13 Incredible Bands Similar To Porcupine Tree

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Formed in 1987 by the talented musician Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree has taken us on a musical journey filled with progressive rock, psychedelic ambiance, and experimental soundscapes.

Those listeners who can’t get enough of Porcupine Tree’s sound are most likely searching for other bands echoing this style. And that’s where we come in.

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 13 incredible bands similar to Porcupine Tree. From classic prog-rock legends to emerging indie musicians inspired by this memorable group, we’ve got it here. Read on to learn who they are!

Porcupine Tree by Alex Bikfalvi (CC BY-SA 2.0)

1. Tool

If you’re a fan of Porcupine Tree, there’s a high chance you’ll find something to love about the band Tool. This rock group from sunny California has been leaving its mark on the progressive rock scene ever since they introduced us to their debut album, Undertow, back in 1993.

Tool’s sound is a captivating mix of alternative metal, experimental rock, post-metal, and art rock. Their music is packed with intricate instrumentals and socially conscious lyrics that invite listeners to contemplate and engage with the world around them in new ways.

Their fourth studio album, Lateralus, is a testament to their technical mastery. Hit songs like “Schism” and “Parabola” show off their ability to create complex, layered songs that still manage to hit all the right emotional notes. Other standout albums in their discography include 10,000 Days and Fear Inoculum.

So if you haven’t had the pleasure of listening to Tool yet, why not give them a try? You might just find your next favorite band.

2. Dream Theater

Our next group, the rock band Dream Theater, was formed in 1985. College friends John Petrucci, John Myung, and Mike Portnoy would go on to be one of the biggest progressive metal bands in the world due to their conceptual albums, complex arrangements, and musical virtuosity.

One of their most notable works is the album Images and Words, released in 1992, which achieved Gold status and includes the hit song “Pull Me Under.” Another significant album is Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, a concept album that was voted the #1 progressive rock album in a 2012 poll by Rolling Stone.

As of today, Dream Theater continues to be a powerful force in the progressive metal scene. Their latest album, A View from the Top of the World (2021), is another testament to their dedication to music.

3. King Crimson

Another prog rock group akin to Porcupine Tree is King Crimson. This English band emerged in 1968, influenced by diverse genres, including classical, jazz, and electronic music.

The band was initially formed by Robert Fripp, the only consistent member throughout the band’s history, along with Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, and Peter Sinfield. Over the years, they have seen numerous lineup changes, with more than 20 different musicians having been a part of the group at various times.

One of King Crimson’s most acclaimed albums, In the Court of the Crimson King, their debut album released in 1969. Landing at #5 on the UK chart, it is often considered one of the greatest progressive rock albums in the history of the genre.

More recently, King Crimson toured with former Porcupine Tree guitarist Steven Wilson as part of his solo tour. This collaboration illustrates how closely linked these two bands are within the world of progressive rock lovers everywhere.

4. Muse

Hailing from the quaint town of Teignmouth in Devon, England, a rock band was formed in 1994 that would go on to captivate the world with their distinct sound. Comprised of Matthew Bellamy, Chris Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard, they became Muse.

Muse’s music is often described as alternative rock, but they have also incorporated elements of electronic music, classical music, space rock, and prog rock into their sound, similar to Porcupine Tree.

Over the years, they’ve released several successful albums. Notables are Black Holes and Revelations (2006), The Resistance (2009), and The 2nd Law (2012), all of which topped not just the UK Albums chart but in other countries too.

With over nine acclaimed albums and more than 30 million sales, they have established themselves as a triumph of millennial rock innovation. Their latest album, Will of the People (2022), marks their first release in nearly four years, demonstrating their enduring relevance in the music scene.

5. Opeth

The Swedish progressive metal group Opeth is one band that shares a similarity with Porcupine Tree. Formed in 1990, the band initially consisted of David Isberg (vocals), Mikael Åkerfeldt (guitar), Anders Nordin (drums), Nick Döring (bass), and Andreas Dimeo (guitar).

Known for its fusion of diverse musical genres, including folk, jazz, blues, and even heavy metal, to their progressive rock sound, Opeth has captured the attention of listeners across the globe.

Debuting in 1995 with Orchid, Opeth now has 13 studio albums, four live albums, and 17 singles in their extensive discography, showcasing their prolific output. Their music offers listeners a wide range of styles while still maintaining an unmistakable identity.

Opeth is still active as of 2023, and they continue to tour and record music, maintaining their significant presence in the progressive metal scene.

Related: Next, see our list of bands similar to Opeth here.

6. Anathema

Emerging from the Liverpool music scene in 1990, Anathema was formed by brothers Vincent and Daniel Cavanagh and their cousins Jamie Cavanagh and John Douglas. Since then, they have established themselves as a significant force within progressive rock music with their emotional and spacey sound.

Anathema’s journey began with darker shades of doom metal but has since evolved into an atmospheric blend of alt-rock and progressive sounds that echoes Porcupine Tree’s style.

