Live Report and Photos by: Zenae Zukowski
Day three of 70000tons of Metal is when fellow-cruises decide to get off the boat to relax on the beach or participate in one of the excursions. However, three years in a row, we decided to stay on the ship. While each year we hope to check out the view or at least snap the signature photo of the parked Independence of the Seas, we end up passing it up to enjoy a few extra hours of shuteye.
Once we woke up, it was time to walk around the boat, enjoy a few cocktails, and pay a visit to the Windjammer for an early lunch. At this time, we noticed those who also stayed on the boat, which included Xenoyr of Ne Obliviscaris and Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway who at that time looked like he could use a beer. We ended up surprising Greenway with a cold brew, and he seemed highly appreciative. It was the least we could do for missing their set the night prior. After a moment of being awake, the cocktails settled into our system and realized it was time for a nap. We checked the band’s schedule for the day and decided to set the alarm early enough to catch Delain’s Pool Deck performance.
Unfortunately, we didn’t hear the alarm and ended up missing Delain’s Tyr’s and Dark Funeral’s set. We were disappointed, but exhaustion can be an overpowering force on this journey. We officially started the night off with Paradise Lost’s Royal Theater set at 19:15. Despite performing the night prior, this was probably one of the best times we’ve seen Paradise Lost live. This could have something to do with a few fans in the crowd having two dragon looking stuffed animals headbanging that even frontman Nick Holmes gave a shout out to. The energized Holmes also entertained the cruisers by expressing how they were on stage less than twelve hours ago and went into songs such as “Embers Fire,” “Hallowed Land,” and “One Second.”
At this point, the set felt more like anything goes as the group went into the fan favorite depressing track “Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us” followed by “Shadowkings.” Holmes decided to test out his dry, sarcastic humor as he emphasized Evanescence invented gothic metal and went into the title track from the group’s 1991 sophomore album “Gothic.” Speaking of title tracks, Paradise Lost moved into the title track of their latest effort, 2017’s Medusa. The rest of the set included songs “Pity the Sadness,” “Beneath Broken Earth,” “The Longest Winter,” and “The Last Time.”
We decided it was time to lift our spirits and listen to some power metal as we caught Dragony’s Studio B – Ice Rink set at 20:15. The Austrian melodic power metallers were there to promote their latest effort 2018’s Masters of the Multiverse as they went into songs “Shadowrunners,” “Grey Wardens,” “Lords of the Hunt,” “Defenders,” “Kiln of the First Flame,” “If it Bleeds, We Can Kill It,” “Alcador,” and “Wolves of the North.”
After two back to back performances, it was time to take a break and enjoy the fine dining. This was our first experience with it as the food menu was pretty decent unless you were vegan. Perhaps it was the wrong night, but they were out of the one meal on the day three menu as we ended up with a small thing of beans and rice that looked more like a side dish than a full-fledged meal. Regardless, we were seated in a beautiful area and had some time to relax and enjoyed a cocktail or two.
Day three flew by as everything remained precisely on schedule as it was time to catch Carnation’s Studio B – Ice Rink set at 22:00. These Belgium death metallers surprised us with their stage presence as they were there to promote their debut full-length album 2018’s Chapel of Abhorrence via Season of Mist. The group put on a brutal performance as their energy reminded us of Bloodbath. With that said, hopefully, we will see these two acts together on a North American tour.
The night prior, we saw the world premiere of Rage & The Lingua Mortis Orchestra performing XIII, and on this evening, we saw them do it all over again. However, their performance was much earlier at 22:15 on the pool deck. Therefore, they had an even bigger crowd as they went to deliver an emotional set.
