13 Incredible Bands Similar To Meshuggah

Written by Dan Farrant

Formed in 1987, the Swedish rock band Meshuggah has undoubtedly left a colossal footprint on the world of extreme/progressive metal music, pioneering the subgenre known as djent and captivating listeners with their exceptional blend of progressive rock, technical death metal, and experimental sounds.

Their unique combination of irregular time signatures, dystopian themes, and unparalleled heaviness has inspired countless musicians around the globe.

And that’s what we’re here for! Below we’ve listed 13 incredible bands like Meshuggah who have carved their unique paths in the world of metal, bringing a fresh perspective to the genre. Read on to learn who they are!

Meshuggah by Andreas Lawen, Fotandi (CC BY-SA 4.0)

1. Periphery

As one of the prominent bands in the progressive metal and djent scenes, Periphery, a standout in the progressive metal and djent genres, has sculpted a distinctive sound that blends Meshuggah’s influence with their own innovative flair.

The band stands out by incorporating aggressive polyrhythms, technical time signatures, and intricate dual guitar harmonies into their music. Unlike Meshuggah, they also feature clean vocals alongside heavy growls to create a more dynamic listening experience.

Periphery’s journey began in 2005 with an eponymous album that landed at #18 on Billboard‘s Indie Albums chart. Succeeding releases were even better, like the chart-topping Periphery IV: Hail Stan in 2019.

2. Animals As Leaders

Hailing from Washington, DC, Animals as Leaders is an instrumental progressive metal band that has steadily gained popularity since its formation in 2007.

The brainchild of the talented guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes, this band captivates listeners with their technical prowess and intricate compositions.

Up until 2012, Animals as Leaders did not have a drummer, thus, the band masterfully utilized programmed drums to add depth to their already mesmerizing soundscapes.

Their impressive catalog includes several albums, such as the chart-topping The Madness of Many and 2014’s The Joy of Motion, all featuring mind-bending tempos and mathematical precision.

3. Tesseract

Formed in 2003, Tesseract is a premier English progressive metal band hailing from Milton Keynes. The group’s music is often characterized by their Meshuggah-inspired djent sound merged with clean vocals.

As they began touring, Tesseract shared stages with influential bands such as Animals as Leaders and Between the Buried and Me, experiences that helped them forge an innovative path distinct from contemporaries like Meshuggah and Periphery.

One thing is for sure—if you are looking for a band similar to Meshuggah but possesses its own creative standpoint in the world of groovy polyrhythms and screamed vocals, give Tesseract a listen.

4. Gojira

Our next group is Gojira, a French heavy metal band that has gained popularity in recent years due to their distinct sound—the band has been heavily influenced by heavy metal music from its early days, and it shows in their intense sound.

Gojira made their breakthrough with their album From Mars to Sirius, released in 2005. This was the album they signed their first deal to release their music outside of France, marking their leap into the international scene.

The band’s 2016 album, Magma, also served as a significant milestone in their career, receiving critical acclaim and Grammy nominations for Best Rock Album.

5. The Dillinger Escape Plan

American metalcore band, The Dillinger Escape Plan gained acclaim for their ability to blend various musical genres into their heavy metal sound, including metalcore, mathcore, and post-hardcore.

Formed in Morris Plains, New Jersey, in 1997 by guitarist Ben Weinman and bassist Adam Doll, the band quickly gained recognition after their debut in 1999, Calculating Infinity.

One notable aspect of The Dillinger Escape Plan’s career was their co-headlining tour through Europe with Meshuggah back in 2007. This marked a significant moment where two bands known for their unconventional approaches to music shared stages across several cities.

6. Between The Buried And Me

If you’re a fan of Meshuggah and their intricate, heavy sound, then Between the Buried and Me is definitely a band worth checking out. Hailing from North Carolina, these guys combine elements of progressive metal with the technical proficiency of metalcore to create truly original compositions.

Between the Buried and Me’s album, Colors is a great starting point for anyone new to the band. It features 13 songs that showcase their unique approach to heavy metal music.

Now after two decades, Between the Buried and Me has had a successful career. Several albums have made it into the Billboard Top 200, with 2015’s Coma Ecliptic being one of their most successful releases.

