Progressive metal, also known as 'prog metal' and 'prog-metal' is a sub-genre of heavy metal, influenced heavily by both progressive rock and heavy metal. This style of heavy metal began in the late 1980s almost simultaneously in both the United Kingdom and the USA. Progressive metal took the aggression and amplified electric guitar of heavy metal, with the experimental, complex and "pseudo-classical" conceptual compositions of progressive rock. As the genre evolved, progressive metal has borrowed influences from several other genres, including classical and jazz fusion music.
Progressive metal did not really come into favor until the 1990s with acts like Dream Theater, Queensryche and Fates Warning. Other styles of metal began to experiment with progressive metal in their works; acts like Metallica on their ...And Justice for All album is an example.
All Progressive metal bands cannot be pigeon holed into one musical sound when identified as 'progressive metal' as it has been divided into many sub-genres in an effort to identify the other styles of music that influenced it. Some acts tend toward a softer style of mainstream rock, while others are influenced more by death metal, goth, thrash metal, jazz, classical or NWOBHM, for example. In reality 'progressive metal' should be called 'fusion metal' if you were to try to lump all the acts under one title.
Power metal and progressive metal are often linked, as they can often overlap where one style overlaps the other, as they often do easily.
Recently, with a new wave of popularity in more technically minded guitar playing, (a.k.a. 'technical metal'), a resurgence of popularity of sorts for traditional progressive metal bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X has come about. Once again bands who would not normally be classified in the genre has seen thrash and death metal bands like Nevermore and Obscura.
Progressive metal was not recognized by the RRCA (now Diskery) database until 2010. As bands are discovered that meet this description they will be moved under this title from their current position.
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