10 Greatest Prog Rock Bands

The Musical Masterminds of Rock.

Pink Floyd
Harvest Records

At the end of the 60's, rock looked a lot different than it did at the beginning of the decade. With everybody still submerged in the acid dreams of Woodstock, bands were coming up left and right trying to push the genre forward. Though many were content with the blues or rockabilly, these bands were able to spread the rock genre out into new territory.

Amid all the experimentation, these bands ended up creating what we know today as progressive rock. While not every one of these records sound as gargantuan as something like the math rock prodigies today, they still played a key role in taking the rock genre up a notch. From weird tunings to different instrumentation to playing in every time signature ever conceived, these bands have not only stretched the boundaries of music, but also pulled off some of the most impressive musical feats in the rock sphere.

Even when not behind their instruments, every one of these acts have been able to use studio trickery to bring some of the most eccentric sounds into the world of rock and roll. They might not seem like your typical rock outfit, but these guys managed to blast a hole in rock's future and make progressive music a household name

10. Mastodon

By the time the '00s rolled around, it wasn't necessarily a new thing for the sounds of metal to blend with progressive movements. With many bands already making it their calling card, there were millions of bands trying to play the most complicated solo run they could that just happened to be distorted. Just when things felt like they could get a bit monotonous, Mastodon had all the complexity you'd need with a sound that had the force of a hurricane.

Formed when two of the members met at a High On Fire show, the band channelled that specific brand of heaviness into their sound, with the more intense soundscapes being mixed with some of the fattest guitar tones the '00s had ever seen. Many bands would see their heavy sound as an opportunity to make their playing dirty, but the guitar team of Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher are one of the tightest guitar pairs in the entire industry, going from close harmonies to leading the six-string charge on one riff.

With early albums being grand tales based around one of the elements to their current approach of making bite-sized epics, Mastodon have almost developed their own lane apart from their brethren. It's one thing to show off your technical chops, but when you can take it to an unbelievable volume, it almost feels like you can shake the Earth's core.


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