Live Report and Photos by: Zenae Zukowski
70000tons of Metal is a unique and special experience as thousands of cruisers plan an entire year to go. Whether it’s being surrounded by like-minded individuals, experiencing a band that you’ve never thought you would see live or catching one of your favorite acts: the overall experience is magical. While we nearly kill ourselves doing this every year, somehow, we find a way to return to the ship. However, the final day is one of our favorite days, and it’s all because of the fans. Day four is more of a cosplay day, and at this point, everyone is beyond exhausted and deranged, which makes everything even more entertaining. While we were looking forward to experiencing this bright and early, we ended up oversleeping and missing a few planned sets including Visions of Atlantis, Convulse, and Tristania.
Our day initially started with Riot V’s Pool Deck set at 13:15. We were excited to see these guys live as right before the voyage; it was rumored that they weren’t going to be there. Luckily, it was just that: a rumor. While many are familiar with their pre-2012 name as Riot, these New York City heavy metallers were there to promote their overall sixteenth studio effort 2018’s Armor of Light via Nuclear Blast. However, there was plenty of room for them to go into their classics. Songs included “Victory,” “Flight of the Warrior,” “Black Leather and Glittering Steel,” “Angel Eyes,” “Bloodstreets,” “Take Me Back,” “Angel’s Thunder, Devil’s Reign,” “Warrior,” and “Thundersteel.”
While many were eager to check out the All-Star Jam, we couldn’t miss Ne Obliviscaris’ second set that was in Studio B – Ice Rink at 14:00. While the band promised us they would play 2017’s Urn in its entirety, their set sounded a lot like 2014’s Citadel instead. As much as we loved their Pool Deck performance, their second show sparked an emotion out of us. First off, despite the All-Star Jam happening at the same time, the Ice Rink theater was packed. Secondly, the crowd surfers wouldn’t stop as the entertainment continued. However, we remember sitting towards the back as their show brought genuine tears to our eyes. There’s something remarkable and unique about Ne Obliviscaris’ music that when you fully pay attention to it, it becomes overpowering in the most magnificent way. Additionally, the contrast between Tim Charles and Xenoyr makes everything even more interesting as you’re watching light and dark simultaneously.
We needed to let go of our emotions as we decided an afternoon Bloodbath would suffice. We enjoyed their first set on night one which involved being indoors, at night and in the dark. Therefore, we were curious to see what their performance would look like in broad daylight on the pool deck at 14:45. While the audience included a shark in the crowd as well as the same two headbanging dragon-stuffed animals, the group delivered a vehemous performance. Songs included “Fleischmann,” “So You Die,” “Bloodicide,” “Breeding Death,” “Cry My Name,” “Outnumbering the Day,” “Chainsaw Lullaby,” and “Eaten.”
We were curious about Persefone’s set in Studio B – Ice Rink set at 15:30. There’s something about frontman’s Marc Martins Pia’s energy as he was everywhere from the stage, barricade as well as within the crowd. You also don’t want to get in his way when he’s performing, but at the same time, you cannot tell which direction he’s headed to next. The group delivered a ferocious set as the crowd surfing in this theater continued. There’s something unique about these Andorra progressive/melodic death metallers and were lucky to see it. Ne Obliviscaris’ Tim Charles joined in later on to perform with the group for the song “In Lak’Ech.”
Next up, it was time to see a few goblins as we caught Nekrogoblikon’s Royal Theater set at 16:15. This bizarre group gives you a bit of everything ranging from melodic death, folk metal as we are sure we picked up on a few grindcore sounds as well. Meanwhile, a goblin is partying around the stage. The band continued to promote their latest effort 2018’s Welcome to Bonkers as everything on the platform was just that: bonkers.
The day went from goblins to legends as it was time for Florida death metal icons Obituary’s Pool Deck set at 16:30. The group continued to promote their 2017 self-titled album via Relapse Records. However, the wind was so strong this day that you could barely see anyone’s faces as it was just a sea of hair flowing along with blistering guitar riffs, vocals and apparently, a few pool objects were thrown onto the stage as well. Regardless, the pool deck was filled with fans of all kinds including catman, a sleeping duck, and more. Songs included: “Redneck Stomp,” “Sentence Day,” “A Lesson in Vengeance,” “Visions in My Head,” “Find the Arise,” “Deadly Intentions,” “Threatening Skies,” “By the Light,” “Chopped in Half / Turned Inside Out,” “Turned to Stone,” “Don’t Care,” “Straight to Hell,” “I’m in Pain,” and “Slowly We Rot.”
As Obituary gave a brutal performance in daylight, we went from death metal to death metal as we saw Brazilian death metallers Krisiun’s Royal Theater set at 17:45. While we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing these guys perform under dimly-lit crimson lights, these guys had a brighter stage setup as they continued to deliver songs from 2018’s Scourge of the Enthroned via Century Media.
As the sun started to set, the best moment of the entire voyage was about to kick off during Kalmah’s Pool Deck performance at 18:15. For those who missed it and for those who refuse to participate at 70000tons of Metal, it’s your loss. There are only moments such as these that make you want to go back but, we aren’t sure if anyone will ever top this cosplay moment. It was during Kalmah’s performance on the Pool Deck when seven or eight Pikachu’s appeared out of nowhere and ended up moshing, crowd surfing, and stealing the entire show. This also happened at the magic sunset hour. We have no words for this moment. As far as Kalmah are concerned, they continued to perform and did a fantastic job. Their set was more explosive than their first, despite the distractions. Between awesome music and a “gotta catch ‘em all” moment, this made us tell ourselves: “this is why we have to come back next year.” Songs included: “Pikemaster,” “Heroes To Us,” “Moon of My Nights,” “Take Me Away,” “The Evil Kin,” “The Black Waltz,” “Seventh Swamphony,” and “Hades.”
