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70000 Tons Of Metal 2018: Day Four

Photo of Dark Tranquillity

Band Photo: Dark Tranquillity (?)

All good things must come to an end, as they say. After three fantastic days at sea with sixty one metal bands, it almost time to head up. Fret ye not however, as there was still one more day filled with metal for those on board to enjoy.

Up first (at least for me,) was sunshine, fresh air and German thrash metal, as Destruction took to the stage for their second set of the cruise. The setlist wasn't changed enormously from their first, though this time "Nailed To The Cross" went down particularly well as there were two men dressed as Jesus in the mosh pit. Sacrilicious. Fortunately, the teutonic trio faced no visible technical problems this time around and put on a hell of a show, despite playing in the earliest slot of their career. It shouldn't be necessary to say this, but Destruction are one of the top thrash bands in history, still to this day, thanks not only to their superb catalogue, but to their towering stage presence and scorching live performances.

Following some lunch and finally being able to get into the merch room, it was a trip to the Alhambra Theater for something very special; The All Star Jam, hosted by Annihilator founder Jeff Waters. Members from many bands on board joined together to perform metal classics and favourites. Naturally, some groupings and songs went down better than others, with highlights including Riot's, "Swords and Tequila" performed by Snake from Voivod, Mike Silfringer of Destruction, Metal Church drummer Stet Howland, Korpiklaani bassist Jesper Anastasiadis and Primal Fear guitarist Tom Naumann, as well as the AC/DC classic, "Hells Bells," sung by Battle Beast's, Noora Louhimo, with Elias Viljanen if Sonata Arctica and Jeff Waters on guitar duties, Primal Fear's Mat Sinner on bass and Enslaved drummer Cato Bekkevold, all before the final number, which saw the dreams of thrash metal fans come true as Kreator frontman Mille Petrozza joined Destruction's Schmier and Vavver on stage to perform Metallica's, "Whiplash," in a lineup that was rounded up by Andreas Kisser of Sepultura and Matt Harvey of Exhumed performing guitars. A one of a kind experience which is a real treat for metal fans.

Another break followed before my first trip of the day to the Ice Rink to see Belgian deathgrind favourites, Aborted. The band has a fantastic energy and sense of fun about them, allowing for a very enjoyable time and plenty of smiles, coupled with some very extreme music. Frontman Sven de Caluwé leads the charge in some style, drawing favourable comparisons to Suffocation's, Frank Mullen for his good-natured banter and brutal vocal delivery. Fans were also treated to a guest appearance from Benighted vocalist Julien Truchan, before the Flemish force wrapped up their set. A solid performance which will delight fans and impress neutrals.

Back over to the theater then for a second taste of British progressive metal act, Threshold. It was another blistering set from the English quintet, once more showcasing some outstanding music from their latest album, "Legend Of The Shire," including finale, "Small Dark Lines" and tracks from earlier records too. What makes Threshold such a great live group is that progressive fans can sit and enjoy the very technical musicianship, while headbangers are given plenty to rock out to. If you're a fan of the likes of Dream Theater then you absolutely must check out Threshold, especially in a live setting.

I was very much hoping to see the second set from Hellenic heathens Septicflesh after sound problems all but spoiled their first performance, but preparation for and conducting an interview with Destruction frontman Schmier forced me to miss out on this. I was, however, able to arrive at the Ice Rink just in time to see the second set from Quebec's favourite thrashers, Voivod. Somehow, someway, they were able to top their effort from two days ago and make a strong claim for best band of the cruise. Vintage tunes from "War And Pain" and "Rrröööaaarrr" were brought out, as well material from the "Post Society" EP and latest album, "Target Earth." Surprisingly, their eponymous song wasn't the set closer this time around and instead the track was followed by a fantastic cover of the Hawkwind classic, "Silver Machine." Voivod aren't just a band to witness, they're a band to treasure.

One last trio to the Alhambra Theater it was to catch a full set from Swedish melodic death metal legends Dark Tranquillity. While I enjoyed what I saw on the pool deck, the band seems to work better indoors, putting on the kind of performance which would be a great end to any night. Frontman Mikael Stanne could barely stop smiling as the audience ate up everything on offer, inviting him to join them several times throughout the set. There was only one song from the classic album, "The Gallery" performed tonight, namely, "Lethe" while songs from the latest album, "Atoma" were given more of an airing and sound fantastic live. For a such a dark band, Dark Tranquillity are a hell of a lot of fun live.

