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Music / Heavy Load

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"The guitar is my sword, I'll fight 'til I die,
rock 'n' roll is my lord 'til the very last sigh."
"Been a soldier since '67 and i'm in heaven!"

Widely considered to be Sweden's first metal band, Heavy Load was founded in 1976 by brothers Ragne and Styrbjörn Wahlquist. Coming from a relatively well-off family, the brothers released the self-produced debut album in 1978 to almost complete silence from the critics. The band quickly gained a cult following though, and was just as important to the early boom of Swedish heavy metal as their far more commercially succesful contemporaries in Europe where. The band initially broke up in 1987 but reunited in 2017 and have among other things headlined both Keep It True and Sweden Rock Festival.


Principal Members

  • Ragne Wahlquist – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards (1976-1985, 1987, 2017-present)
  • Styrbjörn Wahlquist – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards (1976-1985, 1987, 2017-present)
  • Torbjörn Ragnesjö - Bass (1978-1984, 2018-present)
  • Nic Savage - Guitars (lead) (2018-present)

Studio Discography:

  • Full Speed at High Level (1978)
  • Death or Glory (1982)
  • Stronger than Evil (1983)

This band provides examples of:

  • Bears Are Bad News: They certainly are to the viking warrior on the cover of "Death or Glory" who's locked in mortal combat with one.
  • Horny Vikings: The horniest! The band is pretty much more known for the over the top manliness and maschismo of their album covers than their music, honestly. The lyrics is also overdosed with this trope, unsurprisingly leading to many comparisons with Manowar. (Never mind the fact that Heavy Load debuted almost 5 years before Manowar did.)
    "In school, our teachers tried to tell us that vikings where funny little men who plowed the field all day, with pieces of leather on their heads. Our version is way more exciting." — Ragne Wahlquist.
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  • New Sound Album: The band adoptd a slightly more commercial and synth-infused sound on their 1985 single "Monsters of the Night." They broke up before they could evolve it though.
  • Taking You with Me: "Bleeding Streets" which is about a dying junkie who hunts down and kills dealers as a last act of revenge before his death.