"Progressive metal" can mean a lot of things. For many bands, it describes an approach to songwriting that focuses on what can be done with technicality, bringing it far beyond what listeners would hear in average contexts. Angular solos, driving drums and off-beat patterns create a kind of sound that's infinitely thrilling and incredible to hear. At it's core, "progressive" should mean something that drives the genre forward beyond cliche conventions and average songwriting into otherworldly art.

We picked 25 progressive metal albums that exemplify this forward-thinking mentality. Oftentimes, this means the tag of "progressive metal" just isn't enough, and these albums cross over to different territories and new sounds. Each of these albums is a journey into the unknown, a narrative to get lost in and something that exemplifies the beauty of music.

Note, we are focusing on progressive metal, and not progressive rock, so you won't find legendary bands like Rush and King Crimson on the list, despite their influence on a lot of the acts who are included.

See our picks for the Top 25 Progressive Metal Albums of All Time in the gallery above!

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