The night moved from German heavy metal to legendary British grindcore as it was time to see Napalm Death at the Royal Theater at 23:30. While bands such as Ne Obliviscaris can fit five songs in a forty-five-minute set, Napalm Death can have well over twenty for an entire hour. Despite their crazed delivery, they always entertain us and perhaps that has everything to do with following Greenway around the stage. Songs included “It’s a M.A.N.S. World!,” Smash a Single Digit,” “On the Brink of Extinction,” “Practice What You Preach,” “Narcoleptic,” “Greed Killing,” “Suffer the Children,” “The Code Is Red… Long Live the Code,” “Cesspits,” “Self Betrayal,” “The Wolf I Feed,” “Scum,” “Life?,” “Deceiver,” “The Kill,” “You Suffer,” “Dead,” “Victims of a Bomb Raid,” “Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover),” “Persona Non Grata,”
Next up, it was time for Svartsot’s first-ever performance across the Atlantic Ocean despite being literally in the middle of the Atlantic. With that said, we caught the Denmark folk metal outfit’s Studio B – Ice Rink set at 23:45. The group was a lot of fun, and hopefully, this trek will give them more touring opportunities. Songs included “Højen På Glødende,” “Pæle,” “Kilden,” “Jagten,” “Kunsten At Do,” “Havets Plage,” “På Odden Af Hans,” “Hedenske Sværd,” “Holdt Ned Af En Tjorn,” and “Gravøllet.”
While we had a glimpse of Tiamat on the first night, this evening we were able to stay a little bit longer to catch their Pool Deck performance at 00:30. The group was there to celebrate the 25th anniversary of 1994’s WildHoney as they performed this record in its entirety. These Swedish death/doom/dark rockers delivered such a robust set as they brought their overall fourth full-length effort to life that night.
Coroner kicked off the after-hours for night three as we caught their 1:30 Royal Theater set. Aside from making a few festival appearances, the Switzerland technical thrash outfit barely makes full-fledged tours since their return from a fourteen-year hiatus back in 2010. Therefore, missing their set was not an option. Luckily, we witnessed their technical mastery as they went into songs such as “Grin,” “D.O.A” and “Die By My Hand.”
We fell in love seeing MaYaN’s first set on night one that we had to see them perform all over again. This time, these Dutch symphonic death metallers were on the Royal Theater stage at 3:00. On the first night vocalist, Laura Macrì was unable to perform as she was feeling ill. Luckily, we were awake enough to catch the group’s second set as we saw the Italian singer’s voice come to life. Once again, we couldn’t keep our eyes away from seeing the group’s interaction with each other as we did not want their set to end. It was a bittersweet moment seeing them walk off the stage as we knew the only chance we could see them again this year would be at ProgPower.
No stranger to 70,000tons of Metal as Mors Principium Est performed two years ago on our first voyage back in 2017. However, we had to catch these Finnish melodic death metallers Pool Deck set at 3:45 as they continued to support 2017’s Embers of a Dying World. Whether it was the late hour or the lights, for some reason frontman Ville Vijanen looked as though he’s gotten a lot taller since the last time we’ve seen them on the Pool deck. Speaking of giants, the group maintained a powerful set as they went into songs “Bringer of Light,” “Masquerade,” “Sinners Defeat,” “Destroyer of All,” “We Are the Sleep,” “Dead Winds of Hope,” “Birth of the Starchild,’ and “Pure.”
While we were tempted to call it a night, we forced ourselves to stay awake to catch Twilight Force on the Pool Deck at 5:15. As challenging as it was to keep our eyes open, it was an honor that we did as these adventure metallers put on one of the best performances. The group surpassed symphonic power metal as you didn’t know what was real anymore seeing all sorts of creatures live on stage at the crack of dawn. The band continued to support 2016’s Heroes of Mighty Magic and we hope to see them again in North America real soon. Songs included: “Battle of Arcane Might,” “To the Stars,” “Riders of the Dawn,” “Enchanted Dragon of Wisdom,” “Powerwind,” “Flight of the Sapphire Dragon,” “Gates of Glory,” “The Power of the Ancient Force,” and “Knights of Twilight’s Might.”
Somehow we stayed up two out of the four nights until dawn. This marked another first, and hopefully, next year, we will stay up until the very end for all nights on board. In terms of acts, this wrapped up the shortest day on the cruise as we knew the final day we wanted to catch twenty bands to make up for missing a few first sets. Therefore, we were ready to wake up in two hours to do this all over again for one last and final stretch.