Their albums Weather Systems in 2012, and Distant Satellites, in 2014 display this change most noticeably through emotionally charged themes accompanied by soaring melodies.

In 2020, Anathema announced they would be going on an indefinite hiatus. While it’s unclear when or if the band will return, their legacy of influential albums and unforgettable shows continues to live on in the hearts of fans.

7. Marillion

A well-known melodic rock band that has been compared to Porcupine Tree in the progressive rock music forum is Marillion. The band was formed in 1979 and has undergone various changes in their sound over the years, from their early neo-progressive rock period to their more recent alternative rock style.

One of Marillion’s most popular songs is “Kayleigh,” which was released in 1985 and featured on their Misplaced Childhood album. It landed at #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #14 on Billboard‘s Hot 100.

While Marillion may not be as prolific as Porcupine Tree, they remain influential among progressive rock fans with a dedicated following worldwide. Just in 2022, they released another #2 hit album, An Hour Before It’s Dark.

8. Riverside

Next up is prog rock band Riverside, formed in 2001 in Warsaw, Poland, by Mariusz Duda and friends. This band has often been compared to Porcupine Tree due to its similar style of music and sound.

Though their debut album, Out of Myself (2003), was well-received, Riverside had better success with their third album, Rapid Eye Movement, in 2007, and all releases that followed because each one was either the #1 or #2 album in Poland’s chart.

Over the years, however, Riverside has faced some changes and challenges, including guitarist Piotr Grudziński’s passing in 2016. Despite this tragic loss, the band decided to continue making music as a trio, releasing their seventh studio album, Wasteland, in 2018.

Their album ID.Entity is recommended for fans who love Porcupine Tree’s music style—a perfect example of this band’s ability to create atmospheric psychedelic tunes while emphasizing the importance of strong vocals and instrumental craftsmanship.

9. The Pineapple Thief

Also a European band, prog rock group The Pineapple Thief was founded by Bruce Soord in 1999 in  Somerset, England. Though the band has been around for over two decades, it has remained relatively low-key until recently.

Over the years, they’ve released several critically acclaimed albums, with songs like “In Exile” and “No Man’s Land” becoming fan favorites. Their music videos and lyric videos, available on their official YouTube channel, further illustrate the band’s commitment to their artistry.

The Pineapple Thief’s 2020 album, Versions of the Truth, features guest musicians, including Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree. This addition provides a fresh perspective on the songs while maintaining their signature sound.

10. Katatonia

In 1991, in Stockholm, Sweden, Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström started a heavy metal band called Katatonia. Initially, they only made music in the studio, but later, they began touring and performing live shows.

Their early sound was primarily doom/death metal, but they later transitioned into a more gothic, alternative, progressive rock metal genre. For many prog metal fans, Katatonia is revered alongside Porcupine Tree and Opeth as part of this genre’s holy trinity of bands.

After touring in support of their 2016 album, they entered a hiatus in 2018. However, they returned a year later and have since released two more albums: City Burials in 2020, and Sky Void of Stars, in 2023.

11. Blackfield

This next band is a unique project that emerged from the collaboration between Porcupine Tree’s own Steven Wilson and Israeli rock singer Aviv Geffen. Blackfield was formed in 2001, and it has since been recognized for its sound fusing rock, pop, and progressive elements.

Blackfield’s discography is a testament to their abilities. They debuted with an eponymous album in 2004 and set the stage for their future success. However, Blackfield IV and V are some of their most notable releases, landing in UK’s charts.

To date, Blackfield continues to create music. Their latest work, For the Music, was released in 2020, with Wilson taking on the lead vocals for three of its tracks.

12. Gazpacho

Hailing from Norway, the art rock ensemble known as Gazpacho has been making waves in the music industry since 1996. The band was formed by Jan-Henrik Ohme (vocals), Jon-Arne Vilbo (guitars), and Thomas Andersen (keyboards, programming).

Since they started jamming, Gazpacho has released several albums that truly showcase their talent for creating atmospheric melodies. Tracks like “Upside Down” and “Black Lily” have wowed both fans and critics.

Even after two decades, Gazpacho hasn’t lost their spark. They’re still coming up with new music to enchant audiences with, dropping their latest album in 2020 called Fireworker.

13. Pure Reason Revolution

In 2003, British rock band Pure Reason Revolution was created. Like Porcupine Tree, their music stands out with its fusion of progressive rock and modern electronic influences.

Their debut album, The Dark Third, brought them into the spotlight. Since then, they have continued to evolve their sound, experimenting with different musical styles. Songs like “New Kind Of Evil,” “Phantoms,” and “Dead Butterfly” exemplify their talent.

Pure Reason Revolution today is still actively creating music and performing live. Their latest work is the studio album Above Cirrus, released mid-2022, and has been applauded by both fans and critics.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Porcupine Tree

And that’s it for our journey through the musical landscape of bands that share a similar style with Porcupine Tree. We hope new favorites were discovered and added to your progressive rock playlist.

If you think there are bands that should have been on this list, let us know so we can add them. After all, we’re all here to discover and enjoy great music together!

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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.