Swan King Eyes Like Knives

It might be incredibly late in the game, but apparently post-hardcore acts such as Hot Water Music have inspired more than just the forgettable hair-pulling emotional offshoot even they presumably hate. At least that's the case on the Swan King's Eyes Like Knives. Gritty and full of rumbling low end, while still featuring atypical, dissonant song structures, melodically-driven vocals and an overall sound that's more passionate than outright angry, the band's driving stoner foundation sounds inspired not just by the sinewy, albeit elephantine, nature of Mastodon or the primal majesty of the Sword, but also a strong degree of the aforementioned cerebral riffing and singing. In fact, even aspects of Adolescents' tinkering, rough edges and vocal attack slip in here and there. Moreover, these guys keep the experience succinct and pointed, a major coup in a scene full of acts mired in the trundling, beat-it-to-death typicality of groove metal. Slightly punk-fuelled, but still beastly enough to be all-out metal, Eyes Like Knives is as invigorating as it is inventive. (Seventh Rule)