May 272010

More than a month has passed since we posted our last update about the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise, and we figured it was time to check in again.

Since our last update, Exodus, Forbidden, and Testament have signed on. That’s a heavyweight injection of Bay Area thrash into this floating festival (we’ll give you the complete current line-up of 18 bands after the jump). Plus, in related news, the Swedes have gotten in on the act by putting together their own metal cruise (more on that after the jump too).

If you don’t know what this cruise is, we’ll fill you in: The organizers have chartered a cruise ship (Royal Caribbean’s “Majesty of the Seas”) capable of carrying 40 metal bands (which means they’re still targeting 22 more bands to fill out the line-up) and 2,000 fans, departing Miami on January 24, 2011 for a 5-day, 4-night cruise in the Caribbean, including a stop at the Mexican island of Cozumel.

The 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise has got great potential — both good and bad. It could be a truly awesome experience. It could also be a clusterfuck of cosmic proportions. And there’s no way to know which it will be until that cruise ship limps back into port, probably on fire, at the end of the voyage.

We’ve got some thoughts about what could make it orgasmically good, and what could make it suck big-time. But we’d bet the farm that unless Royal Caribbean is run by metalheads (not likely), they have no fucking idea what they’re about to get themselves into, and that increases the risk of suckage.  (more thoughts, and other related stuff, after the jump . . .)

By way of background, the promoters say that each band on the cruise will play twice at different venues on-board this massive 12-deck ship, with no two bands playing at the same time — which means, as the promoters have said, that the performances will “essentially go round the clock.”

They’re also promising “bars that never close . . . and an opportunity to mingle side-by-side with the artists in this incredibly fan-friendly scenario that has no comparison.”  Oh yeah, they also have this policy published on their web site:

“70,000 Tons of METAL has a zero tolerance policy regarding the use, possession, purchase or distribution of illegal controlled substances. Any violation of this policy will result in disembarkation from the vessel as well as the individuals being turned over to the local law enforcement officials for appropriate legal action. In such cases 70000tons of METAL shall not be liable for any refund or other compensation or damages.”

Also, it stands to reason (though we don’t know this for a fact) that the bands will be segregated on one or more of the nicer decks with security access points so that drunken metalheads like you and me don’t knock on their doors in the middle of the night looking for autographs or vaporizers.

So, with that background, here are our updated thoughts about what would make this gig orgasmically good — and what would make it a cosmic clusterfuck:


The bands mix together on stage and play impromptu jams (there are some potential super-group combos in this line-up that are mind-blowing to consider)

The band members actually do mingle round-the-clock with the paying metalheads down in steerage.

The on-board venues where the bands are scheduled to play are actually big enough to accommodate everyone interested in hearing them.

The drinks are cheap and plentiful.

The crew are friendly, tolerant sorts.

The percentage of assholes among the passengers is small.

The Mexican police on Cozumel are looking the other way.

Most of the passengers re-board in Cozumel without having contracted the tourista.


The bands hole up in their assigned quarters and don’t come out except when scheduled to play or sit at autograph tables.

You can’t get in to see the bands you most want to see because the ship-board venues to which those bands were assigned are too small, and you were too lazy or fucked up to get there early.

The cruise ship gouges you for every red cent you have for drinks and for other “extras” that you consider necessities.

The crew are hardasses and they really meant it when they said “no illegal substances on board.”

“Disembarking” you for violating the illegal-substance policy means pitching you over the side into shark-infested waters.

Every fellow metalhead you rub shoulders with turns out to be an asshole.

You get so hammered the first night out of port that you spend the rest of the cruise moaning in your bunk.

The cruise ship has the audacity to make you pay for the vomit stains on your cabin carpet.

The Mexican police on Cozumel decide that anyone who looks and dresses like you must have already committed some kind of fucking crime.

Half the passengers come down with explosive diarrhea after the visit to Cozumel.

The ship is assaulted by a rogue wave.

Like we said, there’s no way to know how much of the good and how much of the bad will happen until we’re looking backward at this thing after it’s over. But hey, that’s what an adventure is all about, right? Doing something potentially awesome even when there’s some risk involved. So, even though we’ve been having some fun at the expense of this cruise promotion, it really does sound like something worthwhile.

We promised to give you the complete current lineup, and we don’t lie:


[UPDATE:  For our latest update on this cruise, visit this location.]

Earlier in this post, we mentioned that the Swedes had gotten in on the act with a metal cruise of their own — though it’s a considerably scaled-down version of the 70,000 Tons of Metal outing.

It’s called the Close-Up Båten cruise, and it will leave the port at  Stockholm, Sweden on September 9 for Åbo, Finland, and return the following day.  For those of you who happen to live closer to Stockholm than to Miami and are getting hot about the idea of listening to metal over open water, here’s the line-up for that cruise:


It’s only a two-day outing, and we’re guessing that there might not be a lot of sun-bathing opportunities during September in the Baltic Sea — but Meshuggah? Dark Tranquillity? Grave? Hell yeah!

  5 Responses to “70,000 TONS OF METAL (Another Update)”

  1. You don’t know what other bands are considered for the cruise? symphony x, dark tranquilitty ??

    • The last line-up announcement I saw was on July 21, confirming that ICED EARTH would be appearing. Since we wrote the update post above, AGENT STEEL and FEAR FACTORY were also added. But I haven’t seen rumors about other specific bands — though they’ve got to add more than 20 additional bands to hit their target of 40.

    • As of today (Aug 3), Ensiferum is now also confirmed to participate.

  2. I got my tickets early. The cruise is half sold out now.

    I hope they do it every year cause it is gonna be AWESOME!

    I can’t wait for band jamming!

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