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Revered former Metal Maniacs editor Jeff Wagner analyzes the heady side of metal in this exhaustive narrative history of a relentlessly ambitious musical subculture. Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Rush and King Crimson, Wagner unfurls a huge tapestry of sounds and styles, including Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Dream Theater; extreme prog pioneers Voivod and Celtic Frost; Norways post-black metal avant garde acts Ulver and Arcturus; and the 1990s global movement that spawned Opeth, Meshuggah, and others. Fighting a tide of tradition and conservatism, progressive metal has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music; here its preeminent scholar tells the tale.

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