Progressive metal, in all it’s guises, has been home to a wealth of classic albums since its rise to prominence in the late 1980’s.
From death metal’s excursions into proggy territory to thrash’s diversions into ever more expansive and technical realms and those who rigidly adhered to the classic 80’s power/prog sound, progressive metal bloomed in the intervening years and this article focuses on those classic recordings which were releaed in the 1980’s and 1990’s and have admirably stood the test of time. To put it simply, if they were released today they’d blow your mind, just as they did all those years ago!
Strap yourselves in for a cerebral pasting, these classic progressive metal monsters were purpose built to fry your brains for all eternity! For the sake of diversity, our standard one album per band mantra applies.
Crimson Glory – Transcendence (1988)
Approaching progressive metal from a fast-paced, power metal angle, Crimson Glory’s seminal second album is a full-on metal assault with it’s opening two tracks, Lady In Winter and Red Sharks, providing a welcome kick to the nuts.
So far, not so progressive we hear you cry!
Well, it’s true, Transcendence often smacks of straight-up American heavy metal but its progressive nature subtly reveals itself, the band enhancing progressive metal’s standing via lyrical concepts and rapid-fire tempo changes.
“In Dark Places”, the album highlight, is a progressive metal updating of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” and “Burning Bridges” takes the slow burn approach to epic balladry; consummate musicianship backed up by vocalist Midnight’s powerful, classic metal delivery.
If released today, Transcendence‘s classic metal stylings and adventurous compositions would still turn heads, its ability to stretch minds and bang heads proving as formidable as ever!