70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day One Report with Photo Gallery
70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day Two Report with Photo Gallery
70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day Three Report with Photo Gallery
70000 Tons Of Metal 2014 - Day Four Report with Photo Gallery
Fun in the hot tub
After taking a catnap, day two of 70000 Tons Of Metal started off with Swiss Thrashers Poltergeist who reunited in 2013 after an almost 10 year break. They enlisted ex-Destruction drummer Sven Vormann to sit behind the kit, and for it being 10 am in the fricking morning, Poltergeist put on a great show as the first band on the Pool Deck stage. But to be honest, I was more thrilled to watch Freedom Call who played to a packed room in the Spectrum Lounge.
The German power metal house started off with "Back Into The Land Of Light", a song off their 2012 release Land Of The Crimson Dawn, and followed with "Freedom Call" off 2001's Crystal Empire. Unfortunately they only had time for a 45 minute set, but I think Freedom Call did the most of it and did what the fans expected from them - deliver a good time while rocking out to some awesome tunes.
Setlist: (not in order and not complete)
Back Into The Land Of Light, Freedom Call, Farewell, The Quest, Power & Glory, 66 Warriors, Land Of Light.
Next up was Swallow The Sun on the Pool Deck stage and the irony of this sentence holds true. The Finns were literally swallowed by the sun. Watching Mikko and Co perform their intense and emotional music while people around you are applying sunscreen and ordering tropical drinks was something for the books to say the least. But apparently this didn't matter to Swallow The Sun and they played an awesome set - so awesome that a dude even decided to propose to his significant other during it. Good luck to the both of you!
Terrorizer was getting ready to shred in the Spectrum Lounge, but since I had an interview scheduled with Cripper I unfortunately missed their set but made it back out to the Pool Deck in time for Bonfire. Call me old, call it nostalgia, but this was what the doctor ordered and I was fine with it since Bonfire flat out brought it and I had a great time rocking out to some "easy listening" tunes. I don't know why the band tagged Luca Turilli's Rhapsody's drummer Alex Landenburg to fill in on the cruise, but it definitely worked out very well. Hmmm, maybe because he is also drumming for fellow German thrashers Mekong Delta - who knows, they had a great set nevertheless.
Oh, and to some of the Americans who were "appalled" by singer Claus's choice of clothing (a Confederate Flag leather vest) - get over yourself. It was a piece of clothing and I am sure the Germans don't care if the "South Will Rise Again" - geeesh.
Anyhoo, I still hadn't eaten at all that day and wandered over to the Lunch buffet and somehow got stuck socializing with [enter random cruiser name here] and therefore missed Keep Of Kalessin and most of Leaves' Eyes. Luckily my buddy Matt was at hand and took some visuals of their sets. And while waiting on Mr. No-Show Satyr of Satyricon for an interview I also missed D.R.I.'s first set in the Spectrum Lounge - dammit.
So, next up for me was The Church Of Pungent Stench, a spin off from Pungent Stench with El Cochino and two other dudes. I don't care about their legal drama and that Rector Stench doesn't recognize the new line-up (read about it here) but I really enjoyed their set and so did all in attendance - the Pool Deck stage was packed.
Going from the fresh air of the pool deck to the enclosed quarters of the Chorus Line Theatre I figured the air would be stale during Septicflesh, the first band in the Theatre that day. But I was not prepared to come to a room which was almost totally filled with fog from the stage's fog machines. Holy crap. On one hand, it works for the type of music the Greeks are playing, but on the other hand, it made it very hard to breathe. I stuck around for a while since I haven't seen Septicflesh in a minute but left before the end of their set. Novembers Doom was playing during the same time as Septicflesh but since they had a Pool Deck set scheduled the next day I opted to watch them then.
The Haunted was getting ready to play on the Pool Deck and since they have new members and some of the old ones have come back, I was really looking forward to checking out their set - and what a set it was. Vocalist Marco Aro was so into it that he banged the microphone on his forehead so vigorously and hard that blood was running down his face - intense would be an understatement.
The Haunted started with "Hate Song" off their 1998 self-titled album and continued as strong as they started. New guitarist Ola Englund (ex-Six Feet Under) fits like a glove and the entire band had so much fun on stage. And off stage as well since Marco went down on the pit-railing to sing up close and personal with his fans as well. Great show and the mosh-pits were plentiful as well. They also played all three songs from their just released single Eye Of The Storm and the old, as well as the newfound fans loudly approved.
Setlist: (not in order and maybe not complete)
Hate Song, 99, The Flood, The Medication, D.O.A., Trespass, All Against All, My Enemy, Hollow Ground, No Compromise, Eye Of The Storm, Infiltrator, Shadow World, Bury Your Dead, Dark Intentions, The Guilt Trip
With the best intentions to go and watch Orphaned Land in the Chorus Line Theatre I got sucked into watching Death Angel ripping it up in the packed Spectrum Lounge. No big deal since all bands play two sets on the cruise and I would be able to see them next time so I skipped out of Death Angel's set a bit early to head on to grab a bite to eat, which meant no Dark Tranquillity for me. Matt was there and he said it was a great show.
