A Bard’s Eye View – 70,000 Tons of Preview 2017 Part 2


70,000 Tons of Preview 2017

Part 2

It’s 2017 and it’s January so that means this month is dedicated to prepping up for the next 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise.  This year will be my third year going and I am beyond ecstatic.  As of today (10 January 2017), there have been 49 out of 60 bands announced.  My gameplan is to cover 12 bands every week, except for the final week because at that point I will already be in Florida and not every band will be announced at that point.  The order in which I review these bands will be in the order that they were announced.  I will showcase a song from each band as well as my general impression of that band.  Some of these names will be bands that I am just hearing for the first time.  I will probably just select the first song that pops up on YouTube and make a determination from there.  This is week two, so we’ll be looking at #13-#24.

#13 – EQUILIBRIUM (GERMANY) FOLK METAL, SYMPHONIC METAL, BLACK METAL

Equilibrium holds the distinction of being the first band I ever saw play live on a boat.  Two years ago, they were on the cruise and they were really fun to see perform.  I still haven’t really checked out much of their work but they’re very folky and kind of like a more black metal Ensiferum.  I will probablyu check out one of their sets.

#14 – DYING FETUS (UNITED STATES) – TECHNICAL DEATH METAL, DEATHGRIND

Dying Fetus, like Suffocation, helped define the technical death metal genre.  They also played a key role in deathgrind.  They are particularly known for their guitar sweeping and high tempo drumming.  I saw them for the first time in 2016 when I went to see Black Crown Initiate.  I was quite impressed with their performance.  They have recently developed a large following and their last two albums have actually charted on the Billboard 200.  I will probably check out one of their sets as well.

#15 – ARCH ENEMY (SWEDEN) MELODIC DEATH METAL

Arch Enemy is one of those early bands I was exposed to.  I was initially resistant to their sound as the vocals were harsher than I preferred at the time and I was unable to appreciate the style of guitar the band excels so well at.  Now with Jeff Loomis on their team, I expect huge things to happen for this band in the future.  They’re already a top 40 charting band and I suspect it’s only up from here.  I only got to see a little bit of their set two years ago when they were on the cruise, this year I intend to see at least one full set, maybe two.

#16 – DEVILDRIVER (UNITED STATES) GROOVE METAL, MELODIC DEATH METAL

Devildriver’s claim to fame is picking up Dez Fafara as their vocalist.  He was the singer of Coal Chamber, and largely known as a nu metal vocalist.  I heard their self-titled release in 2003 and immediately wrote them off as the same.  Years later, no longer as obstinate and unwilling to try new things, I decided to give them another chance.  Despite that decision, it never happened, until today.  This song here is from their newest album and is a more groove metal and melodic death metal sound.  I don’t hate it, but I will probably only check out their set out of curiosity.

#17 – STUCK MOJO (UNITED STATES) RAP METAL

To be honest, this is probably the most disappointed I’ve ever been with a boat announcement.  There are some bands I don’t care for, but I know they draw in a crowd because of their sound and it’s not a big deal.  For me, I think that a rap metal or nu metal band does not belong at an event like this.  Maybe Heavy Montreal or something, but not here.  They’ve changed vocalists numerous times and the one they had before this one was their best.  I will probably skip their sets.

#18 – OMNIUM GATHERUM (FINLAND) MELODIC DEATH METAL

Omnium Gatherum is such a cool band.  They’re like an Insomnium with elements of old In Flames thrown in.  I am not super familiar with them and I missed them the last two times they came through town (have not see them yet).  I will definitely catch at least one set from them.

#19 – DRACONIAN (SWEDEN) DOOM METAL, DEATH/DOOM, MELODIC DEATH METAL, GOTHIC METAL

I was relatively new to Draconian when they were announced and I soon learned they were a female fronted doom band.  They are almost a mix between Swallow the Sun and Amon Amarth with Within Temptation style vocals.  I will check out a set from them, possibly two.  I will be listening to them more to prep and I will decide when I see the running order of the bands.

#20 – SALATIO MORTIS (GERMANY) MEDIEVAL METAL, FOLK METAL, GOTHIC METAL, FOLK ROCK, PUNK ROCK, NEO-MEDIEVAL MUSIC, POWER METAL, NEUE DEUTSCHE HARTE

I had literally never heard them until this song just now.  The only way I can describe them is to say the same thing my friend said “They are German as fuck”.  I’ll check them out if they play at a convenient time for me.

#21 – XANDRIA (GERMANY) SYMPHONIC METAL, POWER METAL

I am a fan of Xandria, though not super familiar with their work.  If asked, I would have said they were one of those female fronted symphonic bands.  Which, isn’t wrong.  Their new album drops 27 January 2017 so I may check it out before arriving in Florida.  I will see a set of theirs, I’m sure.

#22 – ULI JOHN ROTH (GERMANY)  HARD ROCK, PSYCHEDELIC ROCK, HEAVY METAL, NEOCLASSICAL METAL, PROGRESSIVE ROCK

So, I had no idea who this guy was.  Michael Schenker and his band was on the cruise two years ago and I didn’t check them out but this guy is apparently a legend.  I did a YouTube search for him and just found a bunch of live performances of him shredding the shit out of guitar all neoclassical style.  I think it;ll be 45 minutes of this, which could be fun if I bring some pizza in there with me and have a seat.  I might check this out live.

#23 – MOONSORROW (FINLAND) FOLK METAL, PAGAN METAL, BLACK METAL

Definitely stoked for this band. I will be checking out one of their sets for certain.  They remind me a lot of a heavier Falkenbach.  If you like folk metal, this is definitely a band you’d probably enjoy.

#24 – REVOCATION (UNITED STATES_ TECHNICAL DEATH METAL, THRASH METAL

I have had many opportunities to see Revocation but usually they are attached to a large death metal festival that is touring around and they tend to play early while I am still at work.  This will be my first time seeing them perform and I will check out one of their sets.  They have been around for a while but are recently picking up momentum and starting to chart on the Billboard 200.

Next week I’m looking at the next twelve bands.  See you soon!

-Ryan

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