7. Vildhjarta

Next up, Vildhjarta is a Swedish metal band that formed in 2005. Their musical style is heavily influenced by Meshuggah, making them a great recommendation for fans of the pioneering technical metal act.

One of the reasons why Vildhjarta has earned comparisons to Meshuggah is their use of Djent-inspired guitar riffs and polyrhythmic grooves. This can be heard in tracks like “Benblåst” and “Dimman,” which feature syncopated rhythms and complex time signatures reminiscent of Meshuggah’s work.

Vildhjarta’s debut album Måsstaden, released in 2011, was met with critical acclaim and cemented the band’s reputation as one of Sweden’s most promising new acts.

8. Sikth

Hailing from Watford, Hertfordshire, progressive metal band Sikth was formed in 1999. Their sound, which draws from a wide range of genres, including thrash metal, has made them a standout act in the metal scene.

Sikth was one of the initial influences on djent music, which emerged in the early 2000s alongside Meshuggah’s arrival onto the scene.

The band debuted in 2003 with the album The Trees Are Dead & Dried Out Wait For Something Wild. They followed this up with two more, with their last album, The Future in Whose Eyes? in 2017, taking the #3 spot on UK’s rock albums chart.

9. Strapping Young Lad

Next, Canadian extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad began as a one-man studio project by Devin Townsend back in 1994. Soon, they were known for their heavy sound and intense live performances.

Strapping Young Lad has been compared to Meshuggah due to their use of odd time signatures and polyrhythms in their music. Their discography includes five studio albums, with their eponymous third album making a significant impact on the heavy metal scene. It was also their first album to chart in Australia.

The band has a substantial following on Spotify, with popular tracks like “Love?” and “Detox – Remastered” garnering millions of listens. Check them out!

10. Textures

Since their formation in 2001, the Dutch prog metal band Textures has been making waves in the music scene. Their sound incorporates elements of extreme metal, heavy metal, and progressive metal, earning them recognition as one of the pioneers of the djent music scene.

During their career, they released five studio albums and six singles. Sadly, Textures opted to disband in 2017; personal motives led to the decision to end the band.

Even though they are no longer active, Textures left a significant impact on the progressive metal scene. Their official social media accounts are maintained for good memories, and their music continues to be celebrated by fans around the world.

11. Fear Factory

California band Fear Factory has influenced many other metal bands with their heavy, down-tuned guitars and rhythmic patterns. Their music incorporates dystopia, machines, and technology themes, which is similar to Meshuggah’s style.

Throughout the years, Fear Factory has released 10 studio albums. One of their most notable releases is their third studio album, Obsolete, which was released in 1998. This album elevated the band’s status in the heavy metal scene, earning them multiple Gold records around the world.

Despite their success, the band faced several challenges and lineup changes, including a legal battle to use the name Fear Factory. However, they remained strong and continued to create music and perform for their dedicated fan base.

12. Monuments

Another band sharing similarities with Meshuggah is Monuments, a British progressive metal band that formed in 2009. They are another great example of a band that incorporates elements of djent into their unique sound while still maintaining their own identity as a group.

Since their formation, Monuments has continued to push the boundaries of their sound with releases like the albums The Amanuensis and Phronesis and popular tracks like “Nefarious” and “Cardinal Red.”

Today, the band continues to create music and perform live shows. Their most recent work is the album In Stasis, released in the spring of 2022.

13. After The Burial

Concluding this list is the band After the Burial. They are often compared to Meshuggah due to their technical and heavy sound.

Their album In Dreams, in particular, showcases their Meshuggah-influenced groove, with chugging riffs and breakdowns that will get your head nodding.

One of the standout tracks on In Dreams is “Pendulum,” which features a driving rhythm section and intricate guitar work. The song builds up to an explosive breakdown that will have you banging

After The Burial’s album, Rareform also has its share of technically proficient moments, although some listeners may find certain sections a bit too static or uneventful.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Meshuggah

The realm of progressive metal is vast and varied, with many bands exhibiting similarities to the distinctive sound and style of Meshuggah. Though they each have similarities, these bands also bring their own unique flavor to the genre.

We hope you enjoyed this list, and new bands and their songs found their way into your prog metal playlist. But who have we left off? Let us know who, and we’ll add them here for you! Happy listening!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.