After dinner I went over to actually sit down, for the entire set mind you, and watch Satyricon which meant I missed Cripper who played during the same time over at the Lounge. Honestly, I have no idea on how many people were at their set, since the Theatre was packed for Satyr & Sorts. Unfortunately Frost wasn't able to secure a Visa to enter the United States and Satyricon had to play with a fill-in drummer.
OK, so I heard that Slipknot's ex drummer Joey Jordison was going to play with them on the cruise and since he already played with Satyr before it would make sense. Well, apparently he called it off the day before the ship was to set sail, so the band had to scramble to find a suitable replacement; which they did in Soilwork's Dirk Verbeuren. Of course this also meant that the set-list had to be modified since it was not feasible for Dirk to learn the songs originally tagged to be played.
I think Satyricon put on an amazing show under the circumstances and Satyr made sure the crowd gave a big applause to Dirk for stepping in. As far as I remember they played at the very least: "Now, Diabolical", "Black Crow On A Tombstone", "Mother North", "The Pentagram Burns", "K.I.N.G." and "Repined Bastard Nation".
Fear Factory was already raging when I came back to the Pool Deck stage and it was almost impossible to get into the photo-pit. I managed to finally get in, snapped a couple pics but before the stage light got better we were escorted out since the crowd-surfer activities became rather dangerous for the photographers. No big deal since Fear Factory tours all the time. One thing I noticed though was that Burton C. Bell didn't sound all that but maybe it was because of the fresh sea air. Dino Cazares on the other hand was brilliant as usual and on side note - he brought his wife to the cruise and both of them were hanging out with the "mortals" as well as watching the gigs more than any other musician on board. Rumor has it that he was also seen in the mosh pit during Obituary the day prior but I can't confirm this. Such as nice dude - hands down.
I was hanging out around the pool for a while before venturing over to the Chorus Line Theatre to watch the mighty Carcass whom I haven't seen live since 2007 when Michael Amott (Arch Enemy) was still in the band. They utilized screens on stage to show visuals during their songs that made the whole experience that much better.
Carcass played some of their older material as well as some songs from last year's Surgical Steal album. The place was beyond packed since no other shows were going on during that time and one could see members of other bands standing on the sides to watch Jeff Walker tear everyone a new one. WOW!
Still on a high from this very explosive performance I went back to the Pool Deck stage to get some much needed fresh air and to also check out Haggard. Thankfully, the Germans didn't show up with their 20plus line-up but kept it to a manageable minimum of 10 I believe. While Haggard was one of those bands a lot of people were hesitant about, rest assured, they did put on a great performance mixing classic music with metal. Me personally, I liked Rage with the orchestra better during last year's cruise, but I am confident Haggard did gain tons of fans with their live performance.
Izegrim was playing in the Spectrum Lounge while the Germans were on the Pool Deck, but since I was in need of some fresh air I opted to stay outside before heading back into the fogginess to watch Death DTA Tours - a tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and his life's work. Members of Cynic pulled double duty on the cruise so they could be part of this emotional tribute to one of THE shredders in death metal. There were old home and tour videos being played on a huge screen and while the performance was great and somewhat somber I already made plans on seeing the act on another day and therefore went over to the Spectrum Lounge.
Victory, one of the other German dinosaur bands, was getting ready to play and since I knew some of their older material and Accept's Herman Frank revitalized the band just last year, I was more than eager to check them out. And not just me alone since those who just weren't into death metal were present to listen to some old school heavy metal tunes.
While Victory's vocalist Jioti Parcharidis went through some serious shit with his vocal cords some years back, it didn't deter him from giving his all-time best that early in the morning - morning as in 1.30am that is. And while their performance was really, really good, whoever was operating the light board was either asleep or didn't show up at all. Holy hell, the lighting was extremely bad during most of the shows in the Spectrum Lounge during the 2014 cruise but Victory's light was a constant purple which was really not suited for the type of music they are playing.
Regardless, they powered through and songs such as "Burn Down The City", "Speak Up" and "Power Strikes The Earth" were sung along by most of the fans with "Standing Like A Rock" being the clear favorite of the night. Fantastic!
American metalcore at its finest were already playing on the Pool Deck, and while I normally don't consider myself a "core" kinda fan, Unearth are one of the rare exceptions. Seriously, I never, ever seen a bad show from them and they didn't disappoint that time neither.
When the band was announced to play the cruise I remember many people voicing their dislike and for that reason alone it was nice to see tons of metal heads out on the Pool Deck to get down and dirty with some heavy ass breakdowns. Shit, even I ventured into the mosh-pit (on the edge though) since it's - well, it's Unearth.
It was also nice to see Fear Factory's bassist Matt DeVries getting down, since he was pulling double duty because Unearth's bassist was not part of the cruise line-up. Great energetic performance, surprisingly great crowd response and a nice way to end (at least my) day two of the cruise.
Rising Storm and Massacre were still on the program but I opted to hang out at the Karaoke lounge until the wee hours of the morning. Sorry grasshoppers - there is NO video of yours truly singing since I can't hold a note to save my life.
Stay tuned for Day Three and make sure you check out the Photo Gallery from Day Two or click on the individual band galleries.
Written on 19.02.2014 by
Professional concertgoer ... dangerously armed with a camera!