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Best "concept" albums of progressive rock/heavy metal

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
What do you think are the Best 10 "concept" albums of progressive rock/heavy metal? By the word "best" I reffer to the path opening, trend makers, real cornerstones of the genre (one or all of this characteristics) and by the word "concept" I reffer to albums centered around a common theme. Feel welcomed to expand on the subject, add your own cryteria for judgement and include whatever you think may be classified under the "progressive rock" or "heavy metal" scene. I feel it would be nice to include groups both from the seventies (the Golden Age of the experimental prog.rock), groups from more recent years-and there are a lot of them...,and everything in-between... Examples from the seventies - Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, The Who, Gentle Giant, Rush... examples from more recent years - Dream Theater, Symphony_X, Therion, Blind Guardian, EdGuy, Rhapsody - just to mention a few...

On second thought, it wouldn't be less interesting to have another list, not necessarily restricted to "concept" albums, but including all outstanding ones - perhaps on a new separate thread... or even a subdivision of this one - what do you think?
post #2 of 63
Iron Maiden : Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

probably the only concept album i have, but deserves mention solely for the fact that its Iron Maiden (and Iron Maiden's last good album in my honest opinion)
post #3 of 63
Opeth - My Arms, Your Hearse
Opeth - Still Life
Opeth – Blackwater Park

Opeth is BOTH progressive and Metal so they count for both.
post #4 of 63
Rammstein, Mutter.
Tanzwut, Tanzwut.

post #5 of 63

The Guiltiest of Guilty Pleasures

The prog concept album is definitely the guiltiest of guilty pleasures and I confess I lost my taste for this kind of thing. I don't really do this type of music anymore, but I'd pick these:

1. Genesis. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Still sounds good 30 years later. Arguably, this should count as a great "last" album. A few horrific months later, you find Phil Collins singing 10 minute songs about mice. Gated drums are just a few years away.

2. The Wall. Sorry they made the bad concept movie out of this. It's still respectable.

3. Tales from Topographic Oceans. The height of prog rock excess and Jon Anderson flakiness. Insufferably great. I used to actually like Relayer too. Unlistenable.

4. Gentle Giant - Interview. The songs are the interview. Wow. This one was very hard to find, and I liked it best because it had less of that faux-medieval stuff these guys did early in their career. It rocked harder.

5. Quadrophenia - Well, this is a classic. I preferred the songwriting on this to Tommy, on which I always found RD to be unrelentingly annoying. Wait. I always find Roger annoying. I've channelled all that I couldn't understand about the who into a deep passion for the very Who inspired Guided By Voices. GbV has led me back to enjoying the Who a bit.

6. Welcome Back My Friends...no no no, spare us we were just leaving, not arriving....

7. Songs from the Wood. More of that pleasant neo-medieval stuff that gave you zits and made you feel vaguely intellectual. Maybe the Gentle Giant records were better than this.

8. Do you count Muswell Hillbillies or the Village Green Preservation Society? Nah.

I'm sorry. I'm a prog dropout.
post #6 of 63

One last...

Oh yes. I forgot!

Guided By Voices' Mag Earwhig! is a concept album, based on Robert Pollard's abiding love of the genre--a concept album about concept albums!

And it may well be my favorite GbV record, though many hardcore fans find it too slick and overproduced for lo-fi. I do love this disk....

post #7 of 63


how could it be? NOT ONE PERSON HAS SAID NIRVANA im so dissapointed in everyone
post #8 of 63
and after starting the punk thread i am so upset that no one named the clash.
post #9 of 63
chili peppers, nirvana, weezer, and sublime would be my picks
post #10 of 63
eeeerrrrr... do you people even know what "concept" albums of progressive rock/heavy metal means?
post #11 of 63
ooooops misread question
post #12 of 63
Ram-Zet - Escape : About and psycho patient in a mental hospital, and lyrics about what is happening in and outside of his mind. Everyone ends up dead =)

Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale : It just sound so much like it's name.

I wonder why people always mention only powermetal (loud and high vocals), when talking about progressive metal and concept albums. Those also exist in the "dark side", heh.
post #13 of 63
Most of the later Therion CDs are very much concept CDs, perfect
example is latest CD:
-secret of the runes
Similar in concept to Mussorgsky's "pictures at an exhibition"
or Holst "planets" where each track corresponds to one rune explaining the path needed to reach vahalla and become a nordic god. I posted this for the astute readers of the dark thread several month's ago:

this entire CD is a magnificent tone poem with the songs corresponding to 9 worlds of Nordic mythology also graphically represented by the nine runes, the center rune is Midgard the world of man.......too cool for words! Each song represents a different world and once you know the nature of each world the music themes make perfect sense matching the moods. Very much like the classical work "planets" by Gustav Holst. If I can decode the rest here are the nine worlds/runes:

track 1 - Ginnungagap, black hole of nothing, forces of creation,
track 2 - Midgard, world of man (1st world/rune)
track 3 - Asgard, mountain world of the gods, Valhalla
track 4 - Jotunheim, world of the giants, brutal power, wisdom (note the deep/lumbering sound of a giant)
track 5 - Scharzalbenheim, underground world of dwarves, blacksmiths, gold treasure
track 6 - Ljusalfheim, shining world of elves/fairies (note the soaring synths/guitar solos with female arias)
track 7 - Muspelheim, world of chaos/destruction (agressive/powerful menancing sounds)
track 8 - Nifelheim, world of ice, icegiants
track 9 - Vanaheim, world of fertility, gods of farm harvest
track 10 - Helheim, Hel goddess of death and rebirth
Track 11 - Secret of thr Runes, epilog, the runes contain the secrets of the nordic universe, once learned/deciphered like Odin you become a god.

Try listening again to eack track knowing the theme of eack song using booklet as a guide, make you appreciate even more the genius/talent of this highly underrated and little known group.
post #14 of 63
Ayreon Into The Electric Castle.

Marillion Misplaced Childhood (how come no-one mentioned this one before huh?)

Marillion Brave

IQ Subterranea

Clive Nolan & Oliver Wakeman: Jabberwocky/Hound of the Baskervilles

Strangers on a Train The Key parts one & two
post #15 of 63
I can't believe nobody has mentioned:

RUSH - 2112

That's just what I can think of off the top of my head...

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