Having been to almost every major European Metal festival over the last 10 years, we have finally given in and decided to join the party over at 70,000 Tons of Metal. Being already the seventh time this event happens, we cannot the importance of such event after hearing only positive things about it. While we enjoy being in the same vicinity of 5,000 to 80,000 metal heads at once, we also believe in being on firm land and with plenty of room to flee in case of things getting out of control. This year we decided to take a leap of faith and join over 3,000 metal heads and 60 bands (plus crew) in the World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise.
Being based in the USA, this is one of the few festivals we won’t have to travel too much to get to (a cross-country flight). In full disclosure, we have also never been on a large cruise ship, at least one as big as the Independence of the Seas. So this will surely be a very interesting and unique experience from both sides of things. Traveling for 4 days and with a stopover in Haiti, which would make it country number 72 on my list if I manage to get on land a drink a beer in it, this should be quite the way to disrupt a muggy February on the Bay Area.
As bookings opened on August 16th, 2016, this event was already at least half sold-out by ‘survivors’, otherwise known as people that have attended at least one time before. We managed to snag a good room so we can go and pass out for a few hours every day, and we are psyched to attend. The line-up so far, 39 out of 60 bands, is pretty brilliant, and we are more than pleased to see plenty of European names in the bill. In the next section we will give you a play by play of what we think of the already selected bands:
Amaranthe – Hailing from Sweden, this band’s catchy ‘pop-metal’ will take you by surprise and make you a huge fan.
Amorphis – Only doing a couple of shows in the USA in the last few years, the Finnish legends always give a killer show filled with intensity and countless headbanging moments.
Annihilator – Canadian Thrash outfit from the 80’s ready to please old school fans.
Anthrax – As one of the big four, the band will make the boat rumble during their appearance.
Arch Enemy – Delivering waves of Melodic Death Metal, this Female fronted (now) multi-national band might tip the boat over with their intensity.
Cruachan – Celtic Folk/Black Metal outfit from Ireland will keep things folky and heavy with their catchy tunes.
Death Angel – Bay Area Thrashers will have people moshing from start to end.
Demolition Hammer – Making their comeback in 2016, the band has been leveling stages in Europe and should be honed in for this performance.
Devil Driver – Riding their latest release “Trust No One”, this band is ready to create some vicious circle pits during their sets.
Draconian – As one of our favorite bands, we can’t wait to hear their soul crushing Gothic/Doom Metal in a festive and tropical setting.
Dying Fetus – This American Brutal Death/Grindcore trio should be giving another one of their crushing performances on the boat.
Equilibrium – Epic Folk/Viking Metal from Germany will make you want to march onwards to battle.
Gojira - French Modern Metal outfit is ready to continue North American audiences with their appearance.
Grave – Old-school Swedish Death Metal band needs no introduction.
Grave Digger – With over 36 years of experience, Chris Boltendahl and company will be spreading their timeless Heavy/Power Metal sound.
Haggard – With over 15 live members, this Gothic/Doom/Symphonic Metal band is an experience to witness.
Kalmah – Melodic Death Metal from Finland usually doesn’t get any better than this. Be prepared to have a sore neck for a few weeks.
Kamelot – As one of the premiere Progressive/Melodic Power Metal bands in the world, Kamelot is known for their intense live shows.
Marduk – Swedish Black Metal outfit had to cancel their 2016 North America tour… we expect them to give one killer show to compensate the fans.
Moonsorrow – Catchy and intense Pagan/Black Metal from Finland. The band’s live shows are quite intense and enjoyable, so be prepared.
Nile – Karl Sanders and company will level the seas with their crushing Brutal/Technical Death Metal.
Omnium Gatherum – Slowly growing their following in North America, these Finns are ready to kick it up a notch with their mesmerizing Melodic Death Metal.
Orden Ogan – This German Power Metal outfit took us by surprise back in 2011 when we first saw them live, we expect the same to happen to the uninitiated during the cruise.
Orphaned Land – Hailing from the Middle East, this outfit is ready to bring their superbly crafted Folk/Progressive Metal to international waters.
Pain – Peter Tägtgren’s whacky band is ready to take the stage bringing their funky Industrial Metal music to the seas.
Powerglove – For all those video game fanatics, Powerglove will bring to 70K of Metal their amazingly complex instrumentals video game music renditions.
Revocation – American Technical Death/Thrash Metal miscreants are ready to take on the high seas to deliver their crushing musical message.
Saltatio Mortis – Keeping things interesting and diverse, this German Folk/Medieval Metal outfit is ready to bring their signature sound to North America.
Scar Symmetry – Melodic Death Metal masters will have people headbanging since their first song during their sets.
Serenity – Austrian Symphonic/Progressive Metal masters will bring their “Codex Atlanticus” on board the Independence of the seas.
Stam1na – Already legends in Finland, this outfit is ready to wow the North American audiences with their crafty Progressive Thrash/Heavy Metal.
Stuck Mojo – This old-school Rap-Metal band continues to get people going with their politically charged lyrics and stances. This is one of the most ‘different’ bands in this edition of 70K of Metal.
Suffocation – Brutal Death Metal from the times the genre was just crushingly heavy.
Testament – Another Bay Area Thrash Metal legendary band is ready to make this event one of the Thrashiests of the season.
Therion – Constantly changing over time, we are psyched to hear this Swedish Symphonic/Operatic Metal outfit now that they have shed Snowy Shaw from their lineup.
Uli Jon Roth – German Guitar Prodigy is ready to take to the seas with his hypnotic music.
Unleashed – Old-School Death Metal from Sweden will be a great compliment to Grave in this ship.
Vreid – Formed by ex-members of Windir, this band takes Melodic Black Metal to another level with their super catchy music.
Xandria – German Female-fronted Symphonic Metal outfit is finally making an international name for themselves after a few vocalist changes. Be sure to check them out if you like Nightwish and similar outfits.
As you probably read, there are tons of excellent bands scheduled to be on the boat for 2017. We are quite psyched that the organizers picked some interesting European bands that need more exposure in North America like Draonian, Haggard, Kalmah, Serenity and Vreid. There are also plenty of old-school greats that will keep us older Metalheads entertained. With more than 20 bands yet to confirm, anything is just icing on the cake in our opinion.
If you are still on the fence about going, you should just stop worrying about it and pull the trigger.
If you need more info about the cruise go here.
We will be doing another feature once the line-up is complete telling you even more details about the previous editions, related to us by our survivor friends. In the meantime, start saving and be sure to not be left on shore for this one.