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70000 Tons Of Metal 2020 - Day Two: With Full Steam Ahead

Written by: D.T. Metal
Published: September 18, 2020
Event: 70000 Tons Of Metal 2020 (Website)
Location: Independence Of The Seas, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA


70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Four by CROMCarl (210)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Three by CROMCarl (185)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day Two by CROMCarl (193)
70000 Tons Of Metal Cruise 2020 - Day One by CROMCarl (127)

Well rested and ready to tackle another day of awesomeness; bring it 70000 Tons Of Metal.

But first, check what all happened on Day One of the cruise.

Day Two of 70000 Tons Of Metal is usually jam-packed with shows and Meet 'N Greet sessions. This year was no different and one really had to juggle the show schedules if also wanting to partake in the signing sessions. ALL band M 'n G's are crammed into one day and if some of your favorites happen to have the same time-slot- well, you are shit out of luck.

Right off the bat, Grave Digger, Candlemass and thrashers Striker and Havok had the same time-slot and of course in different locations throughout the boat. Epica, Soilwork and Venom didn't fare better later in the day. I ask myself every year who the master planner of this schedule is, but since I hardly partake in Meet 'n Greets I never dug into it to be honest.

On this note, I have to give a big shout out to one of the most accessible artists on this year's cruise. Being considered one of the 'heavy hitters', I was amazed that he took the time to talk, sometimes in great lengths, to ANYBODY who approached him. Taking pictures with all who ask and just being a great addition to the cruise, period. And yes, I met him several times over the years and he is really a great guy, ladies and gents, the goofball and chatterbox of this year's 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise-Devin Townsend

For those who follow the cruise's Instagram (you really should), prolly got a good laugh when Heavy Devy took over their account during the cruise. Ridiculous funny stuff at times.

Possessed On The Pool Deck

Anyhoo, after enjoying some morning coffee on our balcony we headed to the Windjammer Buffet for some breakfast. The Pool Deck Stage was done on time and ready for the first band of Day Two; Trollfest. We watched for a minute while the band took the stage - all decked out in women's attire and other ridiculous garb. Sorry folks, while this was maybe great Party metal to start the outdoor festivities, they just don't do anything for me. Apparently I missed a Congo line around the upper pool deck, but on the other hand Breakfast was great.

So, the first Pool Stage band for us after breakfast was the mighty Possessed. A much slimmer (from the last time I saw the band) Jeff Becerra, frontman and the only original member left in the band, was once again in top form. I still stand by my conviction from my writing about the Barge To Hell cruise in 2012, Possessed are the FIRST death metal band - period. Evil Chuck and Co's Death were influenced by them and NOT vice versa; suck it.

Minutes of dramatic orchestral arrangements while the band took the stage and they actually started their set with "No More Room In Hell" off their (first in decades) 2019 release Revelations Of Oblivion instead of one of their classic songs. Cool beans; I dig the song. But holy crap, there is loud and then there is fucking LOUD. Possessed's sound definitely was in the latter category. Anyway, they played a couple of songs off their new album but the rest was from the by-gone age of old-school death metal such as "Pentagram" or "Storm In My Mind". By the time they closed their set with "Death Metal" and "Swing Of The Axe" I was glad I pushed my earplugs just a tad bit deeper into my ears. Holy shit. I am wondering how it sounded while not on the Pool Deck and if people on the other side of the ship could sing and headbang along. Wow - loud! But oh so fucking awesome nevertheless.

On a side note, Jeff Becerra was also very sociable on the cruise and took his time with eager fans.

No rest for the wicked since Sweden's Powermetallers Bloodbound were scheduled right afterwards in the Royal Theater ala "In The Name Of Metal". Vocalist Patrik was all over the place; donning mini fake horns and all. Since this was their first show outside of Europe he was surprised that so many people showed up that early in the morning Dude, it was past lunchtime He nevertheless asked the audience how many were from North America compared to Europe (Europe definitely outweighed) and he said he understood now. Apparently Europeans are used to attend metal shows early during Festivals.

