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Barge To Hell (part 1 Of 4) in Miami, Florida (USA) am 03.12.-07.12.201

Here is our Barge to Hell report. - Enjoy DAY 1

After the tremendous success of 70000 Tons Of Metal it was time for a new experience! From 3rd-7th December 2012 the “Majesty Of The Seas”, once again our faithful vessel, set sail at the port of Miami for a NEW cruise through the Caribbean Sea – Cast off for Barge To Hell 2012!
After two days of cruising through the sea of the undead we reached our port of call: Nassau, capital city of the Bahamas. But first things first.

Although the concept of the Barge To Hell was very similar to the mentioned "70k", the organizers put their focus on more extreme bands, which meant everybody got the full blast of 41 Thrash, Death or Black Metal acts during the travel. 1223 unholy sailors signed on to first edition of Barge To Hell. In addition, there were 416 musicians and their own crew and last but not least 881 ship crew members. Therefore, we cast off with 2520 people on board, 68% male, 32% female sailors. Most sailors joined from the USA, followed by Germany, Canada, France and Australia. But there were also many sailors from South America, Sweden, Greece, Bulgaria or Spain. Finally yet importantly also sailors from Vanuatu and Kyrgyzstan made their long way to participate in this unique event. Overall 44 nationalities were represented on the ship.

The boarding shortly before noon is a smooth process at all. You simply drop off your luggage at the port and enter the security checkpoint. Directly after you were handed your so called "Seapass" at the check-in. This card is your room key, ID-card and credit card alike. Only equipped with your seapass you got the permission to enter the ship. Funny enough, the bands got no special treatment. So we stood shoulder to shoulder with the guys from Exodus and Enslaved during the check-in. Also on board, there was no backstage area or any special retreat area for the bands. They mingled with the fans during the entire trip. Moreover, they shared the same decks with the fans. Therefore, it may happen that one lives right next door to his faves for the next five days. Pretty cool stuff at all, ey?

After the check-in, we entered the ship and were once again surprised about the luxury and hugeness of the “Majesty Of The Seas”. We headed straight to our cabin, left our backpack, and met again for some lunch at the buffet room. Indian, Italian or American style... Sweet or spicy... The buffet offered top notch food for every taste. We tested the buffet rather extensively as the cabins were not completely finished. But that didn’t matter as there was so much to explore on a huge ship like the “Majesty Of The Seas“.

We set sail half an hour late, because the crew which built the pool stage faced once more some technical difficulties. Moreover, as they are not part of the party, they had to leave the ship first.
As a year ago, EXODUS officially kicked off the party shortly after we set sail. The Bay Area veterans played at the Chorus Line Theater. This venue normally is fully equipped with priority leather seating, but a few rows of seats were removed to make a mosh pit possible. Drinks were served in the seating areas during the shows here and the gallery offered an excellent view. EXODUS played an aggressive and powerful set, which offered a colorful mix of old classics and new songs. No surprises at all, but a very energetic start for the “Barge To Hell“ which really kicked ass. Not only because of the setlist, also was the sound even better than on the last cruises. Generally spoken, they did not follow the "All men play on ten" principle any longer. Instead, the sound was powerful, but not too loud, regardless the venue. This was a very pleasant circumstance, which did not change during the entire cruise.

Next up the Norwegian Black Metal band KAMPFAR took the stage at the Spectrum Lounge. The smallest of all three venues is theater and smokers lounge alike. Due to the fact, that the stage is just a foot off the ground, you feel yourself taken back to the small club gigs of the eighties immediately. The smoky club atmosphere suits perfectly to the bands, which played here. Since I had not seen KAMPFAR before at all I did not know what to expect, but they are not all that bad.

After this short intermezzo at the Spectrum Lounge we headed back to the theater to have a look on SOILWORK. And the Swedish guys impressed the audience with an energetic ass kicking performance which was mainly based on their older Melodic Death Metal orientated stuff.

Germans Thrash veterans HOLY MOSES were one of these bands, which perfectly suit the Spectrum Lounge. To the day, 30 years ago Sabina played her first gig with Holy Moses. And this birthday was widely celebrated with a best of Setlist. An awesome performance of Germans Thrash veterans.

After another cool gig at the Theater by Norwegians finest ENSLAVED, we headed straight to the Pool Deck Stage. By far the coolest stage, built upon one of the pools it's the perfect place for relaxing in the whirlpool, having some booze and taking a sunbath while watching the bands. Also at night, it's a place full of atmosphere. But when we arrived, there was silence. Sodom should have played but the light rig wasn't completely installed yet. We did not care much, because the short break was quite welcome. Short hand we stopped a waiter and ordered some booze. The waiters were always around, and took care that nobody became thirsty. They brought your orders everywhere, even straight through the moshpit into the first row.

Armed with some beer we went to the Spectrum Lounge to catch some tunes from BONDED BY BLOOD. Unfortunately for the guys there wasn't a big crowd, just around 15 die hard fans came to their first show. The reason was simple, BEHEMOTH played in the theater, which was full packed for the first time. They unleashed a beast of a show, which was widely celebrated by the fans. Although I have to say, that the stage acting was far away from being spontaneous it was an awesome show by the Polish Black Metal act.

Finally. more than two hours late, the party also started at the Pool Deck Stage. Everything was prepared for SODOM. The German thrashers were a long awaited guest, because they rarely play the US. Therefore, a huge crowd was waiting in front of the stage. And they were not disappointed. The opening ceremony on the pool deck was simply a lesson in Thrash Metal.

A big disappointment was the following, first appearance of the Doom/Death pioneers PARADISE LOST. Shouter Nick Holmes had obviously massive voice problems and the whole band seemed thereby affected in their enthusiasm. A boring show, but they did much better with their second appearance.

But KRISIUN at the Pool Deck and VITAL REMAINS at the Theater saved the day, by delivering a tremendous blast attack. Their shows were full of energy and a perfect end of the first day.
We swayed back to our cabin at 3am with two good news in mind: first thing was the very good sound at all stages and the mostly awesome performances. And second is the fact, that although the metal fans celebrated wildly, drunk and disorderly behavior was hardly ever seen again. Fortunately that did not change throughout the entire cruise again.

geschrieben am 27.12.2012   von Blizzard
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musikalischer Background des Verfassers
NWOBHM; Thrash- / Speed- / Power- / US- / Death- / Doom / Stoner Metal ; Glam / Classic/ Hard Rock & Sleaze,
X   Aktuelle Top6
1. Steel Panther "Balls Out"
2. Steel Panther "Feel the Steel"
3. Gary Moore "After the War"
4. Mötley Crüe "Shout at the Devil"
5. Judas Priest "Defenders of the Faith"
6. Carnage "Dark Recollections"
X   Alltime-Klassix Top6
1. Death "alles"
2. Savatage "alles bis Edge of Thorns"
3. Mötley Crüe "Shout at the Devil / Dr. Feelgood / Girls,Girls,Girls"
4. Overkill "Taking Over"
5. Deep Purple "Live in Japan"
6. Helloween "alles bis Keeper Pt. II"

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