Barge To Hell Cruise Recap Part 2

For Part 1 of our recap go here.

Continuing on with our five day cruise on the Barge To Hell here is our round up of what we saw on Day 2…

FESTIVAL DAY TWO – Tuesday, December 4rd
By Adrien Begrand, Albert Mansour and Sean Palmerston

ARTILLERY, Pool stage, 10:00 AM
Things got underway much too early on Tuesday morning, with reunited Danish thrash troupe Artillery playing their first set of the cruise at the ungodly hour of 10 AM. This was my second time seeing the quintet this year, but first with brand new singer Michael Bastholm Dahl. Earlier in the year the band was still fronted by Soren Ademson, who was a decent frontman but not the best fit for the band. Dahl, in comparison, has an excellent voice but his onstage presence needs a lot of help. Dahl seemed to always be in the way of guitarist Michael Stutzer and had some of the most awkward in-between song banter ever heard. Maybe he just doesn’t speak English that well, but his banter was really bizarre. Despite this the band put on an excellent set, playing both old and new songs and staying tight throughout. (Sean)

ZANTHROPYA EX – Small stage indoors, 10:45 AM
I had to eat some breakfast after Artillery, but Albert made his way over to get some shots, including this one.




MORGOTH, Pool stage, 11:30 AM
After five hours of sleep I groggily headed up for the last half hour of brunch. I missed Artillery unfortunately, but caught Morgoth. After every song the vocalist would talk about morning and breakfast. “Good morning! Did you have your breakfast?” Every time. Then when the set ended just after noon he said, “Thank you, good night!” What, what about lunch? (Adrien)

Morgoth played a great set, but vocalist Marc Grewe’s onstage banter was both hilarious and bizarre. He kept asking if everyone had breakfast and if anyone had any raw meat for breakfast. He then went on to talk about eating raw meat for breakfast, between almost every song. And yeah, as Adrien mentioned, he then said ‘good night’ at the end of their set. Maybe he was still on German time. (Sean)

SEITA, Small stage indoors, 12:15
I said I’d pace myself better than I did on 70,000 Tons of Metal, but there I was nodding off at 12:30 in the comfy chairs in the Spectrum Lounge. Nothing against Brazilian-by-way-of-Amsterdam band Seita, whose thrash/early death metal hybrid is quite passable (think Hatesphere), but I was wiped. So I crashed for an hour and groggily tried to recharge at lunch. (Adrien)

LOUDBLAST, Pool stage, 1:00
Didn’t get to see their set, butI must say that my lunch on this day was excellent. Albert was there to take a few pics. Here is one of them. (Sean)




ABIOTIC, Small stage indoors, 1:45
Also missed Abiotic, but here is proof that they did indeed play, courtesy of Mr. Mansour. Doesn’t this guy kinda look like Steve Vai in the little pic? (Sean)





SACRED REICH, Pool stage, 2:30
The blazing sun was finally out, the pool deck stage now running smoothly and on time, and the people were out in full force. Sacred Reich came on at 2:30 and played a fun set of favourites including “The American Way”. “We haven’t put out a new record, so we’re amazed there are people out there who still give a shit about us.” (Adrien)

Surprise set of the afternoon! These Arizona thrashers came out and gave it their all, including a spirited cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”. Bassist/vocalist Phil Rind proved to be funnier than I ever remember him being, especially when he was telling everyone to go eat at guitarist Riley Arnett’s burger joint “because it’s really good, and I don’t just say that because we’re in a band together, I say it because I am a fat man and I know good food!” I forgot how great these guys were. (Sean)

The more extreme the metal cruise, the more people wear jeans and long black pants on a scorching 30 degree afternoon on a pool deck. It’s quite amazing. (Adrien)

NECRONOMICON (Canada), Small Stage indoors, 3:15
Having seen these guys so many times over the years I skipped out on checking them out again on the cruise, but Albert did make it over to snap some shots. (Sean)



BRUJERIA, Pool Stage, 4:00
I don’t get Brujeria, sorry. Mid-afternoon on Day Two on the pool deck is the absolute best time slot on any of these cruises (Ensiferum and Forbidden absolutely slayed at 70,000 Tons), and Barge organizers wasted it on this joke of a band. Had Municipal Waste played at this time, the party would have been raucous instead of people standing bored, wondering what the masked Mexican dude with the machete was so angry about. And what are Jeff Walker and Shane Embury doing playing in an angry Mexican grindcore band? (Adrien)

Uggghhh. Dear Jeff Walker, please concentrate on that new Carcass album instead. (Sean)

SOLSTAFIR, Small Stage indoors, 5:00
It was a long wait in the day, but the great music finally started at five o’clock in the Spectrum Lounge with a fantastic performance by Solstafir. The Icelandic band played such gorgeous songs as “Ljós í Stormi” and the beautiful “Fjara”, as a good crowd, which included the members of Enslaved, looked on, the darkening sky seen through the windows flanking the stage. (Adrien)

I must admit I had never listened to this group before seeing their live set, but their performance was enough to make me check out their most recent album on Season Of Mist since my return home. Nice stuff, very well executed and the band on the cruise most resembling gypsies by a longshot. (Sean)




Corrosion of Conformity were next on the pool stage, but despite their legacy, groundbreaking music, and strong new album there was quite a small crowd to see them. Perhaps it was indicative of how the audiences here tend to skew toward the European, and there doesn’t seem to he much of an appetite for Southern sludge here. Which is a shame, because Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin played a fantastic set. (Adrien)

