Live Report and Photos by: Zenae Zukowski
The final day at 70000tons of Metal, the original World’s biggest heavy metal cruise, is always bittersweet. You feel delirious from not sleeping but, remain hungry for more booze and live heavy music. This is also when you bump into people who have forgotten where they were headed or as though you are in a classic horror film with fans looking like a group of zombies.
With that said, we gave ourselves an extra hour or so of sleep and started the final morning with German thrashers Destruction. Their set immediately woke us up, as they went into classic songs such as “Life Without Sense” taken from 1986’s Eternal Devastation. Moving ahead, we checked out Exhumed’s set at 12:15 PM in the Studio B – Ice Rink theater. They gave us an entertaining blend of deathgrind as they promoted 2017’s Death Revenge.
After being one of the openers of the first night, we went for round two of Leaves’ Eyes. This time they conquered the Pool Deck stage in broad daylight at 1:15 PM. It was a massive run of excitement as fans began to show their cosplay attire, which included pirates and ballerinas. The crowd remained engaged as these symphonic metal giants went into songs such as “My Destiny,” “Across the Sea,” “Swords in Rock,” “Jomsborg,” “Hell to the Heavens,” “Farewell Proud Men,” and “Fires in the North.”
The running around continued and, we were ready for a darker dose of folk metal with Metsatöll at the Studio B – Ice Rink theater. The group’s use of unique instruments continued to captivate the crowd as their one-of-a-kind set moved with songs from 2014’s Karjajuht such as
“Must Hunt,” and “See On See Maa.”
At this point, it was four days of non-stop movement and we decided to catch Primal Fear’s second set at the Alhambra Theater. Once again, these German power metallers gave it they’re all as it was another act to help keep our adrenaline running. However, it was In Extremo’s performance on the Pool Deck that caught our attention. Their folk-medieval distinctive style mixed with an entertaining stage presence made our jaws drop.
The evening moved towards progressive metal as Threshold conquered the Alhambra Theater while Enslaved ruled the Pool Deck. Threshold brought 2017’s Legends of the Shires to life while Enslaved surpassed performing 2017’s E as they also included songs “Roots of the Mountain,” “Ground,” and the classic track “Vetrarnótt.” Their second set was stronger than the first as guitarist Arve Isdal’s riffing mastery captivated the audience.
The evening continued by enjoying Septicflesh’s second set at the Alhambra Theater. Aside from a few lighting changes, their performance was similar to their first as they continued to bring 2017’s Codex Omega to the stage. Fans said their final farewell to Rhapsody as they gave an extraordinary performance on the Pool Deck at 8:00 PM. Our eyes were glued to guitarist Luca Turilli as he was unstoppable that evening. The group’s miraculous performance consisted of songs “In Tenebris,” “Dawn of Victory,” “Wisdom of the Kings,” “The Village of Dwarves,” “Holy Thunderforce,” “Land of Immortals,” “Lamento Eroico,” “The Wizard’s Last Rhymes,” “Rain of a Thousand Flames,” as well as the tear-jerker performance of the Andrea Bocelli cover “Time To Say Goodbye.” Other songs included “Power of the Dragonflame” and “Emerald Sword.”
After shedding a few tears from saying adieu to Rhapsody, it was time for Dark Tranquillity’s set at the Alhambra Theater. The group once-again brought 2016’s Atoma to life, however, there was something extra special seeing them perform in a more intimate setting. This also could have involved the amount of cosplay as we noticed a male Dora The Explorer, and a man in a pink Tutu within the crowd.
Later in the evening, Sabaton stole the show at the Alhambra Theater at 10:45 PM. Whether it was giving it a last hurrah or being a devoted fan, the crowd went crazy during this set. As the group had a different setlist with songs “Dominium Maris Baltici,” “The Lion From the North,” “Panzerkampf,” “Gott Mit Uns,” “The Final Solution,” and “Winged Hussars,” crowd surfers continued to fly by. It was one bombastic way to end the event. However, that wasn’t all.
The German thrash metal gods Kreator concluded the Pool Deck stage at 11:45 PM. During their performance, there was a man in a wheelchair crowd surfing among seeing a big teddy bear standing among the horde. As the lights flashed faster than Meshuggah’s run, the group annihilated the evening with songs such as “Hail to the Hordes,” “Extreme Aggression,” “Pleasure to Kill,” “Awakening the Gods,” “Total Death,” “Phobia,” Enemy of God,” “Satan is Real” and “Gods of Violence.” Before the band ended the Pool Deck, the all mighty Skipper of 70000tons greeted the stage to announce next year’s voyage, as he revealed Round 9 will be from Ft. Lauderdale to Labadee and back on January 31st-Feb. 4th, 2019.
Finally, after four days of non-stop movement, it was time to sit back, grab a drink and party for thirty minutes with the rest of the sailors. As we walked among the rest of the crowd, including seeing Alestorm officially closing round 8, we immediately said that we are looking forward to doing this all over again next year.