The 6th edition of “70000 Tons” cruise (Royal Caribbean – Independence of the Seas) and our 3rd year in a row cover of the sea festival! This year, the ship sailed with around 3000 metal heads from 72 countries and 60 international bands on February 4th from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale – Florida to Falmouth, Jamaica  and returned on February 8th.

The ship is so big that it definitely still carries the well-deserved title: “World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise”.  (Scroll Down For Photo Gallery)

Every year, the organizers make sure to get a wide variety of great bands. As we expressed in our previous reviews, “it is always a thrill to attend Metal festivals, but to get up close and personal with living legends is another dimension of thrills, and this is what you will experience if you ever thought of attending the biggest Heavy Metal Cruise in the world.”

This year, the line up wasn’t something to be missed with At The Gates, Children Of Bodom, DragonForce, Gamma Ray, Katatonia, and many more. We will be discussing some of them later on. And with such a powerful line up, of course once again, the tickets were sold out.

For those who still didn’t have the chance to be on the cruise, it is customary for each band to play two sets across four stages that are distributed in different places on the ship.

I will go through some of the bands that I watched and loved the most on the cruise:


The first show I’ve seen on the cruise was for Carach Angren (check out our interview with the band here). This amazing horror metal band from the Netherlands always play terrific theatrical shows, and their second show was even better as they played on the pool deck stage right before the sunrise; the colors of the sky were an amazing background for their music turning from black to blue with shades of orange, red, blue, and green.

I always tend to watch bands that I am not acquainted with. It was my first time to see Belphegor: interesting outfits, corpse face paints, spiked boots, and lots of fake blood. Just perfect for their music mood. Their performance was also amusing. Belphegor also add some theatrical features, like author voice or some sound effects, before or after songs end, and they have their own stage display.

Moonspell: They were definitely the top band for me on the cruise. They were just so intense and powerful. Their front man Fernando is a real wolf. They played two amazing sets with some of their old stuff, and performed the whole Irreligious album, and a few songs from Wolfheart with the nice surprise of having Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania vocalist) doing a duet with Fernando for the song Raven Claws. It was announced during the show that there were metal heads from 72 countries aboard 70000 Tons of Metal this year, breaking all previous years’ records.

Paradise Lost: The band’s front man “Nick Holmes” was having a great sense of (dark) humor during the trip. His voice is so powerful, he sang in 4 shows on the cruise as Bloodbath were also there, played mainly songs from “Tragic Idol” and “The Plague Within” besides some old classics. Paradise Lost’s  melodic music was a great addition to the line up. The band put up a charismatic show and they had a great crowd response.

Turisas: It was hard to recognize them during the meet & greet without their face paintings and outfits. One of the bands that you could really enjoy watching live. They are so energetic on stage playing some folk and viking Metal; it was hard not to clap and sing along with them. Their setlist included “We Ride Together”, “Battle Metal”, and my favorite “Stand Up and Fight”.

The Italian Gothic/Alternative Metal band Lacuna Coil’s performance was pretty much tight. They have a special connection with the crowd who knew their songs by heart. If you are into Alternative Metal, this is the band of choice. Their vocalist “Cristina Scabbia” is very energetic on stage. The whole band played a great show; no surprises there. But during the show, the crowd was surprised by the “Coils” inviting “Simone Simons” from Epica to join them on stage and perform with them around the end of “Heaven’s a Lie”.

On the last day, Twilight Force’s set on the big stage got canceled and all the gigs got rescheduled due to the weather conditions. It got too windy and started to rain heavily by the time they were supposed to play. Then the entire program got rescheduled. All the remaining shows were played on the other two stages and the pool deck stage got closed permanently. The bars and the restaurants got really crowded, yet, the band delivered a great show. It was my first time to see them. They play symphonic/power metal music and their main lyrical themes are based on fantasy stories, and their outfits are just perfect for their theme.

Insomnium: The Finnish melodic death metal band. They’re another band whose music is so beautifully melodic yet so heavy. The sound of their music and their lyrics are having the theme of dark sorrow combined with nature. Both their sets were great and it was obvious that the crowd enjoyed their shows.

Susperia: The Norwegians delivered an amazing show with their new vocalist “Bernt Fjellestad”, who joined them in 2015 and is currently recording with them the new album “The Lyricist”. I have been listening to them for a long time, but never seen them live before. Awesome performance on stage, looking forward to listening to their new release.

Fleshgod Apocalypse: Another amazing band from Italy, playing symphonic death metal, where the brutality clashes with the operatic classical singing. They had with them the opera singer “Veronica Bordacchini”. Definitely a great band to see live.

So many other great bands played on the cruise this time: Arkona, Katatonia, Vader, HammerFall, Cradle of Filth, My Dying Bride, November’s Doom, Rotting Christ, Samael, Children of Bodom, Firewind, Epica, Delain, Iced Earth, Stratovarius, Eluveitie, Sodom, TYR, Krisiun, At The Gates, Rhapsody of Fire, etc.

70000 Tons” is still my favorite festival, so you better gear up for 70000 Tons of Metal 2017, as I am sure it will be a great cruise as usual.  See you there.

Check all the updates about next year’s line up here:

– Nahla Sindbad

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