70,000 tons of Metal, day three

It’s the morning after the night before and this morning the 70,000 Tons Of Metal cruise has landed at the beautiful (and wholly un-metal) surroundings of Ocha Rios, Jamaica – birthplace of Bob Marley. Thousands of metalheads descend on the town to wreak havoc and nurse gargantuan hangovers in the turquoise oceans with a bottle of Red Stripe. Stereotypical maybe, but it might just work…

Back on board in the evening the surreal folk-y metal of Trollfest invades Studio B in the first of tonight’s re-arranged sets following yesterday’s Pool Deck stage problems. If you’re after a good time and have a hankering for an accordion, look no further than the Norwegian beard enthusiasts – and their impressive cover of Britney Spears’ Toxic. Over the years the band have carved out a niche for themselves, garnering a generous cult following, perhaps down to their love of dancing. The “audience participation” portion of the evening comes in the form of a knee bend in unison and it’s oddly hypnotic. Sure, it also looks like the crowd are all sat on invisible space hoppers but when you’re in Trollfest’s world, nothing is out of the ordinary – there’s even a bloody conga line!

Trollfest: lovers of dance.

Following on in the rescheduled portion of the evening are crossover titans Corrosion Of Conformity. This being 70,000 Tons Of Metal, of course, it’s something a bit special – it’s the Blind line-up reuniting to slay once more. Karl Agell, Reed Mullin and co. should receive a much bigger ovation for their contributions to metal but the crowd in Studio B is surprisingly lacklustre. Perhaps everyone is knackered after a day drinking on the beach? But for the hundred or so people present it’s riff heaven. “I know everybody out there feels as good as I do” laughs Agell to the drinkers down front before rushing through 60 minutes of headbanging delights.

Corrosion Of Conformity: a bit special.

Back on the sodden Pool Deck stage are the masters of the six-string – Wintersun. The technicality and precision flailing across the fretboards is just a taste of the spectacle these four Finns can produce. Their unique blend of melodic death metal, speed metal, power metal and more is a sound that can unite fans of all aspects of our world, and tonight the main stage is full of countless nationalities speaking as one and belting out every word to Sleeping Stars and Death And The Healing.

Of course, the wait for the chorus can take a while — Wintersun aren’t one for three minute ditties — these are epic aural journeys with many tangents to veer off in. But they have harnessed the whoa. It’s important to never underestimate the power of the whoa that can turn any crowd into a screaming beast, none more so than during Battle Against Time. The Liberty Of The Seas is transformed into a sea of horns in the middle of the ocean as beer swillers, mosh pitters, crowd surfers, headbangers and everyone in between loses all inhibitions and gives it all up in the name of heavy metal.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.