Heavy Load was one of the first genuine heavy metal bands out of Sweden
and must have been quite influential on many bands to come. The band
formed as early as 1975 by the Wahlquists. A bassist called Michael
Backlund was soon drafted. The Wahlquist brothers changed bassists and
released Full Speed At High Level in November, 1978 through Heavy
Subsequent recordings were released by the band's own Thunderload
Records. The band played shows at that time as a trio featuring bassist
Mollen left the act and was soon replaced by Ragnesjo. The band was
further enhanced to a four-piece with the additional recruitment of
Malm. This line-up released the Metal Conquest MLP in September, 1981.
The MLP was recorded at Decibel Studios in July of 1981. Next came
Or Glory which was released in October, 1982. The band was visited by
Phil Lynott in the studio during the recording of Stronger Than Evil.
Lynott, who was on tour in Sweden at the time, was giving the band drum
sound suggestions when he was asked to lay down a couple of bass guitar
tracks. He contributed the bass tracks for the song Free the next day!
This song was also released as a single. The band toured across
Europe until 1984 before Ragnesjo decided to leave the band towards the
end of the year.
As successful as ever, Heavy Load signed a Swedish distribution deal
with Warner, but
instead of increasing sales and providing stability Malm (a Canadian
resident in his teenage years) would opt to leave
the act. Malm wanted the band to hire a producer like Mutt Lange and
sign a bigger deal, while the Wahlquists preferred in-house production
and using their own imprint. The Wahlquists began building a
recording studio called Thunderload Studio where Candlemass, Veni
Domine, Isengard and others recorded. A 45 rpm single called Monsters
The Night (backed with I'm Alive) was released in 1985 featuring
Fritz. This single was of a more commercial nature and spoke to the
band's desire to try something a little different. It was also partly a
reaction to the emergence and success of Europe at that time.
Nevertheless, the band's subsequent Monster Tour was not a success. In
fact, it was the band's last. At one point ex-UFO bassist Paul Gray
joined the band. Although a
fourth album was never released.
Malm and Fritz would later form Challenger. This band recorded several
demos and was even close to obtaining a deal at one point. Fritz would
move on to King Diamond and even start his own label, Fritz The Dog.
of the bands on his label was his own act Chroma Kee. Fritz would end
in Thailand teaching scuba diving!
Hammerfall would later record a Heavy Load cover song at the
studio where the brothers made a guest appearance on the track. In its
time the band had a reputation for a heavy sound and a full-on live
show. There has been talk of a reunion. After the turn of the century,
Malm had a new '70s-oriented hard
rock band. The band featured Eddy, Per Hesselrud (guitar), Peter
SÃ¶derstrÃ¶m (bass) and Olof Bergius (drums).