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70000 Tons Of Metal 2018: Day Three

Photo of Cannibal Corpse

Band Photo: Cannibal Corpse (?)

Two days of metal is a real treat, but with another two days of hard and heavy tunes to come, a little recharge of the batteries does no harm. So it was that on the morning of February 3rd, the Independence Of The Seas docked in Cockburn Town, in the Grand Turks and Caicos Islands, with fans, crew and musicians alike stretching their legs in this beautiful Caribbean setting. The heat is about what you'd expect and sun screen is a must (though being charted $25 for a bottle is a liberty,) the water is crystal clear and refreshing to the touch and the local staff are very welcoming, right down to having a DJ booth set up playing metal music, which was more than happy to take requests (I couldn't resist the urge to ask for Mezarkabul - "Bir.")

After a relaxing day at the beach, fans were asked to be back on the ship by half 4 that afternoon. Getting back on with enough time to get some dinner and a round of golf in on the pool deck, a bit of power metal was first on the agenda and so it was that I made my first trip to the Ice Rink to check out German act, Evertale. Like a number of groups I reported on yesterday, I'm unfamiliar with the majority of their work and this was more about checking out a new band for me. Evertale are solid, it's fair to say. Their brand of power metal isn't groundbreaking or new, but in a genre nostalgic for the fantasy themes more common in the 80s than today, that's not necessarily a requirement. They don't possess anything special when it comes to stage presence either, though againm there's nothing particularly wrong with it. Not much to say except that they're worth a go if you like this kind of thing, but those with little to no interest in power metal won't be especially impressed.

Strolling across the deck to the Alhambra Theater, it was time to witness one of the more popular young heavy metal bands of today, Battle Beast. Hailing from Finland, the sextet perform old school metal inspired by legends like Judas Priest and Saxon, without falling into the trap of sounding dated. Battle Beast perform with tremendous energy and carry themselves very well, performing material from their latest album, "Bringer Of Pain" with seemingly as much familiarity as their older songs, including such fan favourites as "Black Ninja." A decision made out of curiosity, but a wise one it turned out to be. A highly recommended live band,

Curiosity was indeed the mood of the day on thus Saturday and it would be a while before I caught a full set, watching some of Exodus' second set, this time on the pool deck, which was good though, I still believe Exodus work better indoors. I then went back to the Alhambra Theater to check out Sweden's, Evergrey, who were decent and possessed a flair for atmosphere, though seemed quite light. One might feel they'd work later on when people need a rest from other, heavier bands. Before passing by the Pyramid Lounge to see a little of Amberian Dawn, though not enough to give a fair comment.

Heading back outside, Sepultura were about to clock in for their second shift of the cruise. Very little was changed from their inaugural performance, with the only notable exception being "Refuse/Resist" being dropped in favour of another "Chaos A.D." classic, "Territory." Nevertheless, Sepultura put on another high quality show which kept up with the rapid velocity of the music as it was meant to be heard. This time, obligatory closer, "Roots Bloody Roots" got an even bigger reception than the previous day, complete wuth jacuzzi mosh pits.

Back indoors and back to the Alhambra Theater, this time to see one of the biggest names in modern folk metal, Korpiklaani. The Finnish band have gained quite a following over the years, thanks in part to their love letters to drink such as "Vodka" and "Tequila" and frenzied live shows. There were many here who thoroughly enjoyed themselves and got into the spirit of things, with dancing in as much supply as moshing. However, for the casual, it seems there's onky so many times they can be watched before the decision has to be made that they're just not for the "maybe" crowd, thus if you've seen them a few times at festivals but never liked them enough to pick up an album, it's probably wise to skip them in the near future, though fans will still be delighted with what's on offer.

A little mire pottering came next, with a short trip to the pool deck to see Meshuggah, whereupon I quickly decided that while impressively heavy, this is a band simply not for me, however, as with Korpiklaani, there were plenty of others in the crowd who did enjoy them. Time to grab a drink, take a comfortable seat and waiting for the biggest selling death metal band of all time, Cannibal Corpse, to (dis)grace the stage. Their reputation for brutality is not without foundation and sure enough, the Buffalo born quintet were tearing through material old and new in no time. It must be said that some of the tracks from new record, "Red Before Black" sound a little slow but it's still quite interesting to hear. Old favourites were of course out in force, such as the romantic ballad, "I Cum Blood," date night favourite, "Stripped, Raped And Strangled" and make up tutorial, "Hammer Smashed Face," all delivered with Cannibal Corpse's trademark tenacity. While they may be the go to name for death metal in the mainstream and some elitists live to point to other veterans instead, Cannibal Corpse are top of the pile for a reason, a good chunk of which can be attributed to their live performances.

Time then for one more band before bed and just as the evening started, the night closed with a German power metal band, this time in the form of Freedom Call, the self proclaimed "happiest band in metal." Their epic and uplifiting style are a pleasant way to cap off the day and with smiles all round, Freedom Call's reputation for "happy metal" is well founded and fans clearly loved what the quartet brought to the table. For the neutral, they're good fun, if nothing else and anthems like "Metal Is For Everyone" and "Warriors" sounded were just as enjoyable (and cheesy) live as the studio versions. One more day to go but what a day it would be...

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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