Since 2011, a dreamed trip has been made annually, the “70000 Tons of Metal” cruise, which brings together 60 bands in 4 days, where each passenger has unlimited access to more than 120 shows, meet & greets, and to meet metalheads from all the world.
All begins the day before boarding at the beach party, this year was held at the Clevelander Hotel, located in the heart of South Beach, During these dates becomes the official headquarters of the pre-cruise, where hundreds of metalheads They meet to meet or meet again, in front of the hotel, the Beach Party is held, organized by fans, which grows more and more each year and is cataloged as the largest metal beach party in the world. Official media take the classic group photo that shows thousands of people eager to have the experience of their lives. Many flags of many countries are present in a quiet environment that serves to continue meeting people, drink and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Miami. This event became a classic and is almost mandatory stop for all cruise participants.
Day 1 – February 1, 2018
The meeting point is in Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, when you reach the vicinity of the port you can see the immensity of Independence Of The Seas, the huge ship that will be home to 3000 metalheads for the next 4 days. After the check-in process, we finally arrive at the ship and the crossing begins. The boat will set sail at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, which is when the shows begin, so there is a considerable time to get familiar with the cruise, have lunch and settle in the room. The Windjammer Café is one of the free restaurants on the ship, and offers an interesting variety of buffet meals, one goes and serves what you want and sits down to eat, simple as that. It is located on deck 11 and with a beautiful view of the sea, One of the great attractions of the ship is to cross with the musicians of the invited bands, they roam all over the ship without any restrictions. There is no backstage, the experience is intimate.
After 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the music begins. In the Ice Rink, the band chosen to start the experience is none other than Primal Fear, and from the first moment they leave to leave everything on the field, as they have us used to. A blunt set of 45 minutes, where Ralph Scheepers shouts and the Ice Rink vibrates. It is an ice skating rink, with a large section of stalls for those who choose to watch the show sitting, A few minutes in the Alhambra Theater, a huge theater with great capacity, excellent sound, super comfortable seats and a section of seats with impeccable visibility, the band chosen to inaugurate the same is Leaves’ Eyes, who stain the tables with Viking blood, under the command of the recent addition Elina Siirala in voices, who provides a great performance and shows humility and good vibes with people. Next came the Destruction turn to boil the Ice Rink. The legendary thrashers delivered violence in a well balanced and hard set, with a Schmier totally in shape with rotten chants that could well belong to a Black Metal band. The pogo felt and the circle pits began to take center stage. After a brief break, at 7:30, at the Alhambra Theater; one of the cruise’s most memorable shows, Swallow The Sun would be the only cruise ship that would perform 3 times, with each set dedicated to each of the three albums of their most recent “Songs From The North”. Betting risky but no less interesting. Many musicians on stage, melancholy, suffering and letting go. A super emotive show full of that density that only Doom lovers can understand. Depues in the Ice Rink, Insomnium. another quota of Nordic melancholy that shows the more melodic side of Doom. They did not disappoint with a set in which they chose to go through classics, with a spectacular closing that included the participation of Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquility, doing crowd-surfing and everything. The night was insurmountable, but it still was not over.
In the Alhambra Theater; another of the most anticipated shows. The incredible meeting of Rhapsody It was presented with its most emblematic training, and from the start they were a machine. An untouchable Fabio Lione, a very plucked Luca Turilli that runs from one place to another being a nightmare for photographers, and a forceful base consisting of Patrice Guers on bass, Dominique Leurquin on guitar and Alex Holzwarth on drums. Focused on the 1997-2002 stage, a set full of classics and a memorable show, on the same stage, another must-see: Kreator. The giant Teuton was presented to the full room with a balanced set perfectly and with much material from his recent and laureate “Gods Of Violence.” Mille Petrozza is a frontman like few others and his effervescence manages to enardecer the public, which poguea and crowd-surf like crazy, with an hour and a quarter set (longest duration for band show on the cruise), they delighted the most thrash fans.
