Day 3 – February 3, 2018
A beautiful Caribbean morning found us with the boat stranded on the beautiful islands of Turks & Caicos, more specifically in Cockburn Town, the capital of Grand Turk. A small paradise full of restaurants, gift shops and the most beautiful beaches you could have glimpsed. Sit and sunbathe on a deck chair, enjoy a drink and observe the majesty of Independence Of The Seas in the distance. An image that costs to describe with words. The option is to stay on the boat and rest, since the shows will resume when the ship returns to sail at 5 in the afternoon, when in the Pool Deck Die Apokaliptischen Reiter, they arrive at the platform, Industrial Metal quite partying and enjoyable. It was Battle Beast’s turn, at the Alhambra Theater The stage presence of Noora Louhimo is something from another planet. The claw that puts him, the good vibes, the vocal attitude from hell, a frontwoman with well-placed ovaries, that inflamed a presentation based almost entirely on his brand-new «Bringer Of Pain» last year. Band detached, one of the revelations of the cruise.
After 10 pm, Meshuggah was doing his thing in the Pool Deck, super calculated and mathematical music, choppy riffs of the fuck and a frontman who takes possession at superhuman levels. Not for something are the parents of the Djent. In the Ice Rink; Sirenia While they are a shadow of what they were at the time, the Morten Veland band puts a wave and charisma, thanks in large part to his vocalist Emmanuelle Zoldan, who is in good humor and providing a correct performance. The moment arrives in the Ice Rink; October Tide. These Swedish Masters of Doom Metal taught how to travel to the most oppressive confines of sadness, and return to the world of mortals with a victory under their arms. The capacity to transmit despair, melancholy and anguish makes you enter a trance from which it is hard to escape. In the words of his frontman Alexander Högbom: «we are making music so that they feel miserable, why are they so happy?».
Day 4 – February 4, 2018
Everything good has an end, and arriving to the last day of the cruise, The morning started early with the veteran Exciter, detonating the Pool Deck with its overwhelming Speed Metal and the peculiarity that its drummer Dan Beehler is also its singer! With its 3 members averaging 60 years, the Canadians gave a good metal chair to the plates. Great bands of the moment like Enforcer or Night Demon owe much to their proposal. Nice way to start the day with a crushing sun and a lot of adrenaline. At 11:30 we return to the Pool Deck, with a sun to rajatabla to witness the second set of Destruction. On the last day, people have a tradition of dressing up, so it is quite common to witness pogos with people disguised as Rick Sanchez, Pikachu, a huge dinosaur, a pink Power Ranger and many more bizarre. Even Jesus made his appearance, while the veteran thrashers sang «Nailed To The Cross.» You can not be more epic than that. Around noon the infamous «Belly Flop Contest» is celebrated, where overweight people throw their bellies in the pool and undergo the scrutiny of a jury made up of people from Threshold, Enslaved, Sirenia, Triosphere and Battle Beast.
Traditionally, on the last day of the cruise, the All Star Jam, an hour and a half show presented by Jeff Waters of Annihilator, where more than 50 musicians of all the bands present join to play metal classics, and where You can see mixtures as different and incredible as Rick from Masterplan with Eloy de Sepultura and Per de Meshuggah, or Noora from Battle Beast with Elias from Sonata Arctica and Sinner from Primal Fear, to name a few. Amberian Dawn’s Capri shattered «The Number Of The Beast» by Iron Maiden, entering untimely and wreaking havoc on his fellow stars (Primal Fear, Masterplan, Dark Tranquility and Sonata Arctica musicians). But the strawberry on the cake was a very crude version of «Whiplash» by Metallica, sung by Mille Petrozza de Kreator with Schmier and Vaaver from Destruction, Andreas Kisser from Sepultura and Matt Harvey from Exhumed. Incredible mixes for a historic, relaxed jam and among friends and acquaintances of the entire metal community. You can not ask for more. In the Ice Rink a different proposal: Metsatöll metal folk, from Estonia. A band strongly rooted in folkloric musical roots, using atypical instruments of heavy music such as bagpipes, flutes and other instruments of unpronounceable name. The show was very fun and varied, putting a share of diversity to the cruise. Going to the Ice Rink to enjoy a bit of the presentation of Aborted. Death Metal to the badges with a lot of attitude and a frontman who literally leaves everything on the scene, running from one place to another like a sick person. A waste of violence and intensity for one of the hottest shows of the night.
The British of Threshold appeared in the Alhambra Theater, practicing a very melodic Progressive Metal, with dyes to Dream Theater, it was one of the few proposals entirely Prog of the ship. With a show very focused on his highly recommended «Legends Of The Shires» last year, the band gave a superb performance, both instrumentally and vocally. A very heartfelt performance for songs that raise their intensity live, transporting you to a land where emotions sprout everywhere. Very high note for Threshold. The first show of Enslaved had disappointed the first day, in its presentation of Pool Deck, the sound improved noticeably, although the performance was not entirely expected. His music transports and runs brilliantly, but it is the clear example of a band that does not perform as much as it could live. «Atoma» of Dark Tranquility was playing and someone says «that must be the radio, it sounds very radio to me». Error! The set had already started several floors below and the wait for that elevator was murderous. «I’m as much a fan of Rhapsody as of Dark Tranquility and it’s killing me this!» Pronounced a fan. Perfect example of absolute punctuality. You can not watch a full show without missing a few minutes of the next one. Indeed, Dark Tranquility was unleashing all its arsenal in the Alhambra Theater and they offered another brilliant show, sense, and with a Mikael Stanne that embraced every crowd-surfer who came forward. Sabaton returns to take by assault to the presents with a demolishing show in the theater. As they had anticipated 2 days before, no song of the setlist was the same, and we live another party of pure Swedish Power Metal and heartbreaking. A choreography machine, coordinated choirs and superb performances. After this show Sabaton became my favorite cruise band, based on perseverance, attitude and variation of setlists. Overwhelming. It was midnight and Kreator had already 15 minutes of his set in the Pool Deck (penultimate show of the whole cruise). The murderous pogos lived close by and people in disguises became more and more present. Water was flying everywhere as people sang the mega catchy chorus of «Satan Is Real». An unparalleled Thrash party. Before the encores, Andy «Skipper» takes the stage and gives a speech of thanks to those present. «Last year there were 74 countries, this year we reached 75».
The finale to close the night was a short and super fun set by Alestorm at the Alhambra Theater. Dozens of costumes and a party attitude flooded the venue, while the Queen’s «Bohemian Rhapsody» was playing at full volume before the start. Alestorm goes out on the court and people go crazy. Pogos, dancing, rows of conga from one side to another, the rubber duck is present in a great version of «Hangover», and by the end of the subject is massacred by the public. «Assassins! That’s why they can not have nice things, «shouted Christopher Bowes, having fun like crazy. They give us a bizarre version of «Drink» but for dogs, which consisted of «barking» for almost the whole song instead of singing the lyrics. Amazing show, incredible closure. The body said enough but the soul wanted to continue. The party continues on the deck of the ship where hundreds of metalheads gather to celebrate the end of a unique experience, adorned with Karaoke sessions where everyone is free to participate. Definetly an experience that every metalhead must live at least once time.