As anyone who has attended one of their live shows knows, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club can be angry, anarchic and acrimonious in equal measures. Here, on the San Francisco-based trio's seventh album, they've added several extra shades of black to their palette. While Specter at the Feast can be typically dark and abrasive, like on the relentless rumble of Sell It, BRMC also show off newfound maturity with several bruising ballads seemingly inspired by two deaths during the album's recording.
"How much time have we got left?" they ask on the heartwrenching Returning.
But the mood is mournful rather than dour, especially on the slow jam poetry of Some Kind of Ghost and the cruisy melodies of Lullaby. If you're a fan of the Kills or the Dead Weather, you'll find plenty to enjoy on bluesy opener Fire Walker and the southern rock of Hate the Taste.
BRMC have a tendency to head into Kasabian-style lad-rock territory on Let the Day Begin and Rival, but they certainly save the best for last: Lose Yourself is a stunning slow-burner that builds into an epic, sprawling anthem, proving BRMC now know how to find light at the end of those very dark tunnels of theirs.
Verdict: Leather-clad rockers as moody as ever