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Progressive metal is one of my most favorite musical genres. The most interesting thing about this genre is the musical flexibility and the fact that progressive metal can come into different forms and this makes progressive metal one of the most divers genres of metal. For me, progressive metal is not just about stupid technicality and soulless show off. For this reason, my definition of progressive metal might be a little different from others. Progressive rock and metal were meant to put aside musical boundaries but nowadays it seems that being complex, technical, "intelligent", ambitious and pretentious is an inherent quality of prog metal genres. Screw this bullshits. Here are my most favorite prog metal albums. They might sometime be technical and complex but they all have their own soul in my opinion.

Created by: mz | 21.07.2013



1. Tool - Lateralus
2. Opeth - Still Life
3. Nevermore - This Godless Endeavor
4. Green Carnation - Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness
5. Mayhem - Ordo Ad Chao
6. Death - The Sound Of Perseverance
7. Rishloo - Feathergun
8. Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
9. Pain Of Salvation - The Perfect Element, Part I
10. Gojira - From Mars To Sirius
11. Enslaved - Axioma Ethica Odini
12. Ayreon - The Human Equation
13. Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
14. Edge Of Sanity - Crimson
15. Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory
16. !T.O.O.H.! - Order And Punishment (Řád A Trest)
17. Leprous - Tall Poppy Syndrome
18. Riverside - Second Life Syndrome
19. Shaolin Death Squad - Intelligent Design
20. Lykathé - Elvenefris



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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mz - 21.07.2013 at 11:15  
Adding description to every album is for sure a hard task . Will do that in next sessions
Alex Fenger - 21.07.2013 at 18:26  
Glad to see you aren't calling TSoP a death metal album, although I can't agree with it's inclusion in any list of good albums . A couple of good choices, and some excellent one's as well. Prog isn't really my forte so I can't give any suggestions, but you got the main one's that would come to my mind, so good job.
mz - 21.07.2013 at 18:34  
Written by Alex Fenger on 21.07.2013 at 18:26

Glad to see you aren't calling TSoP a death metal album, although I can't agree with it's inclusion in any list of good albums . A couple of good choices, and some excellent one's as well. Prog isn't really my forte so I can't give any suggestions, but you got the main one's that would come to my mind, so good job.

I knew that you do not like TSoP. That particular album had really massive effect on my listening habits and helped me get into prog metal end extreme metal. Before TSoP. the my most extreme album was MoP by metallica. Also, calling it a death metal album would be an obvious mistake. I am having hard time describing symbolic as death metal, let alone TSoP. we'd better stick to extreme prog or progressive thrash for that album.
Also, thank you for liking this list
mz - 21.07.2013 at 18:41  
Seriously, people use progressive death metal tag too generously. Opeth is another band often called prog death but I can not see how they are death metal.
LeKiwi - 21.07.2013 at 19:42  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 18:41

Seriously, people use progressive death metal tag too generously. Opeth is another band often called prog death but I can not see how they are death metal.


Nice list I disagree that Opeth aren't to be labelled at prog death. Death isn't a definitive term, but rather one that encompasses several aspects. Some of those are used in Opeth's music, e.g. riffs incorporating chromatic steps, growled vocals, double bass, blast beats, etc. Innovative death metal for a lack of a better word
mz - 21.07.2013 at 20:54  
Written by LeKiwi on 21.07.2013 at 19:42

Nice list I disagree that Opeth aren't to be labelled at prog death. Death isn't a definitive term, but rather one that encompasses several aspects. Some of those are used in Opeth's music, e.g. riffs incorporating chromatic steps, growled vocals, double bass, blast beats, etc. Innovative death metal for a lack of a better word

First of all, thank you for your kind words but I can not help disagreeing with you when it comes to opeth. Opeth, even on their most crushing albums are far from the death metal. Double bass, blast beats and growls are not enough to make them death metal. I generally think that vocal do not define any musical genre, including death metal. Also, there are other genres with double bass and blast beats so why calling them death metal? I mean, imagine the opeth without those growls. Would you still call them death metal?
Fritillaria - 21.07.2013 at 21:17  
What? Mayhem here ?! How can it be possible ?
Fritillaria - 21.07.2013 at 21:23  
And I think In The Silence debut could be here too and also why not one of Enslaved albums ? and also because weirdly King Crimson is featured on MS,as the fathers of real progressive music I think their place is empty on this list
mz - 21.07.2013 at 21:32  
Written by Guest on 21.07.2013 at 21:17

What? Mayhem here ?! How can it be possible ?