I really enjoyed their set and during their last song "Nosferatu" the frontman kneeled and payed homage to the said villain; no clue who was the stand-in, but dude was either wearing heels or extremely tall. Bloodbound's entire performance was very well received by the crowd and I hope they get invited back to play on a future 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise.

Back toward the Pool Deck we went for Leaves' Eyes. Hmmm, weren't they just on the cruise Oh well, I guess since Alex Krull took over the All-Star-Jam a couple of years ago from original host Jeff Waters (Annihilator) it makes sense that at least one of his bands is playing on the cruise (Atrocity played in 2019). But since our "base of operation" was in the Solarium, just outside the entrance of the lower pool deck, we opted to sit with some friends, enjoy a cold beverage while halfway listening to Mr. Krull and Co. On a side note, one of the Vikings of the band; eye candy for the ladies but otherwise human stage props with shields and all, was also one of the Pool Boys during the cruise. Yap, instead of just the Pool Girls, those Boys were also in charge of applying sunscreen in the heat of the day for those who needed it.

We were still sitting in the Solarium while Suffocation was ripping everybody a new one on the Pool Deck Stage. Always a pleasure watching the guys and I remember the last time they played on 70000 Tons Of Metal it was also one of the last shows with Frank fronting them. But Suffocation didn't lose a step and if you saw them live over the last couple of years you know what I mean. Brutal Death Metal at its finest.

We left a bit early to head over to the Royal Theater to check out old-school thrashers Whiplash. I saw them on the cruise back in 2015 and was looking forward to another dose of thrashy speed metal. Not disappointing and to my delight their set was mostly comprised of older songs. It was actually pretty depressing to see that the Theater was almost empty for their performance; I would have thought more metalheads would appreciate those Jersey Thrash pioneers.

And to add insult to injury, Stam1na played in a half empty Studio B as well. Well, I bet most Finnish cruisers were present since the band also sings in their native language and tons of shout outs in between songs sounded as such as well. They also played on the cruise before and since I enjoyed them the first time, a second listening was definitely in the cards this time around. Haggard was playing on the Pool Deck Stage and this might have been the reason why Studio B was half empty; who knows. Anywhoo, those of us who were watching Stam1na had a great time.

Back over to the Royal Theater for another Finnish band. Finntroll divided their two scheduled sets with this one playing songs off their first 3 albums and their second set on the Pool Deck was reserved for the next 3. Pretty good concept in my opinion. We didn't stick around for their entire set because Grave Digger was up next on the Pool Deck Stage and we wanted to take a minute to get a drink and secure a good watching spot. Yes, I have seen them plenty of times, but it never gets old watching Chris and Co.

"Healed By Metal", "Lionheart" and followed by "The Clans Will Rise Again" and we already have a span of 20 years of German Heavy Metal greatness. Audience participation songs such as newer "Lawbreaker" and definitely "Excalibur" are always fun to hear. At one point Chris Boltendahl announced that this would be the band's 1st show of their 40th Anniversary tour and for this that they have been around for that long they haven't lost a step neither and the audience celebrated the gig appropriately.

"Rebellion (The Clans Are Marching)" and "Heavy Metal Breakdown" once again rounded out their set. Solid performance and during the latter, guitarist Axel Ritt even ventured out into the crowd, not that long though since his instrument was cutting in and out.

Afterwards, while everyone was rushing to the Theater for Ihsahn, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat in the Windjammer before heading back outdoor to watch the mighty Candlemass on the Pool Deck Stage. With vocalist Johan Längqvist back in the fold this would be my first time seeing him fronting the band. Is he a Messiah Marcolin? No, but this didn't take away from the awesomeness of hearing some old songs.


