20 Best German Prog Bands

20 Best German Prog Bands

After France, we are jumping to the neighbouring Germany in quest for the best German prog bands nowadays. Germany has a good tradition when it comes to Prog, and what is more important there are many bands today that continue the legacy. Check below which 20 bands are in our opinion the best Prog representatives coming from Germany.

You can also see our previous features on Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.

Vanden Plas

Vanden Plas is a progressive metal band based in Kaiserslautern and founded in 1986. The band surrounding vocalist Andreas Kuntz have succeeded in making a name for themselves on an international level. The quintet has put out eight studio albums so far.

Frequency Drift

Formed in Bayreuth by classically trained keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist Andreas Hack, Frequency Drift released six studio albums—the latest being 2016’s Last.

Kokomo

Kokomo from Duisburg started in 2008, and since their 2009’s debut Matterhorn Bob and the Black Fair up to the last year’s Monochrome Noise Love it is easy to notice a progress the group has made over the years.

7for4

Instrumental prog fusion act 7for4 was founded in 1999 by guitarist Wolfgang Zenk, who’s been a part of a progressive rock band Sieges Even. 7for4 is mostly known for blending different styles such Funk, Jazz, Country and Metal together. The group’s most recent record is 2014’s Splash.

Dante

Dante was founded in Munich in 2006. The group’s most recent studio album is 2016’s When We Were Beautiful released through Gentle Art of Music. In April, they released their first live DVD / double CD titled Where Live Was Beautiful – Live in Katowice.

Faust

Faust are considered as one of the first Krautrock bands, and they are one of the groups that still release new music regularly. Since their formation in 1971, the band released 19 studio albums. Their latest record is this year’s Fresh Air.

Eloy

Founded in 1969 by guitarist Frank Bornemann, Eloy has endured several line-up changes, with Bornemann being the only constant member of the group. They released 19 studio albums, and their new, 20th record titled The Vision, the Sword and the Pyre is out on August 25th. Eloy are one of the longest running and most prolific German progressive rock bands.

My Sleeping Karma

Since 2006, Aschaffenburg-based My Sleeping Karma has been making sound waves that include everything from psychedelic rock to stoner, space and progressive rock. They have released five studio records and a live album Mela Ananda-Live.

Tangerine Dream

Without doubt, the recordings of Tangerine Dream have made the greatest impact on the widest variety of instrumental music during the 1980s and 1990s, ranging from the most atmospheric new age and space music to the harshest abrasions of electronic dance. Founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in Berlin, the group has progressed through a full three dozen lineups (Froese being the only continuous member with staying power up until his death in 2015) and four distinct stages of development: the experimentalist minimalism of the late ’60s and early ’70s; stark sequencer trance during the mid- to late ’70s, the group’s most influential period; an organic form of instrumental music on their frequent film and studio work during the 1980s; and, finally, a more propulsive dance style, which showed Tangerine Dream with a sound quite similar to their electronic inheritors in the field of dance music.

RPWL

RPWL started in 1997 as a Pink Floyd cover band. After three years they started to make their own music resulting in a debut album God Has Failed. The band released six studio albums—the most recent being 2014’s Wanted.

Toxic Smile

Toxic Smile was founded in Leipzig by keyboard player Marek Arnold and drummer Daniel Zehe in 1996. Their debut album M.A.D. was released in 2000, and since then they have released four more full-length records. The latest album is 2015’s Farewell, a one-track  (42-minute) concept record.

Sylvan

Hamburg’s Sylvan was founded in 1998 with an idea of blending  together influences from symphonic prog, classic rock and prog metal. The group released nine studio albums. Home was released in 2015.

Counter-World Experience

Jazz Metal par excellence—no holds barred! Since their founding in 2001, Counter-World Experience have been raising the bar in the progressive music world. The band brings Meshuggah-style grooves together with Pat Metheney-like textures, mixes them with electronic sound fragments to create a sound that is, above all, defined by guitar work in the best traditions of Dream Theater.

Dark Suns

Prog metallers, Dark Suns, were founded by Maik Knappe (guitar, backing vocals live), Niko Knappe (vocals, drums), Christoph Borman (bass) and Thomas Bremer (piano). Their sound is a mixture of beautiful melodies backed up by a driving double bass, soft spacey passages, unique guitar sound, and inspiring piano work. The group from Leipzig released five albums, with last year’s Everchild being their most recent.

Long Distance Calling

When David Jordan (guitar), Janosch Rathmer (drums), Florian Füntmann (guitar), Jan Hoffmann (bass) and Reimut van Bonn (ambience) started rehearsing early 2006 all of them had already been active in several mostly way heavier bands. But they all knew that this time it would be something completely different: No limits, only the will, the wish to let go, to surrender oneself, to not look back. Long Distance Calling released five studio albums and three EP’s to date.

Panzerballett

Panzerballett was formed in Munich in 2004 by guitarist Jan Zehrfeld. The music of Panzerballett has been designed for functioning as a perfect workout to highly develop, expand and reinforce the connections between your brain and each muscle you use for headbanging. The band’s latest, fifth album Breaking Brain was released in 2015.

Obscura

Progressive death metal band Obscura was founded in 2002 by guitarist/vocalist Steffen Kummerer and drummer Jonas Baumgartl. The group went on to release four studio albums, with the most recent being last year’s Akroasis. The current line-up includes Kummerer, Rafael Trujillo as second guitarist, Linus Klausenitzer on bass, and Sebastian Lanser on drums.

The Ocean Collective

The Ocean (or The Ocean Collective) originated in 2001, when mainman Robin Staps leased the basement of a former aluminum factory from World War II in the heart of Berlin-Kreuzberg. After a few weeks of daily construction work, “Oceanland” was born – a large underground complex of recording studio and sleeping rooms, where many members of The Ocean would spend the larger part of the upcoming few years of their lives. The band’s live show was conceptualized and improved here, and over the years, a collective of musicians from classical as well as rock music backgrounds formed around Staps. Four albums were recorded at Oceanland, before the band was evicted from the place in 2008. The group released six studio albums to date.

Lucifer’s Friend

Lucifer’s Friend was formed in 1969 in Hamburg; the band was noted as early practitioners of heavy metal and progressive rock. They also incorporated elements of jazz into their music. They produced ten studio albums—the latest being last year’s Too Late to Hate.

Subsignal

Originally intended as a side-project, Subsignal were founded back in 2007 by former Sieges Even members Arno Menses (vocals) and Markus Steffen (guitars). Subsignal define their style as progressive, with an openness to different genres such as AOR, metal, pop… The group’s latest studio effort is 2015’s album Beacons of Somewhere Sometime.

4 Comments

  1. StarBreaker

    May 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    And Alkaloid??

    • Nicci

      May 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      They still have to prove themselves.

  2. Rod Moor-Bardell

    May 23, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Everon? Seven Steps to the Green Door?

  3. Ivan

    May 27, 2017 at 11:29 am

    No Triumvirat? Seriously?

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