Heavy Load - Stronger Than Evil

Heavy Load - Stronger Than Evil

\r\nOne of the bands that their last offerings to the art, their "swan chants", is best of their career. It is used in these cases that doors open for the street of success, the recognition, the money and the glory. This is something that exists constantly, but not for HEAVY LOAD. After the release of the specific album, with which in my opinion reached the peak of their creativity (and after two years later they released one single 45’’ with 2 songs), internal problems and disagreements between them led the band to split-up. And they were so much near t o they make the big step\r\n

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\r\nOf course their previous releases were not bad, but the opposite. How can a band create bad albums, when it has its own personal sound, its trademark?\r\n

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\r\nThey began from frozen Stockholm of Sweden in 1976 from the two Wahlquist brothers. Influenced from the culture and the mythology of their homeland, they gave figurative and lyrically big base in the heritage that their ancestors Vikings left. Their first step became in 1978, then followed an EP and one complete album until 1982 (the incredible "Death Or Glory"). \r\n

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\r\nThe time however that passed from the first days where they began, helped them to make their sound pure, polymorphic, full, power, as precisely it is presented in "Stronger Than Evil". If we wanted to describe this album…only two words would be enough… melodic power! HEAVY METAL that is to say!! As they knew behind in the 80’ s to create it. "Stronger Than Evil", as the whole perception of the group through their discography, creates to you sentiments of magnificence. It is this combination of speed and melody, epic and lyricism, the unique singer voice, the harmonies, all of them such as psalmodies. The untamed guitar that leaves no gap in the songs without play a significant role, released with powerful solos, pure, wild, above all melodic. We could characterize them more as European MANILLA ROAD than as BATHORY (after the Blood On Ice era…). \r\n

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\r\nThe sound but also the album’s philosophy, if we want to get into their image, refer in a warrior, not like a …superman of MANOWAR, but a human one, vulnerable, tough guy, who will not die if it does not give the war that it is called to give..and who would win no matter the cost…\r\n

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\r\nThe album has the smell of a battlefield, and gets you into it from the very beginning, from the first song, "Run With The Devil" with the specific particular, paranoid and breathtaking riff. \r\n

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\r\nFast, melodic, bonded in solos (the HAMMERFALL tribute cover later, leaves me completely incurious, like their tries to reunion in the later years)\r\n

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\r\n"The king" with it’s dark introduction and the repeated rhythm it strikes you directly in the stomach and it constitutes the base so that they are later give the march of death…\r\n

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\r\nThe battle rages on, you feel and see it, you hear the swords that struck from each other, composing their characteristic ode with "Singing Swords". Now it is time for relaxation, the narration of incidents and the perception of the ideal with "Dreaming", slow and drowned in emotions, perhaps it reminds WARLORD in some points (but of course there is no thought of copy). \r\n

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\r\nThe second side of the album, begins with the homonymous song "Stronger Than Evil", a mid-tempo, technical track, with changes from slow to fast rhythms, that make it afterwards reaching to another dimension with it’s unbelievable solo..Strong …it is stronger than evil..!!\r\n

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\r\nThen, there is the surprise of the album, "Free", a pure song with PHIL LYNOTT (yeah!) bass, lead the rhythm. ( Legend PHIL was in Sweden during the recording of Stronger Than Evil, in order to promote his solo career album, passed from the studio where he gave some advices for the production and sound recordings. He then was asked to participate in the album and not only did he agreed but the next day, he already had the bass rhythm ready for "Free" track (which was also released as a single). \r\n

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\r\nNext comes "Saturday Night" a fast track and we reach the end of the album with the heavy and epic in slow medium speeds "Roar Of The North", which is one of the best parts of the album, although it is difficult to say it, because the whole album is a masterpiece.\r\n

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\r\nWith "Stronger Than Evil" HEAVY LOAD reached in their biggest success. In the next 6 months from it’s release, they performed extensive European tour, they signed contract with the Swedish annex of multinational company WARNER and all they showed was that the future was in their hands. In 1985 they made the single that we reported before (Free, with Monsters Of The Night and I’ m Alive) in more commercial forms, which although it had a small success it seemed to be a desperate attempt and it was representative of the situation that prevailed anymore in the band. \r\n

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\r\nDisagreements already existed, regarding which sound direction they should follow. The Wahlquist brothers wanted to continue in the route that they had from their beginning -via their "independent" sign, the way they used to release their works, wanting everything pass from their hands (creating their own studio where CANDLEMASS and ISENGARD and many more, later record there)- contrary to the prospects that were presented to them via means of bigger production and names of colossuses as Matt Lange. They believed that they will lose their personal element. And possibly they did have absolutely right. The example of AC/DC has still left enough residues… From the other of view, no one knows which would be the result of such collaboration and where it would have led the band..\r\n

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\r\nLine Up:
\r\nRagne Wahlquist - Vocals/Guitars
\r\nEddie Malm - Guitars/Vocals
\r\nTorbjorn Ragnesjo - Bass
\r\nStyrbjorn Wahlquist - Drums/Vocals
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\r\nTranslated by: Manos Maragkos \r\n

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