There are your standard heavy metal festivals – and there is 70000TONS OF METAL. Just imagine: You’ve just returned from a beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean after spending hours enjoying the sun and white sand on a wonderful Caribbean beach. Feeling the warm wind blowing in your face, you are now sitting in a hot tub on a giant cruise ship, up close to a large stage, headbanging to your favourite band. You are watching from one of six whirlpools with a direct view of the stage on the pool deck, which is the biggest open air stage structure to sail the seas. It’s loud. It’s full of metalheads from all over the world. Sounds perfect? Well, it is ......
It’s been more than a week now since most fans have returned home from a more than successful 70000TONS OF METAL 2018 - round 8, more than a few of them still suffering from a serious case of PCD (post cruise depression) following four incredible days on board the Independence Of The Seas. More than 3,000 metalheads boarded the ship together with 61 bands, each of which was going to perform at least two shows (124 shows on 4 stages in total) during this unique event at sea. Some fans spent the shore day in Turks and Caicos with their favourite band during one of the various artist-led shore excursions. Picture yourself swimming with Meshuggah in the awe inspiring presence of majestic stingrays, or snorkeling with Aborted and Exhumed by your side to make you feel safe. Wolves on a safari? Sure, go on a coast-to-coast island tour with Wolfchant!
On top came the one of a kind All-Star performance “Jamming With Waters in International Waters” featuring members e.g. from Kreator, Sabaton, Cannibal Corpse, Destruction, Sonata Arctica, Meshuggah, Enslaved, Primal Fear, Dark Tranquility, Voivod, Seven Spires and many more, playing all time heavy metal and hard rock classics together on stage for the first time ever.
And there was another premiere, a record rather, that no one expected to be broken after last year’s peak of 74 different nationalities represented on board: 2018 beat 2017 by one more nation and proved once again that 70000TONS OF METAL is the most global cruise, uniting 75 nations on board this year. Germany, USA and Canada were among the top five of the most represented nations aboard. The youngest sailor was only 1 year old, the oldest turned 79 on the ship.
Coming up: Round 9
So watch out, Sailors: After the cruise is before the cruise. Fans can already look forward to round 9 of 70000TONS OF METAL, THE original, The World’s Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise sailing from Miami/Ft. Lauderdale to Labadee, Haiti and back, January 31 – February 4, 2019.
It's always a blessing when a band from a country so far away comes over to play in the UK, it's even more majestic when it's their second and consequential time(s). But for Scarab (previously known as Hate Suffocation), this was another step in their quest to place their beloved Egypt on the metal map. Having pummelled out their second album 'Serpents of the Nile' last year (released via ViciSolum Productions), it was clear that Scarab are to become eminent within the MENA region alongside fellow bands Myrath (Tunisia), Nervecell (UAE), Acrassicauda (Iraq), Orphaned Land (Israel) and to a newer extent Blaakyum (The Lebanon).
However fixating complete attention onto Scarab and you begin to realize this is a band breaking boundaries, opposing Governmental oppression and above all us standing up for a form of music they feel has a powerful presence and message within. This was evident at their London show, performing in front of a mere 50/60 people, it was almost as if they were born to play music; come on they've already got Bloodstock pedigree.
As the crowd began to increase and doors were well open, Atvm were the first band to set the mood for the evening.
Having only been beating around the bush for four years, you would have thought that Atvm would have had a near-perfect craft to showcase, sadly this was not the case. Despite the best efforts from Harry (vocals) and Luke (bass), the atmosphere did not ignite and the rest of the band seemed to lack confidence in their stage presence. Sure the stage width-wise was not the largest, but to compensate you can easily think of something to get the crowd going; some seem perplexed as to what to make of Atvm, with the occasional arousing cheer making itself known.
Musically they seem ok, a bit sloppy here and there and at times trying to make their set more artificial than natural. If they're to gain a name for themselves further afield, then they need to redesign their blueprints because this effort has very little to appraise for (unless being sarcastic, then it's the case of turning up...).
