In the same way that Porcupine Tree and Tool are finding intelligent bliss in the outer realms of prog-metal, Glaswegian band Aereogramme flies in the face of expectations that heavy music necessarily must be retarded. "Sleep and Release" is the quartet's second album, and it expands greatly upon the epic swell of their 2001 release, "A Story In White." Equally capable of chiming bombast ("Black Path"), melodic swoon ("Yes") and all-out chunky power ("Indiscretion #243"), Aereogramme is one of the few groups that's found comfort in the post-Radiohead landscape of British music by not checking their brains at the studio door. Some songs -- "In Gratitude," with its lush string arrangements is of particular note -- nearly wander into the ether with their spacey atmospherics, while others (like the aforementioned "Indiscretion #243") present a positively grandiose thundering assault. It's a tricky path to tread, and occasionally the group does get a little too smart for their own good. Nonetheless, "Sleep and Release" is nothing but encouraging for the future of guitar rock.
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