Progressive metal Information

Progressive metal is a subgenre of heavy metal, which blends the powerful, guitar-driven sound of metal with the complex compositional structures, odd time signatures, and intricate instrumental playing of progressive rock. Some progressive metal bands are also influenced by jazz fusion and classical music. Like progressive rock songs, progressive metal songs are typically much longer than standard metal songs, and are often thematically linked in concept albums.

The mixing of the progressive rock and heavy metal styles can be traced back to the late 1960s and early 1970s. One of England's heaviest progressive rock bands, High Tide, fused the elements of "metal progenitors such as Cream, Blue Cheer, and the Jeff Beck Group" into their sound. Other bands such as King Crimson and Rush were also incorporating metal into their music, as well as Uriah Heep, whose "by-the-books progressive heavy metal made the British band one of the most popular hard rock groups of the early '70s"Rush songs such as "Bastille Day", "Anthem", and "Something for Nothing" have been cited as some of the earliest examples of progressive metal. Another early practitioner of prog rock and heavy metal were Lucifer's Friend. However, progressive metal did not develop into a genre of its own until the mid-1980s. Bands such as Fates Warning, Queensrÿche and Dream Theater took elements of these progressive rock groups – primarily the instrumentation and compositional structure of songs – and merged them with heavy metal styles associated with early Metallica, Megadeth and Iron Maiden. The result could be described as a progressive rock mentality with heavy metal sounds.

The three flagship bands for prog metal of the time each had somewhat different sounds. Queensryche had by far the most melodic sound of the three and was ultimately the most commercially successful. Dream Theater drew most from traditional prog rock and also built much of their earlier career on the band members' instrumental skills, though later in their career they would abandon much of their more obvious prog rock influences in favor of a more edgy, modern prog metal sound. Fates Warning were the most aggressive and heavy and arguably had the most in common with the thrash and extreme metal scenes of the time, which led them to be the least accessible of the three bands, though they also had their own brief taste of commercial success with their Parallels album.

Wikipedia, Progressive metal, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_metal (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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