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Barge To Hell…

Ain’t A Bad Place To Be! Day 4

Posted on Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 13:57:10

"Metal" Tim Henderson

The inaugural Barge To Hell - "The World's Most Extreme Metal Cruise" from the creators of 70000 Tons Of Metal - travelled from Miami, FL to Nassau, Bahamas and then back to Miami, FL from December 3rd to 7th and BraveWords took part in the journey! Check out "Metal" Tim Henderson's Day 4 report below. Day 3 can be read at this this location.

Day 4: Wednesday, December 5th: Heading Home

We awake to cloudy skies and scattered showers. Mere minutes after, my running shoes are on, and mere yards from the port (left) side of the ship, a rainbow appears in its full glory, so close you can nearly touch it. I immediately think of Ronnie James Dio and get on with the day’s head-clearing exercise. When the sun finally burns through, the most attended event takes places: the standard belly-flop contest, which is judged by members of Enslaved, Exodus, Grave and Moonspell. Seven contestants aimed for gold in the hilarious and painful event!

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

Photo credit: Charlene Tupper

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

Must mention the cool Barge To Hell merch on offer. As well, a room dedicated to all band merch satisfied patrons as the lineup was pushing a half hour just to get in. Top t-shirt was the unnamed “Burn Your Local Church” garment that Mayhem had on offer. Suffice to say, my swag bill exceeded my booze bill by three times. You gotta support the bands and wear the colours.

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

By the pool, a rare appearance from Greece’s Rotting Christ was followed by another well-attended thrashfest by Jeff Becerra and company which closed off at sunset with the fitting ‘My Belief’. The opposite genius of Enslaved (who performed the LED ZEPPELIN classic ‘Immigant Song’) and Soilwork would continue to entertain pool-side while Corrosion Of Conformity and Sepultura filled the void inside. Björn “Speed” Strid and co. performing literally in the eye of the storm, with radiant lightning providing the ultimate light show for onlookers all around us as they spread their melodically vicious brand of Swedish speed! Nergal led the black metal crusade for Behemoth’s final set of the cruise with the palatable ‘Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth’/’Demigod’ setting the tone for the evening’s pillaging.

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

Photo credit: Charlene Tupper

It was time to return inside for Sodom as they revisited much of their past, including a ripping version of their wartime classic ‘Agent Orange’. Which reminds me of another rock star run-in, with Bernd “Bernemann” Kost, during Mayhem’s bizarre performance (ritual) where I turned to the guitarist and said, ‘You really helped nurture this,’ of course referring to Sodom’s earlier material such as In The Sign Of Evil and Persecution Mania. He laughed and agreed, telling me that they had crossed paths on many tours. It was certainly time to party, but there were a few formalities to focus on in terms of getting documentation ready for US customs and luggage set (before midnight). Once that was complete, it was time for the ‘formal’ Exodus attack, the band delivering heavy doses of ‘A Lesson In Violence’, ‘Fabulous Disaster’ and ‘And Then There Were None’ dressed in tuxedos! Then Gary Holt suddenly passed his white Flying V to SEPULTURA’s Andreas Kisser for a blistering version of ‘Piranha’, while Tomas Lindberg joined Exodus onstage and sang ‘Bonded By Blood’ with Rob Dukes.

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

Photo credit: Håkon Grav

I noticed Ola Lindgren from Grave cradling a Corona and I had to buy him one and thank him for the mark Soulless made on me and BraveWords, the album still pulsing through my veins nearly 20 years later. A perfect ending to hell!

My only complaint (!) was that they needed more bands that sucked. Seriously. There was no lull. And you certainly couldn’t miss a thing.

As you will see in the coming days, BraveWords had the honour of conducting numerous interviews with some of the bands on board including Sepultura, Behemoth, Mayhem, Moonspell, Possessed and Rotting Christ. We tackle numerous topics, like going from the garage days to a cruise liner, sun and tattoos, preparing your art for the sometimes rollicking high seas and whether of not the cruise life is for you. Andreas Kisser talks at great lengths about the band’s current activities, including their documentary and his fetish with THE BEATLES. Nergal digs deeper about his court case, new material and his book negotiations. Necrobutcher reveals more about the follow-up to 2007’s Ordo Ad Chao. The charming Fernando Ribeiro talks about celebrating 20 years as Portugal’s most famous metal outfit and the state of the biz. A moving chat with Jeff Becerra along with his parents (!) about being possessed and his impact on the bands around him. Through Sakis Tolis’ broken English, we go deep into the political/social issues in Athens and the “Greek bankruptcy” (his quote) in general.

Barge To Hell… ain’t a bad place to be indeed!

Check out more galleries below:
Håkon Grav Gallery
Charlene Tupper Gallery

And don't forget The World's Biggest Heavy Metal Cruise which will sail Monday, January 28th aboard the Royal Caribbean Majesty Of The Seas from Miami, FL to Cockburn Town on Grand Turk Island, and will not return to the real world for four days until Friday, February 1st. Check out for more information.