In this letter, we investigated the transmission properties of metamaterial based coupled-cavity structures. We first calculated the effective parameters of a split-ring resonator (SRR) and composite metamaterial (CMM) structures. Subsequently, we introduced coupled-cavity structures and presented the transmission spectrum of SRR and CMM based coupled-cavity structures. The splitting of eigenmodes was observed due to the interaction between the localized electromagnetic cavity modes. Finally, the dispersion relation and normalized group velocity of the coupled-cavity structures were calculated. The maximum group velocity was found to be 100 times smaller than the speed of light in vacuum. (C) 2008 American Institute of Physics.