See how we ranked every album by the Big 4 of prog metal.

Loudwire compiled an extensive list of the ‘Big 4’ of 27 rock and metal subgenres. Obviously, we included progressive metal, and after much deliberation, we crowned Queensrÿche, Dream Theater, Opeth and Between the Buried and Me as the winning quartet.

After all, Queensrÿche were the style’s most impactful 1980s forebearer; Dream Theater were the first to fully combine heavy metal and 1970s progressive rock; Opeth dominated progressive death metal (among other qualifications); and Between the Buried and Me remain the best avant-garde/technical death metal group ever.

Clearly, the only thing left to do is have all of their studio LPs battle it out in a definitive ranking.

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

That’s easier said than done, though, not only because each band is highly unique – so it’s like comparing golden/rotten apples, oranges, bananas and peaches – but also because some bands have more releases than others. Specifically, Queensrÿche have 16 (including 2013’s Frequency Unknown); Dream Theater have 15; Opeth have 13; and Between the Buried and Me have 10 (viewing the two Automata discs separately).

That gives us 54 collections to consider!

A shirt from the Loudwire merch store with the design I 'Horns' Metal, showing a skeleton hand making the metal horns gesture

So, how did we figure out the final list? By putting each group’s No. 1 record against each other, followed by each No. 2 and so on. Then, we moved things around as needed to make the process as fair and accurate as possible.

As you’ll see below, the results are surprising and debatable, and we welcome you to let us know (in a friendly and respectful way) what we got “wrong” and what we got “right.”

Regardless of where your favorite and least favorite LPs ended up, we can all agree that the following list contains some of the greatest (and the cringiest) prog metal albums of all time.

Every 'Big 4' Prog Metal Album Ranked Worst to Best

From esteemed masterpieces to embarrassing misfires, the discographies of Dream Theater, Opeth, Queensrÿche and/or Between the Buried and Me have it all. So, keep scrolling to see where your favorite (and least favorite) studio LPs landed!

Gallery Credit: Jordan Blum

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Dive into the diverse and hypnotic history of progressive metal!

Gallery Credit: Jordan Blum

Follow Loudwire's 'Early Progressive Metal: The '80s & '90s' playlist.

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