6 Most Influential Progressive Rock Power Trios Through Time, Now and Then

6 Most Influential Progressive Rock Trios Through Time Now and Then (1970-2017)

Power trios are the most respected band formats. Having a power trio band usually means that the instrumentalists are well-trained and highly technical, but it also means that being in a power trio group is highly demanding. During its long history, the genre of Rock has seen numerous groups performing in this setting.

Prog Sphere made a selection of six most influential progressive rock power trios since 1970. The accent in this post was put on the bands that had and are having a huge influence on the Progressive genre.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Probably the most famous law firm in the Progressive Rock Genre, Emerson, Lake & Palmer are considered as one of the most influential English progressive rock groups. Formed in 1970, the group went on recording nine studio albums, with the first seven reaching gold and silver certifications in US, UK and Canada. In 2010 ELP reunited for a standalone performance at the High Voltage Festival in London to commemorate the group’s 40th anniversary. Keith Emerson and Greg Lake died in 2016.


One of the biggest Progressive Rock bands and one of the bands that defined the genre back in its formative years is Rush. The band was formed as trio comprised of guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist/singer Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. But the line-up that left the mark, and is still leaving, on the genre is one with Lifeson, bassist and frontman Geddy Lee and drummer Neil Peart. With 20 studio albums, Rush is also one of the most prolific bands in the genre.

King’s X

Possibly one of the most underrated Progressive Rock bands is a power trio King’s X, with bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick, drummer/vocalist Jerry Gaskill and guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor. The band was formed as The Edge in 1979 by Pinnick and Gaskill in Springfield, Missouri. From 1983 to 1987 they were known as Sneak Preview, but after inking a deal with Megaforce Records in 1987, they continued their work as King’s X and released Out of the Silent Planet in 1988. The band recorded twelve studio albums to date, the most recent being XV from 2008. Back in June 2015, Pinnick has announced that the band started working on a new studio album.

Freak Kitchen

Swedish mind-twisting machine, Freak Kitchen is a brainchild of composer and guitarist extraordinaire Mattias “IA” Eklundh. The band was formed in 1992 in the line-up that featured Eklundh, Christian Grönlund on bass / vocals, and Joakim Sjöberg on drums / vocals. Freak Kitchen released eight studio albums so far; their new record The Wrong Contort Law should be released later this year. Although the band’s music is very technical, they often “mute” the technicality with humour.

The Aristocrats

Guthrie Govan, Bryan Beller and Marco Minnemann aka The Aristocrats are active since 2011. The band released three studio and three live albums, and are constantly touring all around the world. The mixture of Progressive Rock and Jazz Fusion makes them as one of the most technical and tight power trios on the contemporary scene.

Animals as Leaders

Instrumental proggers from Washington D.C., Animals as Leaders have started as a project of guitarist Tosin Abasi in 2007. Not so long after the inception, the project has transformed from a one-man to a band. The current line-up includes Tosin Abasi, guitarist Javier Reyes and drummer Matt Garstka. In the period of ten years Animals as Leaders released four studio albums, the latest being last year’s The Madness of Many.

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