Dream Theater have confirmed that their forthcoming album will be a double-LP rock opera titled The Astonishing. This episodic narrative, in the tradition of earlier concept albums like 2002’s Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, turns on an effort by the Ravenskill Rebel Militia to overthrow the Great Northern Empire of the Americas in the year 2285.

The empire, as laid out in a pair of newly emailed releases from Dream Theater, follows "Lord Nafaryus, Emperor and Head of the Realm [and] Heir to the Mantle of Makers," who sternly warns the populace that giving into the rebels will lead to a "destabilization of our most hallowed traditions." Ravenskill, meanwhile, is led by "Arhys, Son of Marhys, one of three remaining heirs to the displaced, forgotten, and forbidden Legion of Sorrowful Song." He's asking his followers to "dream of finding power beyond powerlessness."

Dream Theater are promoting the upcoming work with a new splash page at their website, which asks fans to "choose wisely" between the two forces.

No official street date has been announced yet for The Astonishing, the follow-up to Dream Theater's 2013 self-titled album. But the band has already revealed a series of European tour dates, beginning in mid-February, during which the new album will be played in its entirety.

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