Always good, COC did not disappoint. Woody Weatherman was ripping out the guitar riffs left and right while bassist Mike Dean, looking so laid back in a battered jean jacket and jeans, traded vocals with Reed Mullin while slinkering around the stage. Woody and Mike have this crouching jam they do that looks like Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s “huddle” position and it’s a great way to tell the band was playing with each other, not to each other. Like Adrien said, great set. (Sean)

NAPALM DEATH, Main stage indoors, 6:45
The first theatre show of Tuesday night was Napalm Death, who impressed mightily, thanks in large part to the outspoken, eloquent, and incredibly manic Barney Greenway. I appreciate any grindcore vocalist who is courteous enough to explain what the songs are about before yelling unintelligibly. (Adrien)

The only thing I can find to complain about Napalm’s set was the inability to hear Mitch Harris’s screams for the first few songs. After that, nothing short than brilliant. (Sean)

MAYHEM, Main stage indoors, 7:45
Mayhem by the pool was exactly as you’d think it’d be like. Mayhem looking a little awkward trying to come across as scary on the pool deck of a cruise ship. Granted, they stayed in character, perpetually dramatic frontman Attila Csihar brandishing his skull piece, his faux-bloody face looking like a two year-old who just fed itself marinara. It was essentially present day Mayhem shtick, with hilarious merchandise that made light of their criminal past (“Burn your local church”), songs that rarely wavered from the same riff and rhythmic patterns, and a rather safe sense of macabre. Fun, but just a little deflating. (Adrien)

Uh, what was that? Blllleeeaaargh. I recognized their bald guitarist for being the fellow with the English accent the night before complaining that extreme metal should not be on a boat. Um, yeah, enjoy your paycheque. (Sean)

HACKNEYED, Small stage indoors, 8:15
I have no idea why, but we were still watching Mayhem (and then scratching our heads afterwards) while Hackneyed played. Albert snuck down and shot pics of them, one of which is here. He was apparently the only person to show up for their meet and greet too. That trooper… (Sean)



SANCTUARY, Main stage indoors, 8:45
While the decision of retiring Nevermore to resurrect Sanctuary may not be the most popular one, after seeing them play a set like this it’s hard to argue with the decision. Warrel Dane actually looked kinda happy up there and the band was tight as fuck. Good set. (Sean)



AT THE GATES, Pool stage, 9:45
At The Gates took the pool stage at 9:45, and while it took a whole for people to trickle out to the 12th floor deck, it turned out to be as heavily attended a set as expected. They didn’t disappoint, either, playing for 75 minutes and sounding terrific on such classics as “Under the Serpent Sun” and the crowd favorite “Blinded by Fear”. (Adrien)

10 Fucking Skulls! (Sean)

HAVOK, Small stage indoors, 9:45
We were busy getting our nuts blown off by At The Gates and missed this club stage set by Denver’s Havok. Bad scheduling, sorry guys, but Albert got some pics. (Sean)











MOONSPELL, Main stage indoors, 11:00
My mom taught me a long time ago that if you don’t have anything good to say then sometimes it’s better to say nothing at all. Here’s a nice picture from Albert. (Sean)



MUNICIPAL WASTE, Small stage indoors, 11:15
“We apologize for bring the shortest band in metal,” said Municipal Waste vocalist Tony Foresta. “To those of you in the back we must look like smurfs with bandanas.” While Moonspell played their bloated, mediocre Euro-metal below in the theatre, the always lovable Municipal Waste played a raucous set in the tiny Spectrum Lounge, highlighted by a cameo by Barney Greenway on “Wolves of Chernobyl”, a “Bermuda Triangle of Death”, as well as a rolling lounge chair mosh pit started by some industrious – and well lubricated – fans. A great set, but this would have been a triumph on the pool deck in the afternoon. The schedule planners really blew it. (Adrien)

Chair mosh! Chair mosh! If only Paul Ferritto could have been there. (Sean)


SEPULTURA, Pool stage, 12:00 AM

I don’t exactly consider Sepultura to be a particularly relevant band these days, and was completely surprised by just how big a reception they got at the pool stage, from not only the fans, but the media as well. The photo pit was a total zoo, at times three people deep. But Sepultura actually were outstanding, guitarist Andreas Kisser leading the way, singer Derrick Green an imposing figure, and the very talented new drummer Eloy Casagrande throttling the living daylights out of his kit. Typically it was all about the staples, songs like “Beneath the Remains”, “Refuse/Resist”, “Dead Embryonic Cells”, “Arise”, and “Roots Bloody Roots” sending the big crowd into a frenzy. (Adrien)

POSSESSED, Main stage indoors, 1:00 AM
I didn’t quite know what to expect from Jeff Beccera and his band of hired hands, but an unusually big crowd showed up in the theatre at one in the morning, and the band proceeded to deliver a shockingly good set comprised of classic Possessed material. I wasn’t the only one impressed, too, because the next morning there were plenty of people sporting Possessed t-shirts bought at the merch table. (Adrien)

This was the set that all the other bands were at. And no, I really wasn’t all that surprised that Tompa from At The Gates knew every fucking word to every song either. Much better than the set I saw them put on at MDF a few years back. (Sean)

Although I really wanted to see Grave, it was time to turn in after Possessed’s set, as we had to get up early for our full day in Nassau! (Adrien)

GRAVE, Pool Stage, 2:00 AM
Here’s one last photo from Grave’s late night pool stage set, which we all missed except for Albert. I really wanted to see them again, but after going all day to see bands since 10 AM I couldn’t keep my eyes open.(Sean)



That is it for our coverage of Day 2 of the Barge To Hell. Come back on Monday, Dec 17th for the next instalment, containing Day 3. 

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.