This was the start of pure exhaustion, with only 1-2 hours of sleep we got up early to have some breakfast at the Windjammer and catch up with some of the bands performing. My husband who was one of the photographers was able to capture a lot of the sets and bands in time. I was only able to get a glimpse from Masterplan which was the first band to open up that morning (Pool Deck) as I was walking towards the buffet to have my breakfast. Again with a cup of coffee in my hand I rushed to the Alhambra theater and sat down to relax and watch Necrophobic. It was around 10:30am and the crowd was completely energized while some were sleeping during the set, not because of the band’s performance but because it was simply difficult and a challenge to stay awake when being up for so many hours. This is when it hit me I was definitely falling into the sleep deprivation state. I just simply could not focus. Necrophobic with their powerful and extreme mix of black and death metal sound, offered the crowd a lot of energy and powerful riffs. As much as I was enjoying it, I decided half way I wanted to head back to the pool to see the next band, that’s when British death metal band, Benediction started to perform, with my body being in complete distress from exhaustion I decided to be on my way to the cabin just to rest a bit, on my way to the cabin I got a surprise from an old friend of mine with quick “hello’s” and I headed back to lay a bit in bed.
It was 12 pm and with a bit of rest I remembered that Triosphere had their rescheduled show being held at the Pyramid Lounge. Their vocalist Ida appearing to be frail, was struggling with their sound. The show was difficult for the band, Ida of course gave it her all to sing and apologized several times to the audience stating that she was sick and her voice did not simply let her sing, this resulting into the band only playing in an instrumental set. The crowd being kind and loyal it was completely understanding. The band had a diverse sound, power metal riffs and melodies and at the same time sounding like a progressive band, the progressive side of them made them have a unique sound that had an atmospheric vibe. It was a wonderful performance even with their unfortunate circumstances, they really gave it their all, they were astounding and fun to watch.
Back in the pool area Alestorm was performing. The audience was animated with this band as they were one of the popular ones this year. Many of the fans were dressed as pirates and with a few fun pool inflatables flying around during the set. Alestorm unleashed their enormous rubber duckie, and it was bouncing off the whole crowd.
One of the bands that I was excited to see was Gyze (in Studio B), I wasn’t too familiar with their music but I had already listened to some of their tunes prior to the cruise. Once I heard this metal band from Japan had joined the festival this year, I instantly looked them up, these guys may have a glamorous look but don’t let that fool you, as they bring a melodic death metal approach to them packed with a combination of fast riffs, death growls and clean vocals. It wasn’t hard for them to start the crowd moving, the singer demanded a circle pit in their last song. The circle pit was quick to form with massive energy. One of the humorous things that was found during that performance was one of the fans had brought a blow-up doll and was running with it in the circle pit. Their bassist/vocalist, Aruta instantly laughed as he witnessed the doll. The crowd gave them a very warm welcome, hailing from Japan and not very known yet, I could already tell the audience loved them. It was a wonderful performance and they are definitely a band that I will continue to listen to.
Up next was Sirenia at the Alhambra theater, I was pretty excited to see this band since I really enjoy their music. I really loved and admired their former singer Ailyn Garcia as their fronting lady but since her departure, I decided to give their latest album “Dim Day of Dolor” a chance. It was a great performance and their new singer, Emmanuelle did a good job, but of course I definitely miss Ailyn as the leading lady, vocally and performance wise.
Naglfar was performing at Studio B while Metal Church was at The Alhambra theater, I passed by both to check out some of their sets. I went for a lunch/dinner break to continue with my long day ahead. The second day of the cruise is usually the longest due to the fact that it starts from 10am and it ends all the way to 6am.
Korpiklaani was performing at the pool deck, I made sure to get a closer spot to see their set as I also enjoy their music. As we are all waiting for Korpiklaani I couldn’t help but to enjoy the beautiful chilly breeze from the sea. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Korpiklaani came on stage and started to perform packed with good vibes, energy and total bliss. There was a time during their set where an older crowd was actually crowd surfing, which made people smile and have even more fun. The members of the band had contagious smiles and brought out a charm to the audience. Jesper, the bassist of Turisas was filling in for Jarkko who couldn’t make it to the cruise. Jesper was a natural and brought his talents along with him to help the guys from Korpiklaani, he had a fun personality on stage. The set was almost over with a beautiful golden hour.
Legendary American thrash metalers, Exodus was performing at The Alhambra theater, “Blood in, Blood Out” being their second song was enough to keep the mosh pit raging. They performed a variety of songs from their discography, from their classic “Bonded by Blood” to their most recent release “Blood in, Blood out.”
October Tide was performing at the Pyramid Lounge but I missed them due to them playing at the same time as Exodus. It was time to go back to the pool deck as Evergrey began setting up for their performance, as the band began to perform I couldn’t help to notice, Sabrina the singer of Seven Kingdoms was in the crowd rocking out to the music with her burger sleep slippers. Some of the guys from Alestorm were also enjoying the show, it’s always nice to see bands supporting each other.
Cannibal Corpse was next, being a FL born, I am already used to seeing these guys, so this was the perfect time to take a break. In the Windjammer we are always used to seeing musicians hanging out and eating with the fans, this is something normal at 70000 tons. Some of the fans were already dressed up in costume that night, it was pretty funny seeing cousin IT and Uncle Fester hanging out in the entrance of the buffet. I was incredibly ecstatic that they finally had a vegan section, since this never existed in the previous cruises I believe there was high demand which made it a lot easier for both the fans and musicians as there are always a lot of vegetarians and vegans on board struggling to eat a good meal.
Sepultura was next in the Alhambra Theater. Derrick Green performed vigorously as the fans were in complete aggressive mode. In the crowd there was a fan dressed up as a T-Rex, this of course brought laughs especially when it was head banging and moshing as well. Derrick and the other members noticed and pointed him out. Derrick stating “this next song is dedicated to this guy right here.” they then began to play “Biotech is Godzilla.” Some of the chefs from the kitchen came out and started filming and enjoyed the show as well, this made me smile. Being a Pastry Chef myself, as I witnessed this I understood the feeling of wanting to have a little break from work and see some entertainment even if you are still in your chef uniform. I loved that I got to witness that, they had seemed to enjoy the performance and had a few laughs as well.
The night was coming to an end as the last band to play (at least for me) was Meshuggah, starting with harsh flashing strobe lights, enough to get anyone into a seizure. Along with loud, long siren that lasted about 5 minutes I began to feel uneasy. Meshuggah was one of the bands on my “must see” list, without a doubt they delivered an incredible performance, but it was time for me to hit the sack.
(Masterplan, Necrophobic, Benediction, Wolfchant, Alestorm, Sirenia, Naglfar, Metal Church, Korpiklaani, Exodus, Evergrey, Sonata Arctica, Cannibal Corpse, Sabaton,Meshuggah, Dark Tranquility, Voivod)
Photos by Jose Pimienta