We have turned the corner on another year and another decade. Not only was 2019 an incredible year for prog, as we enter yet another decade, we can see what an amazing 20 years it has been for modern progressive rock. So it only makes sense to compile a list of the best albums of the first 2 decades of the new millennium. The list looks at the modern prog landscape from a larger scale point of view, recognizing those bands and albums that have had the largest influence on the genre over the last 20 years. Here you will see some familiar faces like Steven Wilson, Transatlantic, Opeth, Dream Theater, along with the likes of Spock’s Beard, Riverside, Anathema, Haken, and many more.
Are these the definite best of the decade? No doubt there will be some debate. But we feel these are the albums you would have to know if you were exploring this era of prog. Enjoy and let the debate begin.
30. Symphony X – V: The New Mythology Suite (2000)
The fifth outing by the American progressive metal group is a favorite among the band’s fervent fan base. Symphony X are at their progressive peak on this concept album about Atlantis, which also features one of their most popular songs, “Evolution (The Grand Design).”
29. The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)
The band’s debut album provides an intense combination of Rock incorporated with Latin and Jazz rhythms. Highlights of the concept album include ”Televators”, and the 12 minute “Cicatriz ESP”.
28. Opeth – Ghost Reveries (2005)
The Swedish prog metal masters were at the top of their game in the early 90s writing some of their best and most celebrated songs on their 2005 album, which is as head bashing and memorable as any from this era.
27. IQ – Dark Matter (2004)
The British Neo-Prog group’s 9th studio album, and the last to feature keyboardist Martin Orford, features some beautifully written songs including the masterpiece 24 minute epic “Harvest of Souls”.
King Crimson, and Porcupine Tree drummer, Gavin Harrison became a permanent member and songwriting contributor to the long-time Bruce Soord-led alt-prog group. The result is one of their most dynamic and successful efforts.
25. Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here (2010)
Once a doom metal band, Anathema returned after a seven-year hiatus to release this breathtaking progressive rock album on new label, Kscope. The album was the first with female vocalist Lee Douglas as a full-time member, and was mixed by Steven Wilson.
On this concept album, Arjen Lucassen steps away from his traditional sci-fi layered stories, setting the stage in the mind of his main character, ‘Me,’ played on the album by Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie.
23. The Dear Hunter – Act IV: Rebirth in Reprise (2015)
After taking a break from the ‘Act’ series, Casey Crescenzo and The Dear Hunter returned in 2015 for their best album with Act IV. The album covers a number of styles and genres for one of the most diverse and entertaining albums this decade.
22. Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane (2002)
The group’s fourth album, Remedy Lane, would be the band’s breakthrough. Daniel Gildenlöw lays it all out on this album, a work that elevated the band to one of the premiere progressive metal acts of the early 2000s.
21. Dream Theater – Octavarium (2005)
This is a diverse album featuring a mix of the commercial and technical sides of the bands, highlighted by the title track. Despite their reputation for long songs, Dream Theater have only a few over 20 minutes, the title track here, being one of them.