As soon as Atvm wrapped up their 'could-have-gone-better' set, the Egyptian horde known as Scarab were donning their make-up in traditional Pharaoh-style, setting up their stage layout and even managing to set the mood with some incense candles... the sandwalkers have arrived.
Scarab, the more beautiful sister to Nile, are no strangers to these shores. Having played Bloodstock a few years ago to a relatively-packed Sophie Stage tent, they were once again gracing us with their 'True Egyptian Death Metal' sound. Rallying out with epics such as 'Blinding The Masses', 'Valley Of The Sandwalkers' and 'Serpents Of The Nile' among others, they wasted no time in correcting the atmosphere left unbalanced by Atvm.
Tight, precise, brutal, you could probably whip out a thesaurus and find better words to describe their performance but truth be told, these are guys who know their craft, know how to put on a damn good show and above all are showing to the world that metal is global, and that it's about bloody time the Western metalheads acknowledge this.
Having had a line-up change since their first outing on British soil, with bassist Bombest, drummer Hatem El Akkad and guitarist Tarek Amr being replaced by Omar Assem, Michel Khater and Stephen Moss respectively, their sound remains unchanged... it's as if Ra spared the death of the previous incantation. Slamming away through their set like a desert storm blasting Cairo with such intensity, the sandwalkers are on the path to international recognition and a sharp contender to challenging the metal band elite.
With moshpits, the expected headbanging and sweat emerging all around, it was too clear that the crowd love this band as much as Scarab loves their fans, they will be welcomed back to British soils and indeed London anytime. As the desert storm calmed down and Horus signalling that the Egyptians are finishing their set, it was time for De Profundis to limber up, pay respect to their brothers and co-headliners in Scarab and wrap up this interesting evening.
Four albums in and eleven years of activity, not bad for a band who by far deserve more attention than they currently have. Bloodstock 2017? Why the f**k not! De Profundis came prepared for this, by unleashing a barrage of Progressive Black / Death Metal to the statically-charged crowd; after being immersed by the energy Scarab spewed out, De Profundis knew that they had a challenge on their hands and one that they achieved in style.
Here is a band who should be gracing the European shores on an annual basis, with their performance this evening leaving the crowd gasping for air or maybe thirsty for more, De Profundis show that they're no pushovers. Intricately balanced and finely tuned, these London chaps know how to leave a scar in their backyard scene, savage yet epically sound, De Profundis are a sight to behold.
Of course there is much more this band can deliver, time will come for sure as they continue the path to success, for now they're decent enough to earn themselves a slot at Bloodstock next year (Scarab in tow of course). What makes the De Profundis unit a force to be reckoned with is they're craft, perfecting it over years and mastering a sound that can be identified as their own, something that seems to lack with some bands these days.
De Profundis, Scarab and Atvm have collectively proven one thing, metal is not dead. Metal is a thriving, breathing animal that has a lot of love, passion and life coursing through it and as the night came to a close, there was indeed the feeling of ultimate satisfaction radiating from the punters. Not even the nicest smile went amiss, the crowd were left totally content.
Atvm , Scarab , De Profundis 
Egypt's premier Death Metal band Scarab are set to tour the UK in September, you can see the venues they're playing at above. Be sure to check them out as they've had a taste of previous UK performances at Bloodstock Open Air.
Their tour will be with De Profundis and guest bands.
September 15th - Underground, Plymouth
September 16th - Firebug, Leicester
September 17th - Warhorns Festival, Selby
September 18th - Black Heart, London
September 19th - Sticky Mike’s, Brighton
De Profundis are about to hit the road again, co-headlining a UK tour with Egyptian death metallers Scarab. Arranged by Concept Music Group and named the Kingdom Of Serpents tour, the five date, Zero Tolerance Magazine sponsored trek will see the two metal behemoths descending upon Plymouth, Leicester, London, Brighton and Selby – to take part in the Warhorns Festival.
These shows will conclude the touring in support of the critically acclaimed Kingdom Of The Blind album. The press reaction to the album was stunning, with Zero Tolerance Magazine branding it simply “immense”. The album is available now, directly from their label, Wicker Man Recordings...
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