While Kalmah’s performance could have easily made it a perfect way to end the entire voyage, we had much more to see, and it was time for Arkona’s Royal Theater performance at 19:15. There is something about these Russian Pagan/folk metallers that makes you want to never miss their performance. Perhaps it has everything to do with the way Masha morphs herself into her art. Everyone stood there in amazement as the band continued to bring 2018’s Khram via Napalm Records to life.
Next up was Ensiferum’s Pool Deck performance at 20:00 as these Finnish folk metallers brought 2017’s Two Paths via Metal Blade Records to the stage. One could say, they literally did as there were quite a bit of green lights gazing on them. However, seeing guitarist Markus Toivonen’s devious-looking smile made us know the band was enjoying themselves. Whether they were exhausted from their recent North American trek, it didn’t seem to show especially from bassist Sami Hinkka as he continued to present a different level of energy from the rest of the group. Frontman Petri Lindroos somehow led the group to perform the David Hasselhoff cover “Looking for Freedom.” Songs included “For Those About to Fight for Metal,” “Two Paths,” “Heathen Horde,’ “Twilight Tavern,” “Treacherous Gods,” “Ahti,” “Lai Lai Hei,” “Warrior Without a War,” and “Iron.”
We got lost in Ensiferum’s set as we had to sprint to catch Kamelot’s second performance in the Royal Theater at 20:45. Let’s face it, we’ve said it before, Kamelot is one of MyGlobalMind’s favorite acts to see as we couldn’t miss this one. Additionally, the band didn’t have as much wind and bright fog lights as their first Pool Deck performance. Unfortunately, we arrived a bit too late as we missed seeing Once Human’s Lauren Hart. Once we got there, the group once again put on a powerful set as this time around we were happy to be a little bit closer to Sean Tibbetts unstoppable swings at the bass. Songs included: “Phantom Divine (Shadow Empire),” “Rule the World,” “Insomnia,” “The Great Pandemonium,” “When the Lights are Down,” “Karma,” “Burns to Embrace,” “Veil of Elysium,” “March of Mephisto,” and “Forever.”
At this point we had to decide: Max and Iggor Cavalera’s return to the Roots for one special 70000tons run or check out In Vain’s set at Studio B’s Ice Rink theater at 21:45? We went with, In Vain. It was a tough decision, but we already caught up with Soulfly on night one, and we were curious about these Norwegian progressive death/black metallers. The group continued to promote 2018’s Currents as they gave a unique performance in the dimly-lit theater. Overall, we felt we made the right decision, even though we did sneak up to the overly packed Pool Deck to catch a song or two.
While the final night was winding down for the ultimate conclusion, we had to see Eluveitie perform again. As we mentioned before, the group’s new lineup brought a fresh spark to their performance as their energy was on point playing a mix of songs including giving us a taste once again of their new album Ategnatos. Songs included: “Ategnatos,” “King,” “Nil,” “Omnos,” “Lvgvs,” “Epona,” “Thousandfold,” “The Call of the Mountains,” “A Rose for Epona,” “Kingdom,” “Come Undone,” “Alesia,” “Havoc,” “Helvetios,” “Rebirth,” and “Inis Mona.”
Next up it was time to see Cyhra’s Studio B – Ice Rink set at 23:15. This was a personal first time seeing Jake E’s (ex-Amaranthe) new project and unfortunately, guitarist Jesper Stromblad wasn’t there. However, these Swedish hard rockers put on an engaging set as they continued to introduce their sound as well as 2017’s Letters to Myself to the crowd.
At this point, we were tempted to call it a night, but we ran to catch Accept close out the Pool Deck. The final pool deck performance is always vital for the crowd as this is when the announcement gets made for the next round. The German heavy metal legends once again delivered a flawless set that included songs “Die by the Sword,” “Stalingrad,” “Restless and Wild,” “London Leatherboys,” “Analog Man,” “Final Journey,” “Princess of the Dawn,” “Monsterman,” “Pandemic,” “Fast as a Shark,” “Metal Heart,” “Teutonic Terror,” “Balls to the Wall,” and “I’m a Rebel.”
Following Accept’s set, it was time for the Skipper’s speech (Andy Piller). Andy thanked everyone as this year’s 70000tons of Metal brought in people from 73 different countries. He then announced Round 10 is scheduled to take place on January 7th until January 11th as the destination will be Cozumel, Mexico. For those who thought they should pass next year, well, many mouths dropped at both the destination and change of date.
This point is usually when we decide to put our cameras down and join what’s left of the celebration. However, we ended up keeping our cameras to see the mighty Italian symphonic death metallers Fleshgod Apocalypse conclude the entire voyage in the Royal Theater at 1:15. We made it to their set as they gave us a new boost of energy. Fleshgod will never have a dull moment and this night as late and exhausted as we were, was no different. While the group went into songs such as “Healing Through War,” “The Violation,” and “The Fool,” they also gave a second live debut of their new song “Fury.” However, it was their final song “The Forsaking,” when we decided to leave our cameras at our side and take part in something we miss doing the most: headbang. It was at that moment when we didn’t care much about anything and got lost in their music, which was one of the best in terms of personal moments throughout the entire voyage: the very LAST song.
With that said, 70000tons of metal is an experience. One that many metalheads hold sacred and if you want to know why: you should go. As we tend to say, once you get on the boat, it’s difficult to find your way off. We’re ready for round ten if they let us.