Progressive metal

From Academic Kids


Progressive metal (shortened to prog, or prog metal when differentiating from progressive rock) is a heavy brand of progressive rock which is characterized by the use of complex compositional structures, odd time signatures, and other features.

Its origins can be traced all the way back to traditional progressive rock acts of the 1960s and '70s like Yes, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis and Rush, but progressive metal didn't develop into a genre of its own until the mid-1980s. Acts such as Dream Theater, Queensrche and Fates Warning took elements of these progressive rock groups, primarily the instrumentation and compositional structure of songs, and merged them with heavy metal characteristics attributed to bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The result could be described as a progressive rock mentality with heavy metal sounds.

The genre reached its commercial peak in the early '90s when Queensrche's "Silent Lucidity" became a massive radio and MTV hit. It was not a typical progressive metal song (it is more accurately described as a heavy metal power ballad), but nonetheless it opened Queensrche's music to a whole new legion of fans, which in turn had an effect on the popularity of other progressive metal bands of the time. In 1993 Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under", a more typical progressive metal song than "Silent Lucidity" but still more accurately described as straight heavy metal, became popular on radio and MTV.

If fringe progressive metal acts are to be included, Tool would be the most popular group in the genre. Tool exploded to prominence in the mid 90s with the release of their second album, nima, and have since gone on to become one of the most popular rock acts in the world. Their eclectic mix of heavy metal, rhythmic drumming, complex structures and deep lyrics has prompted many people to classify them as a progressive metal band although their music differs substantially from traditional progressive acts (see Diversity section, below).



Progressive metal could be broken down into countless sub-genres corresponding to certain other styles of music that have influenced progressive metal groups. Two bands that are commonly identified as progressive metal, King's X and Opeth, are at opposite ends of the sonic spectrum to one another. King's X are a group influenced very heavily by softer mainstream rock and grunge, whereas Opeth's growling vocals and ultra heavy guitars usually see them cited as death metal.

A good single example of the genre's diversity is The Mars Volta, who have successfully joined progressive metal and hardcore, genres which 10 years ago were opposites of each other in every way.

Classical and symphonic music has also had a significant impact on sections of the progressive metal genre, with bands such as Symphony X and Spock's Beard fusing traditional progressive metal with a complexity and grandeur usually found in classical. Similarly, bands like Liquid Tension Experiment, Varicose Stump and Planet X have a large jazz influence, as has their progenitor Dream Theater.

Influential and important artists

See also: List of progressive metal artists

See also

Progressive metal websites

es:Progressive Metal fi:Progressiivinen metal fr:Mtal progressif he:פרוג מטאל id:Metal progresif it:Progressive metal nl:Progressive metal pl:Progresywny metal ru:Прогрессив-Метал sv:Progressive metal


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