It’s hard to believe that this is Mark Lanegan’s first solo album in eight years; such is the profile of the Seattle scene survivor who has assuredly become the soulful baritone for hire on anyone’s records but his own since Bubblegum. The juddering Gravedigger’s Song lures us back into the dark – blowing away the cobwebs with that familiar growl, Alain Johannes’ unmistakable lap steel and the rattling percussive backbone of fellow Eleven founder Jack Irons.
The remainder of Lanegan's revolving ‘Band’ intermittently consists of his enduring co-conspirators – most notably Dulli, Goss and Homme – over a rich and varied set that treads blues and modern gospel as often as it seeks out new ground. Pulsating synths and drum machines usher in the aptly titled Ode To Sad Disco, while the same streak of glorious melancholy runs through Harborview Hospital. Taking risks in the face of his own traditions, Blues Funeral is another memorable foot forward in a fascinating career.