70,000 Tons of Metal is an experience quite like none other, completely unique from other music cruises out there. It’s very different from Monsters of Rock or ShipRocked and it’s definitely not like the Weezer Cruise. People come from all different countries and all over the U.S. in order to experience hours and days of continuous music of all different metal genres. Aboard the massive Independence of the Seas, the cruise was like a private European festival at sea, thankfully without the camping.

As we sailed out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale Fla., the music began right away. One of the first sets that kicked off the day featured horror metal act Carach Angren, who gave a forceful performance in the very intimate and very sweaty Pyramid Lounge. Belphegor and Diamond Head also performed their first sets in the venue later on.

Over in the beautiful Alhambra Theater it was only fitting that the melodic and talented band Delain started the music marathon in the venue with a soaring set.  Dragonforce were set to take the stage next but due to sound issues which seemed to be common throughout the cruise for many bands, guitarist Herman Li spent much of their set time attempting to figure out the troubles. With only a few minutes left in their set they came out to play one song, their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” and sincerely apologized to their fans.

The show went on and the crowd was “spellbound” as Lacuna Coil took the stage for an incredible performance. The Italian metallers had many fans to begin with on the ship but gained so many more with their lively performance. Singers Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro filled the theater as they performed newer infectious tracks like “Die & Rise” and “Victims” from their latest album Broken Crown Halo.

Iced Earth also performed in the Theater and eardrums will never be the same after hearing frontman Stu Block’s sky-high vocals. The entire band exudes limitless energy and so do their fans who unleashed their passion during “Burning Times,” “Vengeance Is Mine” and the set ending “Watching Over Me.” From the Italian film score metal that is Rhapsody of Fire, to the Swedes of Thyrfing to Chicago band Starkill, the Alhambra Theater sure had its share of metal for the first day…and night.

Down on Deck 2, the Ice Rink, which usually sees its share of glittery outfits and dancers on ice, housed a much different form of entertainment on this cruise. At The Gates had one of the most packed crowds and powerful sets of the first day. With a massive mosh pit going and crowd surfers galore, vocalist Tomas Lindberg and his crew truly set the tone of what 70,000 Tons of Metal really is. With complete command of the crowd everyone banged their head to favorites “Slaughter of the Soul” and “Under a Serpent Sun.”

Other bands who heated up the Ice Rink included the legendary Sodom who gave a crushing performance. With over 30 years of music, the trio that is Sodom are lively and give many of the younger acts on the boat a run for their money … and booze. After midnight Katatonia, the Faroe Islanders of Tyr and Insomnium were just a few of the acts to keep fans wide awake well into the wee hours of the morning.

There you have it folks, that was most of day one, be sure to check out our gallery above of some of the bands that played.  Stay tuned for our coverage of the second day of the almighty 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise!



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