Heavy Load - Stronger Than Evil

Heavy Load - Stronger Than Evil

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(CD, No Remorse Records, 2018)

Most of the times reissues play a nostalgia role and for a short while bring to the spotlight some long-forgotten band. In this case, No Remorse Records re-releases HEAVY LOAD’s “Stronger Than Evil” to remind us this historic band but also to wet our appetite for the upcoming live appearances where the Wahlquist brothers will (re)deliver their early Heavy Metal of Swedish origin. Yeah, HEAVY LOAD was formed in the mid-'70s in a non-existent Swedish Metal scene.

The two brothers remastered this recording and this adds more value to the release because sometimes a run-of-the-mill remastering can make the original sound bland and hence disrespectful. Having the promo on digital format, I am not in the best position to judge the quality of the remastering, so I will wait until I get the vinyl edition to form an opinion but, man, the guitar riff and the scream opening the LP with “Run With The Devil” blew my socks off. The drums and bass are pounding hard in the rhythm section, while the guitars and vocals follow the golden recipe of making great songs with simple melodies and structures. And then, there are songs like “The King” and “Stronger Than Evil” where the mid-tempo along with the sing-along chorus write the word 'epic' with capital and bold letters. After all, many consider HEAVY LOAD as the first band that brought Vikings into Metal, so you should be ready for the chanting riffs, the choirs and the absolutely killer solo. While you are in the Viking mood, then it is time to lift your shield, pick your sword up and follow HEAVY LOAD to battle under the marching snare-drum beat that sets the stage for the epic “Singing Swords”. The fists-in-the-air and guitar-heavy “Roar Of The North” marks the end of the original album’s tracklist but the reissue has more material to offer. This is when things become interesting with three previously unreleased songs, which - according to the press release - were left out due to time limitation. Remember, we are talking about the vinyl days during which the recordings had to be less than 40 minutes long. “Air Raid” and “Lionheart” are classic HEAVY LOAD songs, and keep in mind that on the first one, it is Eddy Malm who is handling the lead singing. Eddy is also singing on the fast headbanger “I Am Alive” which was the B-side on the “Monsters Of The Night” single. “Day Of The Dream” has Ragne behind the mic and this one sounds like demo version of a song the band was working on in the early '80s. This is a mid-tempo song with dramatic vocals (and Swedish pronunciation) and some MANILLA ROAD / CIRITH UNGOL epic heaviness. “Sleipnir Unleashed” is also a previously unreleased recording but since it’s a drum solo I did not included in the bonus songs.

Not only this hearty package wetted my appetite to see HEAVY LOAD live, but it also rekindled my interest to see the rest of the albums getting this adding-bonus material treatment. And it is not only bonus tracks since the press release talks about a freshly designed booklet also done by the two brothers. I wonder, is there any chance for HEAVY LOAD to return to the studio?

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Links:

www.HeavyLoad-Sweden.Com
www.FaceBook.Com/HeavyLoadOfficial


Tracklist:

01. Run With The Devil
02. The King
03. Singing Swords
04. Dreaming
05. Stronger Than Evil
06. Free
07. Saturday Night
08. Roar Of The North
09. I Am Me
10. Air Raid
11. Lionheart
12. I'm Alive
13. Day Of Dream
14. Sleipnir Unleashed


Lineup:

Styrbjörn Wahlquist - Drums, Vocals
Torbjörn Ragnesjö - Bass
Ragne Wahlquist - Vocals, Guitar
Eddy Malm - Guitar