Speaking of dark but fun bands who work better indoors, that brings us nicely to the Ice Rink, where Swiss extreme veterans Samael were about to cloak the venue in blackness. Heavily promoting their new album, "Hegemony," fans were treated to an industrial soundscape as wicked as it was sexy. Frontman Vorph was able to make the audience eat from the palm of his hand with a magnetic charisma and flawless delivery. Despite performing in the nighttime on the pool deck, the more intimate setting allows their antagonistic aura to take a stronger hold and subsequently, it was not an uncommon sight that audience members would completely lose their minds during the performance. Always unique, often imitated, never bettered, there will forever be only one Samael.

And so, the grande finale, finishing the day as I started with German thrash metal, it was up to the sea air for Kreator to take their place as the final band to perform on the pool deck this year. Jacuzzi mosh pits and sing alongs aplenty, the legends from Essen performed a changed setlist which still promoted their latest album, "Gods Of Violence," strongly, including another awe inspiring rendition of "Satan Is Real" but they also brought out some numbers from "Extreme Aggression" and "Pleasure To Kill" (the title track being the closing song,) as well as more recent favourites like "Enemy Of God," "Phantom Antichrist" and "Phobia." Mille Petrozza is one of the most intense frontmen in all of metal and once more, he showed everyone in attendance why with his raspy, heavily accented battle cries and introductions. Kreator are legends not just in thrash but in any metal category and once more, they were a credit to themselves with a performance full of energy, skill and atmosphere.

Though there was one more performance to come from Alestorm in the Alhambra Theater, I made the decision to turn in after an excellent Kreator set, seeing it as the ideal closing performance. 70000 Tons Of Metal is truly a unique and amazing experience, one which metal fans the world over should try and make at least once in their lifetime. Where else do you get to see such great bands in comfort, mingle with your favourite musicians and enjoy such brilliant service? A weekend to cherish with memories for a lifetime, I hope to see you again next year, 70k!

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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8 Comments on "70000 Tons Of Metal: Day Four"

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cbella's avatar


1. cbella writes:

Brilliant reports, Oz! I have wanted to do this for so long and got a really good feel for it here. Wonderful selection of bands u were able to see and u definitely chose well, food>;sabaton :)

How was the standard of accommodation and food etc? Having done if now, would u do it again?

# Feb 25, 2018 @ 1:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
coldiem's avatar


2. coldiem writes:

Thanks for writing this, Oz! Did you notice a lot of mingling between fans and band-members or did the bands mostly keep to themselves?

# Feb 25, 2018 @ 1:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

3. Diamond Oz writes:

I'd definitely do it again. Food was very nice with lots to choose from and the rooms were comfortable with some nice home comforts like a telly, armchair and coffee table.

Some band members keep to themselves but others are always around watching bands with the other fans. On the first day I saw Zetro, Lee Altus and Corpsegrinder a bunch of times, as well as Destruction. It's a really chilled environment and it's got some nice features and activities like rock climbing, mini golf etc. I'd definitely go again

# Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:24 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar


4. Drum_Junkie writes:

Glad you had such a great time and thanks for the reports. I hope to be pleasantly surprised with some upcoming interviews.

# Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:28 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar


5. Drum_Junkie writes:

Also, just curious... Is there any planned content from DB on his experience with the 70k cruise?

# Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

6. Diamond Oz writes:

I'm not sure to be honest. He took some great pictures I know that much. Sadly both of us were greeted by very bad news when we returned to our homes so there's been some delays regarding content from us.

Unfortunately also, due to problems with my camera battery and voice recorder, I was only able to record one interview (the aforementioned Destruction interview which is up in the Interviews section.) Next week however, I'll be back in the UK next week, recording up to ten interviews with the likes of Sepultura, Venom Inc, Suffocation and Nervosa.

# Feb 27, 2018 @ 7:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. Bolt_Thrower writes:

Exodus and Destruction were great minglers. This was a very obscure lineup though so I wouldn’t recognize most of the bands. You should go. It will be the most fun you’ve ever had. I can’t wait for the next one.

# Feb 27, 2018 @ 7:48 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Drum_Junkie's avatar


8. Drum_Junkie writes:

"greeted by very bad news..."
Sounds ominous.
I'm sorry for both of you and I hope it all gets sorted out soon.

# Feb 27, 2018 @ 9:49 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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