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Rocka Rollas - Metal Strikes Back

Rocka Rollas
Metal Strikes Back
by Neil Cook at 05 January 2021, 12:13 AM

ROCKA ROLLAS must have been named after the JUDAS PRIEST album.  And that isn’t where the JP similarities end.  In fact on the strength of the “Definitive Version” of this their 2013 album “Metal Strikes Back”, the project is the Heavy, Speed, Power Metals playbook bought to ear splitting life.  What makes this definitive, I’m assuming is the fact everything but the lead vocals were rerecorded in 2020, during the lockdown times.  And all by the creator Cedrick “Ced” Forsberg, who played everything, and this is far from the only project he is involved with or given the same treatment to either.

So what do we get here?  12 tracks of hard and heavy Metal with a distinct European flavor.  Blend a bit of PRIEST here, some HELLOWEEN there, a pinch of MAIDEN, and bits of many other bands you care to mention, oh and add a great big slug of MANOWAR sauce to season, and you have the recipe for this Heavy Metal Swedish stew. The guitar is most definitely the star ingredient, churning out riff after riff, solo after solo, this is most definitely what this whole project is about.  Too be honest if it wasn’t for the pandemic I would respectfully suggest this would be even more definitive with a proper rhythm section, as whilst Ced having done a sterling job, the drum and bass are a bit workmanlike and just falls short of the amazing axe work.

With titles referencing all manor of metals, weapons and fighting, robots, many sounding like titles discarded from a PRIEST album such as “Blazing Wings” and “Weaponizer”, even “Stellwheeler” may have been ROB’s ast-offs.  and the like we could not be on anything other than a Heavy Metal album, all wrapped up in a sleeve with a bare chested warrior brandishing his weapon.  And all played at speed.  There are only two gears here fast and arrrggg!

Also at 12 songs it is a long set, and there is a tendency for a bit of similarity to creep in, in part to the drum and bass sound as mentioned above, so it wouldn’t have hurt to lose two or three tunes.  As long as that didn’t include “Blazing Wings” the rabble rousing opening track, title track “ Heavy Metal Strikes Back”, which it does with a vengeance, “Conquer” which has a MAIDEN vibe and the closing instrumental/guitar workout “Steelwheeler”, which are the standout numbers for me.

Ced can certainly play the guitar, he has a bag stuffed full of riffs.  Joe’s vocals are not bad at all, nothing new and fresh, but they do their job well. I just think a different rhythm section could have made a really good album into a truly definitive one.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1 – Blazing Wings
2 – Heavy Metal Strikes Back
3 – Riding The Metal Storm
4 – Raging Cyborg
5 – Warmachine From Hell
6 – Conquer
7 – Swords Raised In Victory
8 – Night Of The Living Steel
9 – Metalive
10 – Weaponizer
11 – Bloodbath
12 - Steelwheeler
Lineup:
Cedrick Forsberg – Guitars, Bass, Drums, Backing vocals
Joe Liszt – Vocals, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Stormspell Records
     


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Edited 18 January 2021
 

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