I told it would be shocking . It is IMO progressive black
Erik M. - 21.07.2013 at 21:34  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 20:54

First of all, thank you for your kind words but I can not help disagreeing with you when it comes to opeth. Opeth, even on their most crushing albums are far from the death metal. Double bass, blast beats and growls are not enough to make them death metal. I generally think that vocal do not define any musical genre, including death metal. Also, there are other genres with double bass and blast beats so why calling them death metal? I mean, imagine the opeth without those growls. Would you still call them death metal?


Vocals aren't fully responsible for defining a genre, but definitely partially responsible. Most genres have their own typical vocals and that's something you cannot deny. I'd simply call Opeth "extreme progressive metal" since they indeed don't resemble true progressive death metal at all. Especially now they aren't metal anymore, but rather progressive rock (Heritage and Damnation aren't metal).
mz - 21.07.2013 at 21:39  
Written by Guest on 21.07.2013 at 21:23

And I think In The Silence debut could be here too and also why not one of Enslaved albums ? and also because weirdly King Crimson is featured on MS,as the fathers of real progressive music I think their place is empty on this list


I did not gave in the silence the attention they deserve and only listened to it once. My fault here.Also, I have one enslaved album here. right?
Regarding the king crimson, well, in the court of crimson king is one of my favorite albums. I was initially thinking about including that album, along with some other classic prog rock albums here but I thought including prog rock albums here would extend the lists intention too much. I mean, prog rock itself is a huge genre which I am not much familiar with it.So I excluded bands like KC, pink floyd and genesis.
Oh, I have already chose the art work of in the court of crimson king as the avatar (or whatever it is named) of this list so I acknowledge their importance and influence
mz - 21.07.2013 at 22:34  
Written by Erik M. on 21.07.2013 at 21:34

Vocals aren't fully responsible for defining a genre, but definitely partially responsible. Most genres have their own typical vocals and that's something you cannot deny. I'd simply call Opeth "extreme progressive metal" since they indeed don't resemble true progressive death metal at all. Especially now they aren't metal anymore, but rather progressive rock (Heritage and Damnation aren't metal).

partially, maybe but some vocal styles belong to multiple genres. Also, vocals are like production one of the least important things when it comes to defining a genre. I agree with you on opeth and extreme prog metal is what I call opeth
Fritillaria - 21.07.2013 at 22:36  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 21:39


I did not gave in the silence the attention they deserve and only listened to it once. My fault here.Also, I have one enslaved album here. right?
Regarding the king crimson, well, in the court of crimson king is one of my favorite albums. I was initially thinking about including that album, along with some other classic prog rock albums here but I thought including prog rock albums here would extend the lists intention too much. I mean, prog rock itself is a huge genre which I am not much familiar with it.So I excluded bands like KC, pink floyd and genesis.
Oh, I have already chose the art work of in the court of crimson king as the avatar (or whatever it is named) of this list so I acknowledge their importance and influence


I don't remember the last time I listened to Genesis,it was so long time ago,but about Pink Floyd, I really think that they have no relation to progressive style,at least no strong element of progressive is in their music,well in this sense if you regard them progressive then there would plenty of bands in this list.
Erik M. - 21.07.2013 at 22:50  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 22:34

partially, maybe but some vocal styles belong to multiple genres. Also, vocals are like production one of the least important things when it comes to defining a genre. I agree with you on opeth and extreme prog metal is what I call opeth


Production doesn't define a genre at all, but vocals do (albeit partially). For example, the typical screams in black metal, high-pitched vocals in heavy metal and brutal growls in death metal. Some of those vocals are totally exclusive to those genre.

Anyway, I have a few suggestions for this list:
- Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor
- Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I
- Nevermore - Dead Heart, in a Dead World

Those are all excellent, especially Disillusion (which is a must-listen as it's simply brilliant stuff).
mz - 21.07.2013 at 23:50  
Written by Guest on 21.07.2013 at 22:36

I don't remember the last time I listened to Genesis,it was so long time ago,but about Pink Floyd, I really think that they have no relation to progressive style,at least no strong element of progressive is in their music,well in this sense if you regard them progressive then there would plenty of bands in this list.

Seriously, do you think PF is not a progressive rock band or you are just kidding?They are the most famous progressive rock band ever and their music is progressive rock with heavy influences from psychedelic rock (or vice versa). They had almost every element that a band should have in order to be called progressive rock (unusual song structure, long song, extended instrumental sections, conceptual albums and complex lyrics).
From their profile on progarchives.com (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=364): "PINK FLOYD can be considered as one of the leading bands in progressive rock from the seventies, together with YES and GENESIS." Three of their albums are among the top ten progressive rock albums of that site.
I wonder what you really consider as progressive rock or progressive metal it you do not consider PF as a progressive rock album. No wonder that you do not think ordo ad chao is not progressive =P
mz - 22.07.2013 at 00:34  
Written by Erik M. on 21.07.2013 at 22:50

Production doesn't define a genre at all, but vocals do (albeit partially). For example, the typical screams in black metal, high-pitched vocals in heavy metal and brutal growls in death metal. Some of those vocals are totally exclusive to those genre.

