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Rocka Rollas - Celtic Kings Award winner

Rocka Rollas
Celtic Kings
by Kyle Scott at 25 April 2018, 11:54 AM

ROCKA ROLLAS was one of the seven (!) projects of Cederick Forsberg, well known for being a multi-instrumentalist in all his bands. ROCKA ROLLAS was intended to be a tribute to the nitro-fueled sub-genre of Speed Metal. Listening to their other albums, they may have gotten distracted. From the very beginning of their discography, they clearly have Speed elements in their early demos and Eps. Listening to their more recent work shows that they share more in common with their other main influence, Power Metal. ROCKA ROLLAS’ latest work, “Celtic Kings” is no exception.

“The Price of Vengeance” starts out with such prideful fervor, a song worthy of riding into battle. Ced’s voice reaches operatic heights while he punishes the hell out of his guitar. The energy chugs at full-tilt with the heady chorus of “To the Gallows”. It’s a song about murdering a mad King pushing his kingdom to the brink of ruin that is sent off to be hanged per the royal counsellor’s request, and also dragging the Queen along to be killed because… Fuck her, I guess? But turns out, the King is so evil and powerful, he continues to haunt and curse the land he used to own until the Reaper himself has to step in and take his spirit to the other side. A lot of “Celtic Kings’” lyrics share corrupt medieval power being wielded in the wrong hands.

“Knights of Valor” is one shining example of that concept. Vicious knights terrorize the kingdom under order of their sovereign. There are two solo parts: one performed by Ced and the other by Emil. While Ced plays nothing short of crazy, finger-tangling riffs, Emil nearly sets his damn fretboard on fire! I also want to talk about the super-cool titled “Mountains of the Dead”, about a valiant army fighting against an unholy horde of the dead controlled by a necromancer in an enchanted mountain. Graphic lyrics demand smashing rotten skulls, slashing and hacking corpses, ending everything in “an ocean of blood”. It’s the most fire-spitting track on the album, and pairs epic solos alongside its gruesome lyrics.

The title track “Celtic Kings” features several guest vocalists including members of BEYOND THE KATAKOMB, ANCIENT EMPIRE, THE OUTER LIMITS, THERESE THOMSSON, and CANDLE. This behemoth of a track is almost fourteen minutes long! With all the medieval themes in this album, the final track “Riding Wild” feels a tad out of place. It’s a clear nod to their past sound, with their more classic Speed Metal stylings, and lyrics, but it’s still odd on a track about murderous knights and mountains of zombie warriors.

ROCKA ROLLAS set itself apart from Ced’s other ventures by embracing a more mystic quality to the genres that they were influenced by. Later, Ced took several key parts of ROCKA ROLLAS to form BREITENHOLD. “Celtic Kings” is an interesting look into how another band was created by previous incarnations, and how that style is still carried on in Ced’s more current projects.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Price of Vengeance
2. From Blackened Skies
3. To the Gallows
4. Last Days of Night
5. Knights of Valor
6. Fallen Gods
7. Mountains of the Dead
8. Celtic Kings
9. Riding Wild
Ced - Guitars and Lead vocals
Emil - Guitars
Record Label: Stormspell Records


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