The Most Influential Early Progressive Metal Album



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Original post

Posted by Dane Train, 30.07.2007 - 20:34
This was a question that came up last night while sitting around a fire and drinking beer. Of the early Progressive Metal bands, which album was the most influential to the genre?

Now, before we get into it let me state a few things:

We defined "Early Progressive Metal" to be any band that was already established before 1994. That was the year that Dream Theater's Awake came out and the European Progressive Metal scene was beginning. Up until this point it was pretty much an American genre.

Also, it had to be an album from a Progressive Metal band. Some albums like ...And Justice For All, Nothingface and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son had very strong Progressive elements, but are still not considered Progressive Metal. Likewise, albums like 2112, Brain Salad Surgery and Tails of Mystery and Imagination were not considered because they were not full Metal albums.

So we narrowed it down to four albums, each representing the highlight of that bands early career, but we still couldn't decide. Thus, you, the Metalstormers, with your opinions, comments and debates shall help decide.

Please do not pick an album just because you like it better than the others, or you happen to like that band more. Also, it would really be great if you knew all four of these picks. Don't just say "Images and Words 'cause I never heard of King's X before."
Likewise, please explain why you picked the one that you did. Remember, this should turn into more of a debate than people just voting.

As for me, I actually have to go with Awaken The Guardian as the most influential. Yes, as many of you know I have a sick addiction to Images and Words, but I think Awaken The Guardian is more important to the ground work. It was this album that really pushed Mike Portnoy to write the music that would become I&W. It may have also been the first fully developed Progressive Metal album. It seemed that albums either leaned to the Prog side or the Metal side, but not a seamless mash-up. Awaken The Guardian did it, and it did it well.

Poll

Which one was the most influencial?

Operation: Mindcrime
49
Images and Words
43
other (please specify)
15
Awaken The Guardian
12
Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
0

Total votes: 119
25.01.2009 - 20:24
Krashlanmar
Account deleted
I voted Operation: Mindcrime. I love both Dream Theater and Queensryche, and Dream Theater's my favorite band, but I think that out of those two Queensryche was more influential earlier.

Now Dream Theater is the "standard" of the genre.

=]
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05.02.2009 - 20:15
IronBlackZepp
Operation: Mindcrime is often called the first prog metal album. True or not, it is probably the most influential.
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05.09.2011 - 02:21
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
I have to agree with Rush - Moving Pictures... while pinning the metal label on them is not the obvious choice, the music was heavy enough to be close. I would say it's a safe bet that most progressive metal drummers would list Neil Peart as an influence. Cliff Burton and Steve Harris were inspired by the playing of Geddy Lee, so I'm sure there were others in the metal scene inspired but who looked to develop progressive metal. Looking at a song like YYZ, you can see how profound an influence it had in Dream Theater's Ytse Jam years later. Operation: Mindcrime would be my next choice, it only loses out due to it's later place in the chronology.


Rush - YYZ



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05.09.2011 - 04:19
Metal_4Ever
Definitely Images And Words.
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05.09.2011 - 05:28
Ankläger
Black Sabbath. Seriously. It's metal, and at the time it was sure-as-hell progressive (progress from blues and rock to metal)

But, of the choices, I would go with Images and Words, because it seems that most of the prog bands I hear these days are just DT ripoffs.

(Not going to vote though, 'cause I haven't listened to any of the albums)
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05.09.2011 - 06:44
Angelic Storm
Melodious
Written by IronBlackZepp on 05.02.2009 at 20:15

Operation: Mindcrime is often called the first prog metal album. True or not, it is probably the most influential.


Hmm... most of the individual songs are too simplistic in their structure to be classed as actual prog, but if you listen to "Pull Me Under", (the song that catapulted Dream Theater to stardom) the similarity between the main parts of that song and "The Mission" is startling! lol So while Mindcrime's status as a prog album is very debateable, it was without doubt a huge influence on the genre of prog metal.

I'd also agree about Rush! While again, calling them "metal" is very debateable, I'd say "2112" definitely has metal elements, and the title track itself is very metallic. (Especially the "Temples Of Syrinx" section is pure metal) It could just be the very first prog metal epic, and I'd say Rush were a massive influence on prog metal. Even though calling them "metal" is a stretch.
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11.12.2011 - 18:10
Pennywise213
Account deleted
What about Crimson Glory's Transcendence, its not as progressive as Awaken the Guardian, but if Operation Mindcrime is called Prog, Crimson Glory is it defenitily too.
Other band would be Viovod.

Awaken the Guardian or Transcendence ?
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11.12.2011 - 18:39
Lit.
Account deleted
Written by Guest on 11.12.2011 at 18:10

What about Crimson Glory's Transcendence, its not as progressive as Awaken the Guardian, but if Operation Mindcrime is called Prog, Crimson Glory is it defenitily too.
Other band would be Viovod.

