LUGNET (feat. Johan Fahlberg of Jaded Heart) – Nightwalker (2019)

LUGNET - Nightwalker (2019) full

While Swedish hard rockers LUGNET released their debut album three years ago, I never heard of them. But now thanks to respectable label Pride & Joy Music (whom are adding to their roster very interesting bands) we have Lugnet’s first album with them, the epic-titled “Nightwalker“.
What piqued my interest about this band and this second album was to see Johan Fahlberg taking over on vocals: he’s the frontman of German Melodic Rock / AOR devotees Jaded Heart, one of my favorite bands.

Well, Lugnet’s style – as some may guess from the album artwork – is retro, classic hard rock. And how the melodious pipes of Fahlberg work here? Rest easy, it works a treat! Johan fits in perfectly, his style nicely slotting into Lugnet‘s unashamed ’70s hard rock sound, as it does the other new boy, guitarist Matti Norlin, whose tone and vibe help bring it all together.
While Fahlberg’s Jaded Heart team deliver solid Bonfire / Bon Jovi-core, Lugnet are firmly in the Deep Purple / Whitesnake camp, constructing riffs and arranging songs exactly as we’d expect in the late 70s.

A well representation of this new incarnation of Lugnet is opener “Die For You”. The guitar sound is straight from the late Seventies / early Eighties, overdriven, raw and not overly processed, with a thundering bass barely held in check by a manic drummer who loves to have his way with his set, and the best use of a cowbell since the actual 1970s. The cut to half time in the solo worked flawlessly and the ending just as smooth.
Fahlberg adds a Gillan-esque feeling at the mic, and is the star of the show. As a whole we have a darn good slab of classic rock / hard.

While there’s a million retro bands out there now – too many, in fact — Lugnet manage to separate themselves from the crowd with two things: Fahlberg’s vocal chops, and the band’s ability to write catchy and varied songs.
This is most evident on one of ‘Nightwalker’s strongest songs, the standout ‘Death Laughs At You‘, the opening riffs could be straight off a Black Sabbath album, with elements Of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Sheep‘ all with a distinctive Lugnet slant. It absolutely nails your full concentration!

“Begging” is pure fun, the riff is true 70s, and the template for the verses is classic—and held together by the larger-than-life vocal and an overall Purple / Whitesnake feel.
“Never Again” has an interesting call and answer going on between the guitarists Matti Norling and Marcus Holten during the verses.

Possibly the best part of “Nightwalker” is the fact that Lugnet know how much of a good thing is enough. They limit their output to eight songs, all of which stand proud on their own, none of which bore us.
From that urgent opener to the lengthy closer “Kill Us All” – with mellow guitar and Mellotron leading into a sweet riff – the album’s 42 minutes fly by.
And while the songs are varied in pace and structure, Fahlberg never lose the focus, belting out the lyrics with consistent passion.

If you’re looking for a genuinely accomplished homage to the late 70s hard rock, with strong songwriting and even stronger vocals, Lugnet will satisfy that itch. This stupendous German singer and these skilled Swedish musicians have done themselves proud.
Highly Recommended


01 – Die for You
02 – Begging
03 – Never Again
04 – Death Laughs at You
05 – Nightwalker
06 – Living in a Dream
07 – Cockroach
08 – Kill Us All

Johan Fahlberg – Vocals
Matti Norling – Guitars
Marcus “Makan” Holten – Guitar
Lennart “Z” Zethzon – Bass
Fredrik Jansson-Punka – Drums



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