Prog metal...where do I start?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by 43% burnt, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I've really been getting into some more progressive sounding metal these days. I've been listening to Opeth non-stop for awhile now. I'm truly amazed by that band, and I'm looking for similar metal bands that defy genre limitations but I don't know where to start. Any recomendations on bands that use complex compositional structures, odd time, epic sounding songs, etc...but remain metal in essence.

    Some bands that I've come across in my research, but I have not checked out yet are: Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Ayreon, and Riverside. Does anyone have any recommendations of albums to check out by these bands or other bands that are essential listening?

    Thanks in advance guys!!! :bassist:
  2. Hi, i'd suggest to listen to "Scenes from a memory" from Dream Theater, wich in my opinion is one of the most versatile prog metal records i ever heard. lots of changes in style within each song, especially "The Dance of Eternity" wich is my favourite instrumental song. very complex, technical masterpeace. Reminds me a lot of songs by a german prog rock group in the 70's called "schicke, führs, fröhling" which i liked very much back in the good ol' days..Also give "Lateralus" by tool a try, they have an interesting mix in that recording.
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Personally, I'm not a Dream Theater fan. Not even of the older (read that as "better") years.

    Some of the following list are more one way than the other (i.e more prog than metal or more metal than prog)

    Yeti - fecking awesome prog band. Closest thing that I have found to the insanity of ELP. It has the creepy epicness, but lacks slightly in the metal department.

    Ephel Duath - deserves a mention as they mix jazz with metal in a prog sort of way, but alas no epicness.

    The Mass - jazz metal, but again no epicness.

    Secret Chiefs 3 - Trey Spruance's band after Bungle and his short stint in FNM. Very, very epic prog/world music (that doesn't suck). Slightly lacking on the metal.

    Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - might be something that you would like, but the music is way off the beaten path. Metal moments, punk moments, epic moments, they really can't be pigeonholed to one sound other than the STGM sound.

    Maybe that helped, maybe it didn't. :D
  4. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Awesome sugestions guys.
    I love that album...Tool's best work IMO. I'll take a listen to the Dream Theater album you suggested too.

    Thanks man, these all look very promising. That Yeti song sounds bananas, i will definitely be getting that album. I have "Of Natural History" by STGM...thats one crazy record. Very good, yet very weird.
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    King Crimson's "Red" and "Power to Believe" are both metalish... but very different from each other. Power to believe is like techno prog metal... weird.
  6. Tired_Thumb

    Tired_Thumb Guest

    Two to throw down.

    Cynic - Focus

    Not an epic album, songs are shortish, the robot voice turns some people off, but highly recommended. I wish they could have used more of their atmospheric moments to build their songs, but overall, good album. The Seans are the rythm section here; great section, but I think they did better further down.

    Aghora - Aghora

    I believe the Seans were at their peak here. Mahavishnu Orchestra influenced prog metal. The vocalist seems to get tired at times, but I heard she should be better in the upcoming second album. The only thing that irked me about the guitars was Santi's solos on Transfiguration and Satya being the same solo.
  7. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    I just thought of one, but I can't remember the name.

    SMASH hipped me to them. Woods of "Blank", they were Opeth sounding band without being a ripoff.
  8. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Cool, I have that Cynic album. They were a pretty sick band...My only complaint about that album is it all sounds the same to me after a few songs. Tight as hell and original non-the-less.

    I'll definitely check out Aghora...sounds cool.
  9. Symphony X has a heavy Neoclassical element. Think Yngwie Malmsteen meets Dream Theater type stuff.
    The Divine Wings of Tragedy, V, and The Damnation Game are my favorite sfrom them (Start with Divine though.)

    Dream Theater the best (IMO) progressive metal band ever.
    For the heaviest stuff that's still technically mind blowing,
    check out Train of Thought. For the original "classic" DT sound check out Images and Words. For a middleground, Scenes from a Memory.
  10. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    Woods of Ypres?
  11. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    Thanks...They have quite a catalog and I had no idea what DT albums sounded like what. I think I'll start with their heavier stuff. Train of Thought sounds like a good one. :)
  12. Oh yeah, just be prepared to deal with very long songs and solos. If you're into that sort of thing (I heavily am) you'll dig. Images and Words has greeeat song writing when Kevin Moore (keyboardist) was in the band.
  13. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Death is excellent progressive metal with a death metal character. The most progressive album is The Sound of Perseverence.

    Meshugga does polyrhythmic metal and is pretty sick. Super heavy. Try out the song Future Breed Machine if you can find it.
  14. 43% burnt

    43% burnt an actor who wants to run the whole show

    May 4, 2004
    Bridgeport, CT
    I can deal with long no problem if it keeps my interest. And Solos are cool as long as their tastefull and not too overdone.

    What does Stratovarius sound like?
    Death is one of my favorite bands ever. Any other bands similar that I might not have heard of?

    Meshuggah is great too...i'm looking for more versatility though. They pretty much stick to their one style.
  15. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Dream Theater for sure! They are my favorite band ever.

    Check out all their albums, but their most famous ones are Metropolis Part II: Scenes From a Memory and Images and Words. If you're into something really heavy, check out the Train of Thought album. You know what, just get them all. :p
  16. bassjamn


    Jan 4, 2002
    San Francisco
    The drummer i play with describes them as "Childrens metal " I guess because of the lyrics hehe. I've not heard much of their stuff.

    I like pagan's mind - good vocalist, I think they are norwegian.
    Angra, magnitude 9 are good too.

    Some good suggestions here, I need to find more as well.
  17. TRUE!
    also check out CONTROL DENIED!
    this band features Death members richard christy,shannon hamm, steve diGiorgio(!!!) and Chuck schuldiner, but not Chuck on vocals.
    Prog metal fans will love it!
  18. For Dream Theater I like Train of Thought - Very dark and epic, about alcholism. And I LOVE Octavarium - has a slight religious theme I believe, my favorite DT very good. Im not much for older Dream Theater personally, sounds too much like Kansas.

    +1 on Yeti, they are pretty cool.

    Check out Elvenking( there are alot of bands with this name, this particular one is from Wales, sorry I have no link, just a burned cd myself) They are like a mixture of metal and celtic folk and Crimso. Very cool. Its two guitars, singer , bass, drums and a fellow that plays various celtic instruments.

    Guapo - Dark instrumental stuff. Very good though . ALot of sound for a trio especially.

    Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses - again instrumental . This is among my favorite bands. Two members are in Guapo as well. They are on Trey Spruance's Mimicry label. More prog and less metal , but if you dig the more creepy softer side of Opeth then you'll love Miasma. Their sound is cult/horror movie/gypsy jazz/a little metal/just plain scary music. I HIGHLY suggest.

    And then there's Magma ..............check out Miasma and get back to me, if you like Miasma then Ill tell you about Magma.............THE PROG band.

    Oh and a some promotion, check out my brother's band they are Hover and sorta fit into prog metal . I enjoy them alot.
  19. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    PLanet X- MOon Babies, or if you want somehting with more bass emphasis, Live from Oz, which has LaRue on bass.
  20. Exept for the one´s already mentioned I would recomend Evergrey and Pain of Salvation. Two very interesting bands with great songs.