Day 2 – February 2, 2018
Four stages in simultaneous with shows from 10 AM non-stop, added to that during that day the 61 bands offer their respective Meet & Greets (at the same time that the show of other bands happens!). The Pool Deck Stage is always enabled on Day 2 since the first day is armed from scratch, and is the only open stage of the ship, located on the deck, where you will experience several of the most magical experiences of the entire cruise, outdoors, in a huge space and with a jacuzzi in the middle. Under the threatening sun of the Caribbean, Masterplan would be in charge of opening the day in a Pool Deck with still few people. This allowed me to go around the vicinity inspecting better angles, watch the show up close, from a distance, even from the hot tub! Everything was possible. Masterplan give an energetic show, without surprises in the setlist, centered on the classics of the Jorn Lande stage, where Rick Altzi does a correct job of vocal emulation. Alestorm Rubber swords, giant rubber ducks flying through the crowd, crowd-surfing as much as possible, a jacuzzi that exploded with water jumping everywhere and people parting. An authentic party of Folk and Pirate Power Metal as only Alestorm knows how to toast. We seemed to be in the boat to which so many of his letters refer. Christopher Bowes is a super charismatic frontman who does not stop being professional when required, but who is totally unbridled at other times. Proof of this was seeing him during many shows as part of the public, drunk, dancer, sending himself bizarre, he was one of us.
At 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the Pool Deck exploded with people waiting for another of the most festive shows: Korpiklaani. The Finns have been practicing that joyful Folk Metal for a long time and their years are noticed, not in the best sense precisely. The show was nice and fun, but something is failing, and you start to see that “they are doing a job”. More on this in the second set, even more disappointing. In any case, enjoying your anthems in the middle of the Caribbean with the sun in full is a very rewarding experience.
Exodus with a full theater and with fans who could enjoy a lot of old and new classics, and a heartbreaking attitude. Without Gary Holt commanding the ship, the quintet of the Bay Area continues to destroy everything in its path with a super charismatic frontman like Steve ¨Zetro¨ Souza. “30 years ago it was unthinkable to be on a boat full of metalheads, watching their favorite bands, drinking up to ruin in the middle of the Caribbean” were the words to describe the dream situation that was being lived. A lesson in violence that is absolutely necessary. While in the Pool Deck, and already with the sun hiding, Evergrey makes his appearance on stage with all its characteristic melancholy. Exponential for the imposing vocal presence of his frontman Tom S. Englund. In the Ice Rink, Septicflesh, commanded by Siro Anton gives us 45 minutes of exquisite Symphonic Death Metal, where aggression and majesty go hand in hand. The moments during the intro of “Pyramid God” are the perfect example of calm before the storm. What a moshpit! Sepultura aimed to tear down the Alhambra Theater. The Brazilians destroyed everything in their path in a show that mixed past and present, presenting their recent and very prominent “Machine Messiah”. One of the main courses was to come.
In the Pool Deck it is again present to house Sabaton, the Swedish drag is undeniable. Charisma and choreography, prolix executions, incredible vocal games, Sabaton has it all and his frontman Joakim Brodén knows how to enrage the masses. The setlist of each night is at the choice of the bands, some will repeat part of their repertoire the following days, others will have exactly the same repertoire, but Sabaton plays it and announces that the next show will have a completely different setlist. An uncontrolled Jacuzzi and a mass of euphoric people closes one of the best presentations of the entire cruise. After 11 pm, at the Alhambra Theater, another highly anticipated show: Meshuggah. Perfect and mathematical execution, Meshuggah is a unique act in its kind and precursor of a whole genre. Midnight passes and Dark Tranquility takes the Pool Deck and does not release it. Incredible performance endowed with supreme emotion, largely due to his detached frontman Mikael Stanne, who is super happy and friendly to everyone. An example of perseverance, professionalism and authentic feeling of happiness for what one loves. At 2 o’clock in the morning, the performance of Samael, with his album “Hegemony” last year. A very energetic and vibrant show endowed with Industrial Metal as few bands would muster.
The day follows a small break on the beach, the adventure continues…