Top 20 Songwriters in Progressive Metal by Prog Sphere

Top 20 Songwriters in Progressive Metal by Prog Sphere
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Jeff Loomis (solo, Nevermore)

Best known as a guitarist and founding member of Nevermore, Jeff Loomis definitely wrote some great songs in the band’s 7-album opus. Same as Michael Romeo, Jeff Loomis is an extraordinary guitarist, but his songwriting skills are what we appreciate about him. Pick any of the songs from Nevermore‘s 2000 album Dead Heart, in a Dead World (except The Sounds of Silence), and his inclusion here will be more than justified.

Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth, Storm Corrosion)

This one was expected, maybe a bit earlier than it is. Opeth‘s mainman has a good reputation as a singer, guitarist and most importantly, as a songwriter. For almost 25 years, he put huge creative input in a band that is considered one of the most influential and inspiring acts today. His straying from death metal didn’t reduce his songwriting skills what resulted in 2011′s Heritage. Opeth is set to release their new album, Pale Communion, on August 25th. Additionally, Åkerfeldt formed an atmospheric/ambient project with a long-time friend Steven Wilson, Storm Corrosion, where his songwriting showed his other side(s).


Toby Driver (Kayo Dot, maudlin of the Well)

Toby is one of the most forward-thinking musicians on the progressive scene today, and his work proves that. Both Kayo Dot and maudlin of the Well are not progressive metal bands in its standard meaning, but rather bands that embrace the other side of the progressive. Driver, being a multi-instrumentalist, showcased his art of songwriting dozens of times.

Devin Townsend

HevyDevy wrote quite a few excellent albums in the past, and he continuously does it. Thus he definitely deserved a spot here. His work with Strapping Young Lad and with his numerous solo projects put him in the top of the progressive metal community as one of the hardest working musician.


Paul Masvidal (Cynic)

Although Cynic was formed in the second half of the 1980′s, the band released “only” three studio albums, what is mainly due to the fact taht the band was on hiatus for twelve years. On these three full-lengths and two EP’s, Paul Masvidal showed not only great musicianship, but also the knowledge how to write great songs.

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Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.


  1. Nico Savoca

    May 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Too bad it’s true…

  2. Michael

    May 29, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Odyssey is a masterpiece. What I like most about it is combination of orchestral parts with heavy riffs of Michael Romeo. I think that this is unique.

  3. Alisson Vidal

    June 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    No Daniel Gildenlow?! Oo

  4. Metalized

    June 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Right, no Jim Matheos… Oh, well, to each his own, but for me Matheos is certainly one of the most influential prog songwriters of all time and one of the top 5. Or did I miss it somewhere?

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