I should probably start off by stating I dislike Dream Theater with a passion, and am immensely bored with cliché Ayreon-like concept albums that are used as redeeming features for crap music way too often. Enter The Chronicles of Israfel, a band compared to DT and with a sci-fi concept album. The cynic in me wouldn't give this a chance under normal circumstances, but since it was recommended on our last.fm group I decided to give it a shot... and damn, was I surprised.
While not perfect, this is way too enjoyable to pass on. I understand why they get compared to Dream Theater, since DT do sound like this... 10 seconds at a time. However TCoI never drown their songs in unnecessarily complex technical passages, and never stray away from the focus of the song: melody. The result is far edgier, where simplicity actually emphasizes their musicianship rather than take from it.
Thanks are due to Nowitzki15002 for recommending this.
01 - Starborn, Part I: Empire of Light
02 - Starborn, Part II: Citizen
03 - Starborn, Part III: On a Forever Road
04 - Burning Day
05 - The Equinigma
06 - Laudanum
07 - Nation
08 - Born Fighting
09 - Kill Division
10 - New Mood Therapy for a Medicated Babylon
11 - Eugenics
12 - Home to Oblivion
13 - Lacrima Christi