Metal Insider’s Top 5: metal bands influenced by Yes

Posted by on September 13, 2016


If you like progressive music, you may have an idea about a little British progressive rock band called Yes and the massive influence they had on most of your favorite prog bands. 44 years ago today, Yes released their fifth record Close To The Edge which is considered a staple in the genre and, naturally, that type of achievement touched many musicians who decided to pick up their instruments and give it a go to become the next Yes. To celebrate the anniversary, we compiled a list of the top heavier bands influenced that have drawn influence from Yes. Granted, there are a ton of more rock-oriented bands like the Dixie Dregs and Spock’s Beard that have a more direct lineage to the bnad’s sound, but we’re talking mostly heavier bands here.


5) The Mars Volta

It’s not that hard to see the similarities between The Mars Volta and Yes, particularly in the musical composition, which resembles a lot of that classic 70’s progressive movement. It’s also widely known that Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez are huge Yes fans, despite the fact that Cedric has expressed that while he’s a fan of the band, he’s not too keen of some of the side projects like Rick Wakeman’s solo career saying that “he’s great, super awesome at his instrument,” but that  “he’s one of the fundamental enemies that made it so unappealing to people when he’s doing ‘Excaliber on Ice.’

One of the clearest examples of these similarities can be heard in “Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt” which could be comparable to Yes’ “Five Per Cent For Nothing.”


4) Tool

In modern days, Tool is one of the staples of progressive rock music, despite the fact that we haven’t heard any new music in a decade. But even bands as big and prominent as Tool have an upbringing to their roots and that’s attributed to Yes. Drummer Danny Carey has stated that without Bill Bruford’s talent behind the kit with Yes and King Crimson, he wouldn’t have picked up the drum sticks himself. You may think that Tool really doesn’t have that much of a Yes sound and you wouldn’t too wrong about it as bassist Chris Squire pointed out when asked about their influenced on Tool:

Like I remember one of the guys in Tool was saying how big an influence Yes had been on them. But to listen to what they were doing, you wouldn’t necessarily think so, unless they were talking about odd time signatures or polyrhythms. Maybe that’s the element they were referring to, other than the vocals.

If there’s one thing that Yes might have imparted on to a band like Tool, it’s that they can stretch out the length of their songs to give them maximum impact. The title track of Close to the Edge is almost nineteen minutes long, or a whole album side. Aenima‘s album closer, “Third Eye,” is over 14 minutes long.


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