Gutter Twins

Saturnalia

[4.5/5]

For the record, this album had an unfair advantage before the first listen-both Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Greg Dulli (the Afghan Whigs) have established a permanent imprint on alt-rock history. Luckily, the lofty expectations are met in full with Saturnalia. There are confusing combinations of influences at work, no doubt; but on tracks like “God’s Children,” the cosmos align and Dulli’s and Lanegan’s grizzled harmonies combine with stunning clarity. Odes like “Idle Hands” resemble Round And Round--era Ratt upon first spin, but somehow the genius of these two warriors bursts through with velvet-kissed melodies to save the day, making you want to both brood and binge in its wake. “The Body” is vintage Dulli, perhaps even a Twilight Singers throwaway, and “The Stations” only could have been penned by Lanegan-some relative inconsistency at work, but ultimately, the end result is plain amazing. (SUB POP) Ryan Prado