Awaken the Guardian or Transcendence ?


Crimson Glory, I think, were too invisible to make an impact. Voivod came a little after the whole Progressive impact. And I've never seen any impact made by Fates Warning, and even so I expect it to be done by something like Parallels or Perfect Symmetry. All this is probably wrong, though, since I don't listen to too much progressive.
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26.03.2012 - 11:33
Codera the Great
Account deleted
While Images and Words basically set the standard for today's prog metal, I voted for Operation Mindcrime, since it did come out four years before Images and Words, and is cited by many of today's prog metal artists as highly inspirational for the music they make.
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10.04.2012 - 10:24
Infernal Eternal
Images And Words is a great album.
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07.12.2012 - 02:02
Dentura
Shadow King
Operation: Mindcrime is a brilliant concept album, I think many prog metal artists look to this album for inspiration whenever tackling with a more political/social conceptual release.
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18.03.2013 - 18:18
Aristarchos
I voted Operation: Mindcrime, but perhaps Watchtower - Energetic Disassembly could be considered more influential.
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18.03.2013 - 18:19
Aristarchos
Not surprised King's X haven't got any vote, although I like that album. Not sure if that one qualifies as metal.
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20.03.2013 - 01:14
helofloki
I love queensryche, Operation: MIndcrime is one of my favorite albums. But if you look at the progression of prog metal, the queensryche sound is not really what you're going to hear.

Really it's not even close, Fates Warning is by far the most influential early progressive metal band. Albums like 'The Spectre Within' and 'Awaken the Guardian' can be heard all over Dream Theater's music. It's also important to note that Images and Words came 6 years after 'Awaken the Guardian'. Makes me want to go back and listen to those albums, man do I love early Fates Warning...
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05.04.2013 - 16:34
diamondblack
I think "Operation : Mindcrime" is probably it, but definitely can't disregard "Images and Words" that influenced many Prog metal bands up till now. "Images and Words" is more complex musically with amazing time signatures.
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08.04.2013 - 19:02
Aristarchos
Written by helofloki on 20.03.2013 at 01:14

I love queensryche, Operation: MIndcrime is one of my favorite albums. But if you look at the progression of prog metal, the queensryche sound is not really what you're going to hear.

Really it's not even close, Fates Warning is by far the most influential early progressive metal band. Albums like 'The Spectre Within' and 'Awaken the Guardian' can be heard all over Dream Theater's music. It's also important to note that Images and Words came 6 years after 'Awaken the Guardian'. Makes me want to go back and listen to those albums, man do I love early Fates Warning...

Fates Warning didn't become full progressive until Perfect Symmetry, the same year as When Dream And Day Unite was released. Besides Watchtower's Energetic Disassembly was released one year earlier than Awaken The Guardian, although it had a different sound, but influential for the more extreme prog bands. Also Dream theater has mentioned Watchtower as an influence.
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10.04.2013 - 15:23
helofloki
I forgot watchtower. They should be on this list. Good call.

For Fates Warning, it doesn't matter that it wasn't 'full progressive'. It was the stuff on spectre within and awaken the guardian that inspired other bands to go even more progressive. And we are talking about influence right? When fates warning did go full progressive it was almost like they were following after something they inspired.
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10.04.2013 - 16:58
Jtbmetal123
Rush
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10.04.2013 - 17:08
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Jtbmetal123 on 10.04.2013 at 16:58

Rush


indeed, they are way more influential than anyone else when it comes to progressive metal.
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10.04.2013 - 17:10
Jtbmetal123
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 10.04.2013 at 17:08

Written by Jtbmetal123 on 10.04.2013 at 16:58

Rush


indeed, they are way more influential than anyone else when it comes to progressive metal.


I think they are awesome! You cant get much better than Rush when it comes to Progressive metal.
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26.04.2013 - 18:33
Aristarchos
I agree they are the most influential band for prog metal, but I wouldn't call them metal.
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16.07.2013 - 23:29
mz
The only thing I can say is that Operation: Mindcrime>Images and Words.
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04.07.2014 - 13:17
Yossarian
I made a mistake. I wanted to vote for Dream Theatre and voted for Queensrysychichiririles. The poll is for influential and "images" is more influential, though I liked "operation" more.
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26.07.2014 - 11:30
Hellish Star
Written by IronBlackZepp on 05.02.2009 at 20:15

Operation: Mindcrime is often called the first prog metal album. True or not, it is probably the most influential.

The early works of Queensryche were already Prog. Metal...

Don't forget about the influences of the old Prog. Rock bands like Rush, a band that was influencing for the entire scène
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