Anyway, I have a few suggestions for this list:
- Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor
- Ne Obliviscaris - Portal of I
- Nevermore - Dead Heart, in a Dead World

Those are all excellent, especially Disillusion (which is a must-listen as it's simply brilliant stuff).

I am familiar with disiluusion and they are great. If I wanted to include ten more albums here, I would have definietly consider Back to the times of splenedor for my list. Also, I think I have listened to portal of I once and I did not liked it that much (is it that progressive album wit some violin?) I will give it another spin tomorrow but I don't think it will eventually appear on this list
Regarding Nevermore - Dead Heart, in a Dead World, well, I have one nevermore album here and this list is limited to one album per band. DHiaDW is truly impressive and I had hard time selecting a nevermore album.
anyway, thanks for recommendations. Please come up with some new albums to recommend me
Fritillaria - 22.07.2013 at 01:12  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 23:50


"PINK FLOYD can be considered as one of the leading bands in progressive rock from the seventies, together with YES and GENESIS." Three of thir albums are among the top ten progressive rock albums of that site.

As you said three of their albums can have some progressive elements,and all the other songs are more space rock than being progressive or maybe I'm very wrong saying this
LeKiwi - 22.07.2013 at 02:11  
Written by Erik M. on 21.07.2013 at 21:34

Vocals aren't fully responsible for defining a genre, but definitely partially responsible. Most genres have their own typical vocals and that's something you cannot deny. I'd simply call Opeth "extreme progressive metal" since they indeed don't resemble true progressive death metal at all. Especially now they aren't metal anymore, but rather progressive rock (Heritage and Damnation aren't metal).


@mz as well

I'd probably label them as extreme progressive as well, however as far as I'm concerned the line between that and progressive death metal is a hard one to define. For instance there how could there be melodic death metal without death metal. That being said, melodic death these days can hardly be associated with what you might define as death metal...yet the connotation remains. So I think that Opeth still carries some of those aspects from death metal, however scant I agree that progressive death isn't a very descriptive term when it comes to Opeth, I'd prefer to leave out the extreme tag as well, since I think they're much more than that.
Diverge - 22.07.2013 at 06:01  
Feathergun is a nice addition from Rishloo, but in my opinion, Eidolon is Rishloo's masterpiece. Rishloo's Feathergun actually seems like an inferior version of Soundgarden's Down on the Upside, at times, simply because of the way the album was produced and how it sounds. Feathergun was a noticeable shift in sound and while there are some great songs on there (Feathergun, for example), there are some elements that aren't entirely there. Eidolon had a lot of depth and an amazing amount of variety and Feathergun doesn't nearly capture the same kind of variety.

Additionally, many of these albums are NOT progressive metal, in my opinion.

Those are just personal things. Great list!
mz - 22.07.2013 at 10:29  
Written by Diverge on 22.07.2013 at 06:01

Feathergun is a nice addition from Rishloo, but in my opinion, Eidolon is Rishloo's masterpiece. Rishloo's Feathergun actually seems like an inferior version of Soundgarden's Down on the Upside, at times, simply because of the way the album was produced and how it sounds. Feathergun was a noticeable shift in sound and while there are some great songs on there (Feathergun, for example), there are some elements that aren't entirely there. Eidolon had a lot of depth and an amazing amount of variety and Feathergun doesn't nearly capture the same kind of variety.

Additionally, many of these albums are NOT progressive metal, in my opinion.

Those are just personal things. Great list!

Cheers dude. To be honest, I just gave Eidolon to spins. That album was great but not as much as Feathergun IMO. Also, I think that the time I listened to Eidolon my taste was not prepared for it enough so you might be right here.
which of the albums are not progressive in your opinion?
Ace Frawley - 22.07.2013 at 11:45  
Cool list. Some landmark albums on there. Has given me some ideas for some albums/bands I haven't heard before. Thanks.
mz - 22.07.2013 at 11:49  
Written by Ace Frawley on 22.07.2013 at 11:45

Cool list. Some landmark albums on there. Has given me some ideas for some albums/bands I haven't heard before. Thanks.

