Progressive death metal is a broad genre in terms of the music’s aesthetics. The category includes brutal bands that simply have a quirky, unexpected sounds as well as more obvious crossovers like Cynic and Opeth. There is also the special case that is Amorphis, a band that has stumbled into most metal style over the lapse of their career, and therefor can be seen as progressive. A few good starting points to understand the style might be Opeth’s “Blackwater Park”, Cynic’s “Focus” and Lykathea Aflame’s “Elvenefris”.

Classic progressive metal bands outside death metal include Rush, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Pain of Salvation and Riverside. That classification is also broad and includes bands from many different eras and influence pools. A very general distinction for progressive metal is that has long songs, complex arrangements and time changes.

Best progressive death metal bands

Disclaimer: the bands I list here are not necessarily 100 % death metal. Instead I’m going to list the best extreme sounding progressive bands.


Barren Earth


Death (mid- and late era)

Edge of Sanity

Lykathea Aflame



Progressive metal playlist

If you want to find some new bands and songs in the style you should check out our progressive metal playlist on YouTube. It features the classics, as well as less known bands in the style. Hopefully you will stumble onto something cool.

Soliloquium – swedish death/doom metal

Soliloquium is a swedish death/doom metal band with a progressive death metal influence. We have been active since 2011 and all our releases are available as free downloads at our Bandcamp. If you enjoy our releases it’s also a good idea to follow us on Facebook to keep tabs on our upcoming releases.