Prog metal for short. A sub genre of music that combines the almost jazz-like progression of progressive rock and the agression, volume, speed, and heaviness of metal. Usually features band members who are incredibly skilled at their instruments. Features rapid key changes, odd time signatures, and bombastic instrumental sections. It could be defined as "intelligent metal".
Rapid changes in key are a characteristic of progressive metal.
by Iron Gland May 8, 2006
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A subgenre of metal incorporating elements from progressive rock. The earliest bands to fuse these two genres together were Dream Theater, Watchtower, Psychotic Waltz, and Fates Warning. (Although some argue King Crimson were ahead of their time doing this with 21st Century Schizoid Man.)

Keyboards/synths, and other instruments not seen as often in the metal genre are more commonly used in progressive metal.

It's common for progressive metal acts to have very long song lengths with plenty of complex instrumental sections which give the musicians a lot of room to show off. Odd-time signatures are also are commonly implemented.

Progressive metal lyrics tend to be very cerebral, with elements of fantasy, psychology, and science fiction thrown into the mix. (The sort of lyrics you'd expect from Stephen Hawking or Sigmund Freud if they ever formed a heavy metal band.)
Dream Theater, Psychotic Waltz, Fates Warning, Watchtower, Galactic Cowboys, Kings X, Spiral Architect, Symphony X, Andromeda, Shadow Gallery, Ayreon, Green Carnation, Winds, Liquid Tension Experiment, Superior, The Gathering circa-Mandylion
by Lunarsight August 12, 2004
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A long hand way of writing "good metal"
Dream Theater are progressive metal.
by Smo_absolute October 24, 2006
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Progressive metal is a sub genre of rock that usually has guitars with distortion, wah, compression and other effects that help people feel the music. Lyrics are usually about things that are abnormal or abstract like space. Multiple time signatures long songs, elaborate solos, and softly spoken or yelled lyrics (not like death grunts )
Progressive metal bands are like tool, meshuggah, dream theatre among others.
by the man in blue February 9, 2006
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Metal that despite how good it can be, is often listened too and defended by pretentious people. Often "prog metal" as its known, is said to me metal for "intelligent people who have good taste". This is not to say that prog metal can not be good, it often is. However it is not always as heavy as other forms of metal, such as Thrash Metal or Heavy Metal.
"James is so pretentious sometimes, when I was listening to Master of Puppets earlier in the car he just kept going on about how much better progressive metal compared to thrash, then he started on about Dream Theater"

Lars in heavy Danish accent:
"Ya, he was trying to tell me about his quote "superior" intellect because he jerks off to *cough* I mean listens to to Opeth every night before bed"
by JamesLaBrie April 9, 2010
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