Always keen on collaborations – he has previously worked with Soulsavers, Queens of the Stone Age, PJ Harvey, Moby and Isobel Campbell, among others – much of Mark Lanegan’s 10th solo album was composed with British musician Rob Marshall, the rest with longtime foil Alain Johannes. The results represent a career high, the synths, Krautrock rhythms and flashes of electronica (witness the drum’n’bass loop anchoring Drunk on Destruction) first introduced on 2012’s Blues Funeral very much to the fore, and perfectly complementing the abrasive guitars and Lanegan’s grizzled baritone. Throughout, the influences of New Order and Xtrmntr-era Primal Scream loom large, most notably on the brooding and suitably dark Nocturne. The irresistible Emperor, by contrast, sounds positively jaunty, while the acoustic Goodbye to Beauty is a more sombre delight. A bravura statement from an artist still sounding fresh three decades into his career.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine