Here’s the least “prog” album by 10 of the biggest prog rock and prog metal bands!

Progressive rock and progressive metal can be extremely polarizing subgenres, alienating or exciting listeners in equal measure due to their emphases on showy musicianship, long songs and weird concepts.  Likewise, prog artists can become burnt out after creating such demanding material year after year.

Those tendencies were especially prevalent toward the end of the 1970s and throughout the 1980s, as groups started alternating their sound to align with their own shifting interests and the shifting marketability/profitability of prog. After all, simpler types of music (such as punk and new wave) were taking over, and despite the existence of neo-prog, mainstream audiences weren’t as interested anymore.

READ MORE: Every 'Big 4' Prog Metal Album Ranked From Worst to Best

Consequently, and in the decades since, several of the biggest prog acts temporarily or permanently strayed from the style to focus on easily accessible templates.

As the following 10 records prove, it worked out better for some of them than others, and the change in direction wasn’t always obligatory or disastrous. Nevertheless, each LP is the least "prog” of their respective band’s catalog, and they all embody a notable deviation from what the band was best known for.

On that note, we’re only considering albums that came out after the group was firmly planted within the prog rock or prog metal scene. In other words, early (pre-prog) albums don’t count.

The Least 'Prog' Album by 10 Big Prog Rock + Metal Bands

Keep scrolling to see how far from “prog” these groups got.

Gallery Credit: Jordan Blum

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