Bonus: Check out his cover of the notorious Badger song!
Liquid Tension Experiment
The instrumental side project of Dream Theater's drummer, Mike Portnoy, which includes John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, and Tony Levin from King Crimson.
Okay, I lied. Technically this is one of those prog-sludge bands, but they're probably the only one I willingly listen to anymore, and they get props for being from British Columbia as opposed to Georgia like all the rest of them. I also talked about them in great length in a previous post.
Tunisian oriental power-prog! Probably one of the coolest of my recent finds. I can't stop jamming these guys.
Scale The Summit
Saw these guys live the first time I saw Tesseract with Anciients. They were okay! Much better on record than on stage, though. Not all prog was meant for live performance in front of a djent-hungry crowd ready to mosh.
Spastic Ink / Ron Jarzombek
Spastic Ink may now be tragically defunct, but Ron Jarzombek is one of those guys who has a million other bands and side-projects to work with. Check out his latest soon-to-be-a-masterpiece, Terrestrial Exiled!
Twelve Foot Ninja
Are they prog? I don't give a damn. Currently one of my most-listened-to bands of all time, and also winners of the Best New Talent prize at the Golden Gods Awards. YOU'RE MOSHING!!!
Animals As Leaders
Former-Tesseract frontman's new band! Not quite as vicious as Tompkins-era Tesseract, but they easily contend with Ashe O'Hara's melodic/jazz-fusion model of the band.
Amazingly impressive for a one-man band. Some of the best the sub-genre has to offer. Also seen in-person the *second* time I saw Tesseract live, albeit from all the way at the merch booth. I should have bought a t-shirt!
Here's some progressive thrash! À la Fates Warning, Watchtower, Dark Angel, Racer X, Nevermore, and Voivod.
I actually have no idea what genre this band belongs to. If "Fun" and "Happiness" were categories of heavy metal, I assume that they would be a fusion of the two.
I lied again. Here's some technical death metal, in the form of yet another Ron Jarzombek project. This is about the extent of both my knowledge and appreciation of the sub-genre, however. Death metal and prog-wankery go about as well together as ketchup and ice cream for me. One or the other, please.
SAXOPHONES!!! Find more on Tesseract's "Altered State!"
AVANT-GARDE / EXPERIMENTAL
(Hint: This is where it gets weird.)
Dog Fashion Disco
Been listening to these guys a LOT. Possibly the best Mr. Bungle / Faith No More ripoff band out there. They only recently reunited after a long series of breakups since 2007, but the band-members, most notably the singer Todd Smith, have since branched out into equally terrific side-projects, which are listed below.
More of a mainstream groove/alternative band than the others, but far more aggressive than most you would hear on the radio. Bonus points for including members of Nothingface!
The Alter Boys
Bonus: Includes J-Mann from Mushroomhead!
Carnival In Coal
French disco black metal. No, I'm not joking.
Pin-Up Went Down
When Carnival In Coal (inevitably) broke up, the Damien brothers regrouped and formed Pin-Up Went Down, which steers a *little* away from the absurdity of their previous efforts, and includes female vocals.
If you're not listening to Mike Patton, you're not listening to music. Which, of course, brings us back to...
I couldn't write a post that includes avant-garde metal without 'em.
Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! If you have any questions, comments, recommendations, or complaints, let me know!