Opener "The Well Of Souls" made way for "Dark Reflections" and "Mirror Mirror". Maybe during this song I noticed ex-Arsis shredder Nick Cordle standing to my left. Asking if he was on the boat as a regular cruiser or 'working' he told me that Omnium Gatherum enlisted his help for their North American touring cycle. Sweet, since I haven't seen Nick shred in a very long time. Sometime during Candlemass's set it was revealed that a member of the band (can't remember who though) left his passport in Tampa and Atheist's Kelly Shaefer was instrumental in having it delivered to Fort Lauderdale right before the ship left.

2019's "Astorolus - The Great Octopus" was the lonely new song Candlemass played that evening and ending with "Solitude" was the icing of the cake. Awesome set and watching the band play outside in the eerie evening light was equally great.

Epica - pic courtesy of
On our way to catch the ass end of Cattle Decapitation we stuck our head into the Royal Theater for Epica and oh wow, what a heavy set. We actually decided to stay and glad we did. Apparently the Star Lounge was packed to the gills for Cattle Decap and we wouldn't have been able to see the stage from way back anyway.

So, Epica playing a 'best of' set that day and the Theater actually filled up as we were standing all the way up on top. Keyboardist Coen Janssen was a clear highlight of the show when he sported an almost wraparound keyboard which made him oh so mobile. Otherwise he was headbanging beside the drumkit and since his stationary keyboard was on a swivel, he swung it around quite often.

By the time Epica played "Storm The Sorrow" the Theater was pretty well packed. "Cry For The Moon" sounded especially great today and everyone had their hands up clapping and singing along. Before the last song, while the audience was getting ready for the Wall-of-Death- yap, Wall of Death for a Symphonic Metal band. But then also, Mark Jansen is not only the band's guitarist, he is also in charge of the harsh vocals, so I guess it makes sense to have a death metal element in the show.

I have seen Epica plenty of times, but I honestly can't remember ever seeing that done at a show, or maybe I never paid that close attention. But then also, it was a lame ass attempt by the moshers. Anyway, so before the last song Simone Simons was giving away one of their specialty T-shirts which apparently sold out already. She walked off the stage and handed the shirt to a very special person. Actually the young son of a longtime cruiser and Epica fan out of Australia; very nice gesture Mrs. Simons.

Someone actually recorded their entire set with really good audio. If interested please click HERE

We headed back toward the Pool Deck Stage but got stuck sitting around with friends and just casually listened to Venom playing. To be honest, the last couple of times I saw Cronus's version, meh, I prolly would have been more excited if Venom Inc. would have been booked. I saw them last year and was pretty impressed. But oh well, there is always a next time.

A bit fatigued but still wanting to watch the morning matinee courtesy of Omnium Gatherum at 2am we decided to take a little cat nap and not watch Mr. Jari and his Wintersun gang.

By the time we made it back to the Pool Deck the wind was wipping like hell. We stood upstairs for OG and while I told Nick Cordle earlier in the day that I was excited to see him play, I almost didn't see him at all. The sound guy had the fog machine going almost constantly and Nick just happened to stand right in the pass of it. Regardless, their set was great.

Apparently it was Finland day since Omnium Gatherum was the third Finnish band I utterly enjoyed that day; and the Pool Deck was pretty packed for that it was 2am in the morning already. While I do prefer Insomnium over OG, I had a great time and think they were better this time around then a couple of years ago on 70000 Tons Of Metal.

While we wanted to stay up for Canada's Striker, the last band of the day/night/morning our bed was calling once again and we complied.

Top Three Five bands of Day Two were: Candlemass, Bloodbound, Omnium Gatherum, Epica and Possessed.

Again, also check out the visuals by Carl as well as the below Day Two Recap video by 70000TONS.TV

And here are some highlights of Day Two on 70000 Tons Of Metal 2020:

Click for more Day 2 pictures →

Written on 18.09.2020 by Former boss lady. Now just a professional concertgoer... dangerously armed with a camera!

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