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by: Kevin Daniels

Let’s be frank: how many of you would think that in our dimension, or in any other dimension where metal is a genre of music, there would be a metal cruise ship that sells out every year? Yeah, me neither. And yet here we are, with the first 21 bands out of the 60 that will set sail on a 4-day cruise to the Grand Turk Islands.

I’ve combed through them all, and, I’d like to say, this is a pretty solid “festival” to attend. It’s a good mixture of Folk Metal (KORPIKLAANI/ In Extremo) to get drunk in the hot tub and sing along to VERY loudly, but then there’s some brutally good death metal (Cannibal Corpse, Septicflesh) to hair windmill your satanic locks to. So let me tell you my must see bands for the current 21 artists.

Starting off with a band I think everyone should see and hear at least once in their lives, Ben Falgaust’s Goatwhore. I’ve seen them everytime they come through Charlotte, which isn’t much anymore, and I’ve bought them shots and beers every time. They are amazingly cool people that just so happen to be playing some of the evilest shit you’ll hear from the deep south.  

Here’s an Epic Melodic Death Metal band, Aeternam, that is probably my favorite discoveries from doing the research on this cruise. They’re coming out of Quebec, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be enjoying a break of the frigid north the say as the rest of the passengers. They have these gorgeous melodies that can transition into some brutally heavy sections. God only knows what they will bring to the stage this year. Definitely a must see.

Of course the key band on here that deserves everyone’s look, especially due to their theme, Alestorm, an epic pirate metal band. Yes you read that write, pirate metal. It’s nothing new. My favorite being swashbuckle, but it’s still one of the more peculiar sub-subgenres. Not to mention, if you want to drink heavily while chest deep in the hot tub, these guys should be your go-to soundtrack.

A Japanese Northern nostalgic metal band, Gyze, caught my attention while combing through the list. It’s an epic/melodic blackened metal sound, high vocals and blazing guitars, just the kind of band to watch while double fisting jager bombs.

Personally I don’t know who started the folk metal subgenre, but I feel like Korpiklaani is damn near the archetype. I’d say drink til you see the lights of Valhalla and scream along these chaps. So of course their on the list of must sees.

This Italian death metal outfit, Septicflesh, has been blowing my mind for years. I saw them open for Deicide (holy effing eff that was a solid tour). This is easily one of my top 5 favorite death metal bands. They make music that sounds like no other, and their newest album, CODEX OMEGA, sounds like it’s gonna rip.

Need I really list a reason to go see the all mighty Meshuggah? If there is a band on this cruise that could sink it just by pure sonic heaviness, I assure you it’d happen during a Meshuggah set.

The most tech death you can get on this ship would be Obscura. Head crushing one second, then so melodic and calm. Their musical transitions are equivalent to that of jumping to lightspeed in the Millennium Falcon. Definitely a “drinking” band, also a headbanging band! Just soak these guys in while the sun bakes your brain!

One of America’s greatest and legendary exports of metal is Cannibal Corpse. They would be the only other band on this cruise that would probably force some sort of hellish activities to be conjured forward from the depth of the deep dark blue and destroy the boat (FYI: doubtful), but I mean that’s fucking Nathan Explosion. All I’m saying.

Yaaarrrr, that be me picks for for this year’s monstrously heavy metal cruise, ya land lover! Ok, but for real, I hope this shed some light on how amazing and heavy as fuck this cruise is going to be.

Here’s the other 11 announced so far,
Dark Tranquility
In Extremo

October Tide
Primal Fear
Sonta Arctica

This cruise be from Feb 1-5, 2018, which means this will be an amazing way to thaw out from the previous winter months. For more info on lodging and booking the cruise check out their website here:

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