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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Heavy Load - 1982 Death Or Glory
Heavy Load - 1982 Death Or Glory

ARTIST: Heavy Load
ALBUM: Death Or Glory
LABEL: Thunderload
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1994, Thunderload, TLCD-8822 * 1996, Nexus/King Records (Japan), KICP 2621


LINEUP: Ragne Wahlquist - vocals, guitars * Torbjorn Ragnesjo - bass * Eddie Malm - guitars * Styrbjorn Wahlquist - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heavy Metal Angels (In Metal And Leather) * 02 Might For Right * 03 Something New * 04 Bleeding Streets * 05 The Guitar Is My Sword * 06 Trespasser * 07 Still There Is Time * 08 Traveller * 09 Little Lies * 10 Daybreak Ecstasy

Heavy Metal traditionalists who are not familiar with Heavy Load would probably be awe struck on the first glance of the album cover, a glorious drawing of a muscle-bound Viking about to cut down a menacing polar bear in some icy wasteland, truly authentic metal spirit! Heavy Load were one of Sweden's first metal bands to gain a national profile and were regular chart placers in their day, something carried on by fellow Swedish metal brethren Hammerfall to the present day. The Wahlquist brothers formed the band in 1976 and 'Full Speed At High Level' saw daylight in 1978, with the above lineup in place for 1981's 'Metal Conquest' which took their homeland by storm. Admittedly the music of 'Death And Glory' isn't as extreme as the spikes, fire and axes that adorn the back cover, but their harmonic brand of metal was a cut above the rest of many Euro metal flops.

The Songs
'Heavy Metal Angels' introduces Heavy Load's agenda, melodic guitar work with inspirational vocal work and the undying message that metal is their (and our) way of life. Speed is introduced on second track 'Might Is Right' with some Maiden-ish guitar lines, which could be disputed as both bands had existed as long as the other. 'Something New' has more in common with Treat rather than Toranaga, an extremely AOR based chorus a forerunner to Sweden's AOR kings. 'The Guitar Is My Sword' likewise is hard rock rather than all out metal, and 'Take Me Away' while containing decent riffs isn't heavy enough to warrant the bands maniacal metal histrionics. 'Trespasser' is more cut and thrust thankfully, likewise 'Still There Is Time', which exemplifies some marvellous vocal harmonies. The rest of the material is adequate if nothing else, not exactly addictive, 'Traveller' the best of the bunch thanks to the superb guitar solos which have that certain metal atmosphere that 1982 was well known for, not state of the art production wise, but played to the utmost of professional standards.

In Summary
While above average for the most part 'Death Or Glory' still can't hold a dripping candle to Saxon during the same period. The difference is in the production and melody which Heavy Load had in abundance, but not quite enough to warrant being mentioned alongside the true greats. They quickly released 'Stronger Than Evil' the following year, which essentially is the same album in regards to sound and quality. It was to be the last outing for Heavy Load despite efforts to record a new album over the following years, as the Wahlquist brothers seemed to be more content producing than creating their own music. Suitably, Hammerfall paid homage by covering a Heavy Load track in 2000, a fitting tribute to a worthy band whose metal beliefs should be admired by fans young and old.

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