The 90’s and beyond: Top 5 Modern Day Progressive Rock/Metal Bands

maynardjameskeenanRock nuts, I hope you’ve carved out some time because with this list you’re going to need it. Progressive Rock can trace its origins to the United Kingdom in the late 1960’s. With bands such as Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Yes, Rush, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and Genesis — to name a few — it has been evolving ever since.

These five bands below have taken a lot of influence of their forefathers and propelled the genre to new heights. Heavier, more conceptual, and style variations are just some of the tags that have allowed these bands to be top five material. So, without further delay, this is’s top 5 modern day progressive rock/metal bands. I’d love to hear what your favorite modern day prog bands are.

5. Between The Buried And Me

While not what your typical rock nut would listen, to please give these guys a chance. With a ravenous vocal growl, Between The Buried and Me also inspires beauty their talents and styles. Their influences range all the way from The Smashing Pumpkins to Pink Floyd, King Crimson to Faith No More, and Metallica to Queen. Their studio albums are quite epic if given the chance.

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4. Mastodon

Taking the Georgia metal scene by storm, Mastodon’s rampage of sludge and progressive metal styles makes them an easy fourth on this list. While their studio catalogue mostly has been slightly conceptual in nature, it was Mastodon’s Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye that had a special conceptual cohesiveness. If impressed by these, please dive into their other albums. You have very good luck with the first two.

3. Porcupine Tree

Porcupine Tree is a band that’s tailored directly to the rocknut fan. First, they’re an English rock band. Second, they have psychedelic and progressive ties that conjure Pink Floyd. Finally, Porcupine Tree were notable for being an album-oriented band, making very conceptual records where many songs are related to each other. A no-brainer for the third spot.

2. The Mars Volta

This we a really hard decision and you’ll know why when you see number one. The Mars Volta is a huge part of what inspired my tastes and decisions musically. The band’s music has been described as progressive rock, experimental rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, electronic rock, neo-psychedelia, post-rock, post-hardcore, and math rock. If you don’t know anything about these guys, then De-Loused in the Comatorium — thank me later.

1. Tool

Tool had to be number one. Since the early 90’s, Tool had mashed, melded, and mathed their way across the modern day prog landscape. They’ve released Lateralus which is heralded as one of prog’s greatest accomplishments. It’s no wonder that fans eagerly await the follow up to 10,000 Days. It has been almost 10 freakin’ years. But, then again, being a Tool fan, we all know patience is a virtue because Tool can deliver. So, in the words of the great Maynard James Keenan “Learn to Swim.”

Photo: Maynard James Keenan; Credit: By deep_schismic, image modified by anetode ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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