Mark Lanegan Band - 'Gargoyle'

7/10

Having one of the most instantly identifiable voices in rock music has certainly proven Mark Lanegan well over the years. Returning after his 2014 release 'Phantom Radio', the frontman has reunited with long-time collaborators Josh Homme, Greg Dulli and Duke Garwood to deliver his tenth studio album 'Gargoyle'. A dark and brooding release that brings out the best in those gravelled vocals.

Over the years, Mark Lanegan has had many guises, ranging from a balls-out rock performer to a more acoustic crooner, but this new record shows him affront an industrial outfit, akin to the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Tom Waits. From the start, 'Gargoyle' aims to create an atmosphere of dank despair but with a strangely romantic strain running throughout. Despite its obviously bleak sound, much of the album is in fact heavily masked love songs, which only add gravitas to Lanegan's own direction and predisposition.

Fans of his work to date won't really find any new surprises on this release, but will realise that this is certainly one of his more cohesive and succinct records to date. The sound of a man singing his way through mud has rarely been this likeable.

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