Twelve tracks based on Bible verses might sound like the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle has gotten himself into an ambitious creative writing exercise, but Darnielle’s always had fun using quotes and inspirations from the most unusual places to twist his own tales of life, love and the questions in between. With Jon Wurster on drums, pounding in quiet frustration, Darnielle spits out the muted, dark menace of the opening track, “1 Samuel 15:23” and builds the tension on the follow-up, “Psalms 40:2,” where his voice gains in anxiety and unrest, quavering as the electronics around him overheat. “Genesis 3:23” follows Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, or at least Darnielle from an old apartment, in upbeat fashion as the storm clouds of the previous tracks subside. Songs visit the church, but just as likely end up in the hospital. “Matthew 25:21” features a truck crash, a plane crash and a round of cancer in just under six minutes. The closing track, “Ezekiel 7 and the Permanent Efficacy of Grace” rides with a murderer on his way to Mexico in the rain. Dark times, indeed.