Lugnet – “Nightwalker” (Pride & Joy Music)
Battle Helm Rating
If ‘lugnet’ means ‘tranquillity’ in Swedish, then this couldn’t be further removed from the truth! Stoked and rippling in 70s hard rock and classic rock glory, it’s bands like Lugnet who not only capture the sound of that era authentically, but rather than retro hashing it, have brought it into modernity and actually paved a future for it. “Nightwalker” has it all in bunches! From the incredible compositions to the sheer range of 70s styles on show here – including stoner, blues rock and doom – it’s all performed superbly thanks to the talented musicianship of the band themselves. From new singer Johan Fahlbergs (Jaded Heart) whose immense power and range truly needs to be heard to the rich, dexterous twin guitars of Marcus ‘Mackan’ Holten and Matti Norling who have honed to perfection all their riffs, licks, melodies and solos to not just reflect the 70s in fine style, but also ensure they’re also hugely moving and naturally capturing of both the mind and body. Completing this elite team is the extraordinary driving rhythm section of bass player Lennart ‘Z’ Zethzon (Badge) and drummer Fredrik Jansson (Angel Witch, ex Witchcraft). Together, they make this sophomore truly magical. From the fast beat and massive cowbell of opener ‘Die For You’, the gritty guitars go to work immediately while Fahlbergs voice – and occasional scream – brings nothing short of epic power to the already pulsating energy of this number before the swashbuckling guitars possess you into instant headbanging mode! With a massive Led Zepp rocking groove on ‘Cockroach’ that hits you flush in the nuts and completed by proto heavy metal melodies, wailing boogie, wild solos and Fahlbergs voice sounding like he’s already strutting the stage of some gargantuan stadium to the hero worship of the masses – and why not when you’re this good – expect nothing less than ‘rock star’ stamped across your loins after this one ha ha. Closing with ‘Kill Us All’ whose initial folky melancholia evolves darkly into doom complemented so exquisitely by Fahlbergs clean, soaring highs, the twin guitars have just the right measure of fuzz when they’re not oozing beautiful melodies, not forgetting Zethzon’s far out bass rumblings. Pure musical bliss, prepare for the might of Lugnet and absolutely no tranquillity.