This Lawrence institution's tenth release is a molten slab of metal, packed with breakdowns that hint at why there's so much mad flailing and kicking in the neighborhood mosh pits these days, plus enough creative, spaced-out guitar lines to school any other local metal act in transcending the limits of the genre. Granted, this genre isn't exactly hard to bust -- Sleepwalking
seems at times so dependent on those bass-heavy breakdowns that there's little room for real experimentation, and though the music is technically intricate, it's hardly new to a metal fan's ears. But one indicator of how far this band has come in its nine years (February house fire and all) is that a video for "Ram-Faced Boy," all double-kick fury and Coalesce-like vocals, is set to appear on MTV. Sleepwalking
shows that Esoteric has the polish and experience of a band that's been together a long time but still rocks fearlessly, like they're late for curfew and don't give a shit.