ARTIST: Heavy Load
HEAVY LOAD was established in Stockholm during the grim winter of 1974-1975 by the two brothers Ragne Wahlquist (vocals, guitars and keyboards) and Styrbjörn Wahlquist (vocals and drums). The vision and the passion of the Wahlquist brothers was always the kernel of the band’s determined drive – their drive to venture out on musical journeys and to spread their music and lyrics to the world. The two inventive minds wouldn’t have outsiders get in the way of shaping their own future as heavy metal pioneers: As producers and owners of the Thunderload Studio, they’ve shaped a sound that would quickly become the blueprint for European doom metal, starting with Candlemass’ groundbreaking Epicus Doomicus Metallicus album and followed by the band’s iconic Nightfall. And with Yngwie Malmsteen, Morbid and Hammerfall, the fruitful exploration of new ground wouldn’t stop.
Speaking of explorers: The Viking heritage has been an important source of inspiration ever since their childhood. The brothers’ emotional connection to people of a remote past, people with whom they share everlasting human challenges, was destined to find an outlet in their music. As a consequence, the brothers merged 70s Hard Rock with Viking settings and sentiments, resulting in the band’s distinctive style of music, lyrics and artwork for their album covers: Viking Metal – a style which came to inspire later bands in Sweden and elsewhere, a style that now has many followers around the globe. However, although the Viking themes have always been a salient trait in HEAVY LOAD’s songwriting, some of their songs rendered stories with other settings. No matter the setting, though, all songs have their source deep down in the brothers’ emotional life.