Hypnotic, brooding guitar patterns swirl and build, erupting into the fuzz of distorted guitars. Mark Lanegan’s whiskey-raw voice carries a plaintive melody, Greg Dulli’s evocative harmony joining it.

The long awaited collaboration between singer-songwriters Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Dulli (Afghan Whigs) is an atmospheric, layered, doleful, yet rocking, album. The two singers trade off lead vocal duties. The songs are most reminiscent of the Screaming Trees, never reaching the manic hard rock of the Afghan Whigs nor going as stripped down as Lanegan’s solo work.

Many of the songs walk the tight rope of unresolving melodies, while some never quite take off, smacking of undercooked side-project material, but on the whole, it’s an album worthy of the oeuvres of both artists.

Grade: B+

Saturnalia is currently available.