Saturnalia - The Gutter Twins
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The lofty expectations are met in full with Saturnalia. [Apr 2008, p.160]
  2. Saturnalia is easily the best album I have heard this year and will undoubtedly be included in many a year end list.
  3. Saturnalia revels in sin while occasionally contemplating salvation. Mesmerizing comes to mind.
  4. 86
    Dulli and Lanegan, two of today's greatest underappreciated frontmen, are hypnotic; narcotic. [Winter 2008, p.96]
  5. Saturnalia is mysticism and hedonism, saints and sinners, dark and light, but this is no clear-cut Manichaean collaboration. Both Lanegan and Dulli represent this, both contain all the good and the bad they sing about, sometimes at different moments but very often together, and it's that joined duality, that very disturbingly human quality, telling us things about ourselves we'd rather not acknowledge, that makes the album so absolutely alluring.
  6. Saturnalia, is teeming with the kind of raw and gritty music one might expect to hear kicked around in, well, the gutter. And considering the project is a collaboration between Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli, that's certainly not a bad thing.
  7. It’s in those moments [of appealing moment of vulnerability] as well as in the swarming chorus of 'God’s Children' that the duo hit their true heights, and those same qualities are the ones most likely to mark this album as an enduring piece of work from two icons of a class that has long since graduated.
  8. Lanegan began speaking of this collaboration before a note had been recorded, and it plays out perfectly.
  9. Repeated listens to this wonderful record reveals a wealth of musicality more prominent than perhaps anything either Dulli or Lanegan have been attached to yet.
  10. It’s Dulli sounding like Dulli at his best. And Lanegan delivers some of his more devastating vocal performances.
  11. This is intense music, with moments of pure bliss.
  12. Fans of Dulli and Lanegan should happily devour the Gutter Twins, but even better, newcomers are in for a smooth, memorable introduction to two of the darker characters in rock today.
  13. The result's a bit grungy, sure--but there's also an undercurrent of dark, sinister country and blues that suggests they're not just rehashing old times.
  14. 80
    With Lanegan at his stentorian best and Dulli in full confessional mode, Saturnalia is a feast, certainly--but one where the dishes are served delightfully raw.
  15. 80
    It's a gloom that suits them both. [Apr 2008, p.112]
  16. It's the best thing either has done in a decade. [Apr 2008, p.116]
  17. Musically the most important aspect of this collaborative effort is that their voices work so nicely with and against each other.
  18. Musically, Saturnalia, named after the Roman festival where slaves and masters switch roles, is a concentrated dose of their usual badassery, never straying too far from the territory Dulli explored on the last three Singers albums, and even includes many of the same collaborators.
  19. It's not the sort of release that throws a lot of curveballs, but Saturnalia is nonetheless a solid album from two veteran musicians.
  20. What gives Saturnalia its real kick is the way it emotionally engages.
  21. 70
    These guys sound like they're genuinely torn between looking up at the stars and trying to find an exit to the sewer. Neat trick, that.
  22. This represents a new territory for both Dulli and Lanegan, and it's one that they (generally) excel in.
  23. This is a lovingly crafted record which has the same misty fug and aura as The Soulsavers and Lanegan indulged in recently.
  24. Saturnalia isn't breaking any new ground, and in large sections it sounds a lot more 1992 than 2008, but there's enough majesty and confidence behind it to make one hope Dulli and Lanegan will give it at least one more album. [Spring 2008, p.83]
  25. The Twins' mission statement seems to be more about mood than memorable songs.
  26. 60
    Not surprisingly, their debut tends toward brooding, bluesy rock—a worthy soundtrack for those dark, whiskey-soaked nights of the soul and the regret-filled mornings after.
  27. In their desire to avoid repetition, however, they’ve indeed strayed somewhere they’ve never been before: the middle of the road.
  28. They were probably aiming for hypnotic or dreamy, but except for the cinematic bookends 'The Stations' and 'Front Street,' the slow dances mostly crash-land in Snoresville
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. BulletMagazine
    Mar 29, 2008
    9
    Intense, dark, brooding - but a sense for the melodic which makes this an essential listen.
  2. NJstixx
    Mar 22, 2008
    9
    As a huge Twilight Singers fan, I thought I'd be disappointed with this...Not so! Repeated listens bring a whole new meaning to the As a huge Twilight Singers fan, I thought I'd be disappointed with this...Not so! Repeated listens bring a whole new meaning to the Gutter Twins....God's Childeren and Idle Hands will be appreciated right of the bat, but other tunes such as "Circle the Fringes" , and the rest will capitivate you after several listens. I hope these guys keep making music together. Full Review »
  3. Raindog'sRants
    Mar 21, 2008
    9
    I've come to expect nothing from excellence from these two guys. The record is not dissimilar to the more aggressive Twilight Singers I've come to expect nothing from excellence from these two guys. The record is not dissimilar to the more aggressive Twilight Singers stuff steeped in biblical references and downtrodden perspectives. Full Review »