Thank you sir and you are welcomed. Cheers
tea[m]ster - 22.07.2013 at 18:01  
Never really thought of Death as prog metal...nice list tho.
Dark†SymphonY - 22.07.2013 at 19:50  
Good stuff here, Elvenefris in particular is a fantastic album, one of the greatest prog/death album out there.
mz - 22.07.2013 at 23:06  
Written by mz on 21.07.2013 at 11:15

Adding description to every album is for sure a hard task . Will do that in next sessions

deleting description of six albums is definitely easier than adding new description to 14 other albums
Diverge - 26.07.2013 at 18:36  
Written by mz on 22.07.2013 at 10:29

Written by Diverge on 22.07.2013 at 06:01

Feathergun is a nice addition from Rishloo, but in my opinion, Eidolon is Rishloo's masterpiece. Rishloo's Feathergun actually seems like an inferior version of Soundgarden's Down on the Upside, at times, simply because of the way the album was produced and how it sounds. Feathergun was a noticeable shift in sound and while there are some great songs on there (Feathergun, for example), there are some elements that aren't entirely there. Eidolon had a lot of depth and an amazing amount of variety and Feathergun doesn't nearly capture the same kind of variety.

Additionally, many of these albums are NOT progressive metal, in my opinion.

Those are just personal things. Great list!

Cheers dude. To be honest, I just gave Eidolon to spins. That album was great but not as much as Feathergun IMO. Also, I think that the time I listened to Eidolon my taste was not prepared for it enough so you might be right here.
which of the albums are not progressive in your opinion?


Elvenefris, Order And Punishment (Řád A Trest), and Axioma Ethica Odini come to mind. The albums are massive and spell-binding in their own respects, but if I had to think of progressive metal albums, they would not instantly come to my mind. But that's just me-- I love the first two albums there, but I've always felt Enslaved is over-rated in just about every regard.

Also, Eidolon is definitely worth another few listens. For me, the way the tracks lead into each other and the quality of tracks like Disco Biscuit make the difference.

Finally, I just wanted to say that The Sound of Perseverance gets an undeserved bad reputation here on Metal Storm, and I believe it should be on any great metal album list.
mz - 26.07.2013 at 23:04  
Written by Diverge on 26.07.2013 at 18:36

Written by mz on 22.07.2013 at 10:29


Cheers dude. To be honest, I just gave Eidolon to spins. That album was great but not as much as Feathergun IMO. Also, I think that the time I listened to Eidolon my taste was not prepared for it enough so you might be right here.
which of the albums are not progressive in your opinion?


Elvenefris, Order And Punishment (Řád A Trest), and Axioma Ethica Odini come to mind. The albums are massive and spell-binding in their own respects, but if I had to think of progressive metal albums, they would not instantly come to my mind. But that's just me-- I love the first two albums there, but I've always felt Enslaved is over-rated in just about every regard.

Also, Eidolon is definitely worth another few listens. For me, the way the tracks lead into each other and the quality of tracks like Disco Biscuit make the difference.

Finally, I just wanted to say that The Sound of Perseverance gets an undeserved bad reputation here on Metal Storm, and I believe it should be on any great metal album list.

Elvenefris and Order And Punishment (Řád A Trest) were quiet progressive the last time I listened to them (which was admittedly,long time ago, perhaps about a year). Also, I recently revisited Axioma Ethica Odini and it was also progressive on my ears. well, I think this slight disagreement is because of my extended definition of progressive metal and I might be wrong calling them prog. Also, I am not familiar with all of enslaved's discography (just Isa and AEO) and they are far from being overrated.
I also take your words about Eidolon and will recheck that A.S.A.P
Finally, I completely agree with you about TSoP and that album IMO is just fantastic.
Erik M. - 11.10.2013 at 00:35  
Spires - Spiral of Ascension.
mz - 11.10.2013 at 00:47  
Written by Erik M. on 11.10.2013 at 00:35

Spires - Spiral of Ascension.

thank you, I will check them. extreme progreive metal is one of my favorite subgenres.
mz - 11.10.2013 at 00:52  
Well, I have not listened to any progressive rock/metal album since the time I created this list which is a real shame
SSM - 10.01.2014 at 21:17  
Good list.
These are my favorites for sure:
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson
Death - The Sound Of Perseverance
Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
Opeth - Still Life

Keep your progress
mz - 10.01.2014 at 21:20  
Written by SSM on 10.01.2014 at 21:17

Good list.
These are my favorites for sure:
Edge Of Sanity - Crimson
Death - The Sound Of Perseverance
Porcupine Tree - Fear Of A Blank Planet
Opeth - Still Life

Keep your progress


thank you

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