LUGNET – Tales From The Great Beyond (2022)
There’s no escaping the motherlode – that eternal continuum of high drama and overheated amp stacks fit to raise the pulse and revivify the spirits. It’s merely an unmistakable band chemistry that transforms base hard rock into gemstones, and this process is an increasingly rare phenomenon in the here and now.
Luckily for Stockholm classic rock alchemists LUGNET, they are one of the few. Here in these steamrollering grooves and strident anthems is just the kind of swagger and bravado on which rock built its foundations in the ‘70s.
On their new album “Tales From The Great Beyond” the roots of LUGNET may be visible to see, and the primal stomp of early Deep Purple / Uriah Heep, the apocalyptic sermonising of Black Sabbath and the cinematic majesty of DIO-era Rainbow can easily be detected in the almighty sturm-und-drang. Yet this sound is delivered with charisma and maverick energy that effortlessly summons fresh vibrant life to a classic form.
When you have talent to create killer melodic riffs, groovy bass lines, stellar vocals, and these classic acts as influences, nothing can go wrong when you blend all these together… the result is quite a tasty shake.
“Still a Sinner” opens the album and the love at first listen is immediate, those first chords already provide a glimpse of all the goodness that will come after. The guitar work is fantastic, heavy, and epic, vocals sound like a mix of Gillan, Lee Roth, Coverdale, and Ronnie, with a very efficient range and impressive high pitch screaming that will appeal to every classic hard rock and heavy metal fan.
“In Harvest Time” kicks off with a doomy vibe and a guitar soloing that rapidly evolves into a fast & furious Uriah Heep-style heavy rocker, cool song.
With “Another World” the band delivers the first mini epic song of the album, at first an atmosphere that’s more on the sludgy side of metal, with a couple of minutes in the middle that somehow reminds me of Kill The King (Rainbow) both in its speed and rhythmic performance… and then, towards the end, some Sabbath flares from the “Disturbing the Priest” era, a song that I see becoming a classic in the band’s catalog for years to come.
“Out of My System” could easily be a song taken from VH-II or Fair Warning, a good old school rocker with great hooks and melodies, plus the phenomenal guitar work once again. “Svarv” is a beautiful instrumental track where neoclassical guitars get smartly entangled (and some other cool instruments too!) to deliver a moment of pause, peace, and medieval happiness to the experience.
70’s inspired hard rock return with “Eaten Alive”, that same vintage mood that younger Finnish rockers Vintage Caravan accomplish so well, a pristine blend of influences that takes us back to classic heavy rock territory, crafted and executed in the 2020’s with that pungent guitar tonality that becomes hypnotic with time, short but to the point!
“Pale Design” is another great rocker with pounding bass lines and fast drumming, a combination tighter as they can get, heavy guitar soloing and vocals that scrape grandiosity, with some similarities to those storm-chasing screams from the “Pictures of Home” era of Deep Purple, cool and catchy stuff.
The heaviest and grooviest moment of the album comes with “I Can’t Wait” in the form of a straight proto metal output, very Sabbath sounding thanks to the exquisite guitar riffing and licking with simple lyrics that are efficiently used and managed to accompany the music, nothing else, just enough to make it work.
“Black Sails” is the second mini epic song clocking slightly over 8 minutes, dark soundscape effects lead the way for more sounding atmosphere that resembles NWOBHM, heavy, immense, and raw. Can’t say enough about the great guitar work by both Norlin and Linder, is a highlight in almost every song of the album.
“Tåsjö Kyrkmarsch” closes the album in an oddly but gratifying way… three plus minutes of melodic church vintage organs intricately playing together to announce the end… unique!
“Tales From The Great Beyond” is very diverse and even though its flow is clear and friendly, the songs themselves evolve and diversify even within themselves, adding more interest and relevance for the listener.
Lugnet’s new album does not make promises. It actually surpasses your expectations and even better, has excelled the sound of the band, has evolved their profile and has proved what these Swedes are capable of.
An authentic heavy rock band, true to their 70s-80s roots but with the will and motivation to look further beyond, evolve and challenge their creativity.
01 – Still a Sinner
02 – In Harvest Time
03 – Another World
04 – Out of My System
05 – Svarv
06 – Eaten Alive
07 – Pale Design
08 – I Can´t Wait
09 – Black Sails
10 – Tåsjö Kyrkmarsch
johan Fahlberg – lead vocals (Jaded Heart)
Lennart “Z” Zethzon – bass (Clifftones)
Matti Norlin – guitars (Badge, Urban Clash)
Micke Linder – guitars
Fredrik Jansson-Punkka – drums (Angel Witch, Wooden Fields)