Post-Progressive Metal: Is There Such a Thing?

Post-Progressive Metal

Progressive Metal raised as a standalone genre in the second half of 1980s. The bands that emerged back then have defined this new music style by taking on the Progressive Rock genre that came into fruition more than twenty years before, and combining it with Heavy Metal riffs, solos, lengthy keyboard passages, and clockwork rhythm section.

Over the years, the Progressive Metal genre kept on developing, becoming more complex and demanding. Bands such Dream Theater and Fates Warning continued perfecting it, while Opeth and Cynic brought different approaches with influences from Folk and Jazz Fusion, respectively.

With the rise of modern technology there have been drastic movements within the Progressive Metal genre as well. Today, this music style counts thousands of bands and is usually divided into subgenres. What was once called Progressive Metal has become quite a broad term, and is rather used to describe a group of bands.

Let’s return to the question asked in the title of this post:

Is there such a thing as Post-Progressive Metal?

The answer to this question could be “yes” and “no.” Yes — if you think that every band that emerged in the second (or later) wave, and no — if you are led by an opinion that, after all, these bands have a common ground and it’s simply called Progressive Metal.

What could possibly be defined as Post-Progressive Metal? Usually most fans of the Progressive Metal genre think that the first wave lasted between its inception in the late ‘80s and 2000. That is a huge period of almost 25 years, but during this time we witnessed the rise of the bands crucial for the genre itself. Beside already mentioned Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Cynic and Opeth, artists such Queensryche, Symphony X, King’s X, Shadow Gallery, Watchtower, Conception, Pain of Salvation, Devin Townsend, Meshuggah, Tool, Voivod, Threshold are of significant importance for the style.

Mastodon (photo by Jimmy Hubbard)

Mastodon (photo by Jimmy Hubbard)

Post-Progressive Metal, as a derivative of its mother-genre, would possibly include the groups that emerged with the coming of a new millennium, taking up on the Progressive Metal genre and furthering it with influences from vast variety of different styles such Black/Death/Thrash Metal, Progressive Rock, Jazz Fusion, and more. Bands such Mastodon, Between the Buried and Me, TesseracT, The Faceless, Periphery, Vildhjarta, Animals as Leaders, Monuments have continued expanding the genre, perfecting it with impeccable execution and production. A new trend of bedroom producing has been introduced — it’s never been easier for musicians to record and produce records on a budget.

Tagging something with the term “post-” is usually something to have a good laugh at, and the same could be said for the genre categorisation, but that is totally a different topic. People are accustomed to tagging things, and music has been a part of the categorisation process for a very long time.

What do you think? Post-Progressive Metal — yay or nay? Let us know in the comments below.

After all, with countless of new bands emerging all around the world, the future of the genre seems to be very bright. No matter what we call it.


  1. drgorogbalazs

    February 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Hi, I think the term post-progressive is a ‘nay’. For me progressive means something ever changing and developing. Thus connecting the word ‘post’ to ‘progressive’ somewhat sounds of an axiome. I sense why the difference between e.g. Mastodon, Tesseract and e.g. Dream Theater may trigger the need for differentiation and a new name however I do not have the breakthrough idea as well…

  2. Niels

    February 13, 2017 at 7:43 am

    I think progressive metal in itself is there to break boundaries, thus the addition of post seems irrelevant. The term progressive metal defines a total group of bands and artists, but does not say anything about the style they are playing. It’s the same with the term modern metal. Which implies that there should also be an old metal?

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