HEAVY LOAD - SWEDEN

Full Speed At High Level - 1978 - Heavy Sound
Death Or Glory - 1982 - Thunderload
Stronger Than Evil - 1983 - Thunderload
Riders Of The Ancient Storm - 2023 - No Remorse

Heavy Load image
  
 
Members
Vocals
RAGNE WAHLQUIST

Guitar
Tommy Mac Frees>>RAGNE WAHLQUIST - Highbrow, Segevång R&B, Black Widow, Salt, Eddy>>Eddy Malm>>Challenger, Eddy Malm Band - Pain Killer, Jackal's Wrath, Steelwing>>NIC SAVAGE [NICLAS SUNNERBERG]


Bass
Dan Molen - Torbjorn Ragensjo - Andreas Fritz>>Challenger, King Diamond, Chroma Kee - TORBJÖRN RAGNESJÖ

Drum
STYRBJOIN WAHLQUIST


Keyboard
RAGNE WAHLQUIST




History & Biography
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 brothers' father Ingemar Wahlquist was a tenor singer. The Wahlquists formed the band as early as the winter of 1975. Ragne was in the rock band Tommy Mac Frees. Before that the brothers had a home-made makeshift act called The Horses. A bassist called Michael Backlund was soon drafted into heavy Load. The Wahlquist brothers changed bassists and released Full Speed At High Level in November, 1978 through Heavy Sound. Subsequent recordings were released by the band's own Thunderload Records. The band played shows at that time as a trio featuring bassist Dan Molén. Dan left as he wanted to focus on his family. Next in was Eero Koivisto on bass guitar.

Mollen left the act and was soon replaced by Ragnesjo. The band was further enhanced to a four-piece with the additional recruitment of Eddy 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 Death Or Glory, which was released in October, 1982. Phil Lynott visited the band 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 to again focus on his family 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 pre-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 Of The Night (backed with I'm Alive) was released in 1985 featuring Andreas 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. Guitarist Patrik Karlsson was in the band in 1987 too. A fourth album was never released however. 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. One of the bands on his label was his own act Chroma Kee. Fritz would end up in Thailand teaching scuba diving!

Hammerfall would later record a Heavy Load cover song at the Wahlquists' 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 Söderström (bass) and Olof Bergius (drums). In late 2015, Eddy Malm was recording a heavy rock album for a European label under the name Eddy Malm Band. The line-up was Eddy Malm: vocals, Per Hesselrud: guitar and background vocals, Tomas Malmfors: bass and background vocals and Micke Kerslow: drums. Early. Heavy Load reunited on the fortieth anniversary of its debut in 2018 and played several festivals including Keep It True XXI and Sweden Rock. No Remorse Records would re-issue the band’s albums beginning in 2018. Eddy Malm was also playing the occasional gig playing a few Heavy Load songs.

No Remorse issued a new record for the band in 2023, which was forty years after the last record. It was called Riders Of The Ancient Storm and was released with three 1980s' members in October. There was a video for the song Ride The Night. It was recorded at the band's Thunderload Studio in Stockholm, Sweden, which the brothers had begun recreating in 2018. Parts of the song Walhalla Warriors stemmed from 1987. The band was Ragne Wahlquist, Niclas Sunnerberg, Torbjörn Ragnesjö (who is a cousin to the brothers) and Styrbjörn Wahlquist. Simultaneously, the Wahlgaard Saga: Novel by Ragne Wahlquist was also published. Its story was reflected in the band's new album. Heavy Load, was confirmed for the Keep It True XXIV festival in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany between April 26-27, 2024.


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