - 15.04.2012 at 00:07  
Nice list, but I'm not sure about Tool not being metal...

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