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(This post before you read about toturial)
Progressive Metal definition This category represents the core movement of what is called "Progressive Metal" in the literal sense. Throughout the years many new styles of progressive metal emerged more or less independently of the original Progressive Metal bands. Separating these styles from the core movement helps to prevent the definition of Prog Metal from "watering down".
Progressive Metal: The Early Years
Progressive Metal emerged in the second half of the 1980s. The first bands were essentially attempting to combine influences from classic prog rock of the 1970s (bands include YES, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON) and the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal - bands include DIAMOND HEAD, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST).
Classic Progressive (Proto-)Power Metal
These bands were staying close to a style which would eventually be evolve into "American Power Metal". This type of Power Metal is not to be confused with the European style which emerged with bands like HELLOWEEN a few years later and would lead to a second wave of Progressive (European) Power Metal bands in the late 1990s.
Classic (Eclectic) Progressive Metal
This style came to full bloom in the 1990s. The NWOBHM influence is still present in the music, but it's not the main ingredient anymore - in fact one of the trademarks of this style is that it draws from a broad range of influences which all seem equal in proportion. The resulting music is very diverse, making it difficult to describe or pin-point. But it's always melodic and often symphonic, and generally not too explicitly technical - although bands like DREAM THEATER are often accused of being too technical and virtuous there are many bands which take technicality to yet another level.
Progressive Metal: The 1990s
In the 1990s American Power Metal continually lost its dominance over the core movement of Progressive Metal. Instead eclecticism and melodic/symphonic elements became the dominant attributes. DREAM THEATER quickly established themselves as the most popular band of the genre, which also led to them becoming a reference in terms of style. Every new Progressive Metal band was compared to them, similarly to neo prog bands being compared to MARILLION, or new Prog Rock bands of the 1990s being compared to SPOCK'S BEARD.
Modern (Eclectic) Progressive Metal
These bands and albums represent the "heart" of Progressive Metal. They managed to refine their music compared to the beginnings in the 1980s, yet they managed to stay true to the style they had defined with their early albums - at least at the beginning of the 1990s. Of course there were fluctuations - some bands are more technical, some are more symphonic, some albums are more experimental, some are spacey ... but they all maintain a balance between the influences, and that's why they're listed here.
Modern Progressive Power Metal (American Style)
In a way these bands revived the music which had sparked the Progressive Metal movement in the 1980s. In the meantime the musical environment had changed a lot, for example neo-classical elements had been made popular by one Yngwie J. Malmsteen. This was influential for most Progressive Metal bands which were rooted in Power Metal.
The following bands can largely be attributed to American Power Metal, although some are borderline to the Eclectic/Mainstream Progressive Metal bands.
Modern Progressive Power Metal (European Style)
These bands have even more neoclassical elements, the most extreme example being RHAPSODY who can be called "Classical Metal", which doesn't qualify as being prog for many people. Nevertheless their music is quite demanding to play and contains many elements of serious classical composition and form, which is a strong indication of progressiveness. The following list of bands is quite diverse ... despite of them all being related to European Power Metal they really sound very, very different.