Welcome on Bord of the Adrenaline Cruise 2016!
Our new member Steffen took you with him on a journey through the Baltic Sea!
The starting point was Stockholm, Sweden. The line-up had a huge musical variety from acoustic performances to punk rock up to melodic death metal. Of course, this report will focus on the two bands with female singers: Amaranthe and Imber. But before I will give my review of the cruise, here’s a short introduction into the Swedish (music)culture, which is a little unique. On one hand, the Swedish music scene is just awesome. Most of the bands – even quite unknown ones – that I have seen so far, perform on a very high level. Additionally, the bands are really energetic and put all of this energy onto the stage, so it is really a joy to watch them. And there are sooooooo many bands of all kind of genres. I heard from several sources that Swedish students “are forced” to learn at least one instrument of their choice during their time at school. This would explain such a high amount of musicians, On the other hand, Swedish crowds are quite … lame … as of 95 % of the time. Or as one Swedish singer explained to me once: “You see that the people like your music when they stand close to the stage.” And that’s really what they do most of the times. Just standing. Not even nodding with their head. If they stand in front of the stage at all! When it comes to events like this, the ordinary Swede has just one thing in mind: To get totally drunk! But let’s focus on the main event: The Adrenaline Cruise 2016. Metal Cruises are recently popping up like flowers in the Swedish summertime (in Sweden spring is equal to our winter). Most of the cruises are of course located in areas where the weather is good, with lots of sun e.g., the Mediterranean or Caribbean Sea. But the Swedes have always had their own view of nice weather! So why can’t there be a cruise on the Baltic Sea in winter time? We arrived at Stockholm at a lovely -6 °C. Big and fluffy snowflakes were falling from the sky. So we took the opportunity to take a nice walk through the white streets of Gamla Stan, the Old Town of Stockholm on our way to the ferry with its lovely name “Cinderella”. The ferry was supposed to depart at 6 p.m., we arrived at the terminal a little after 3 p.m., so still plenty of time you would think? But at the terminal there was already a scene of chaos ... Hundreds of black dressed people, partly already drunken, talking loudly at a volume of about 100 dB minimum trying to get on to the ship. We were not allowed to bring any food, alcohol or other drinks on to the ship. The trash cans which were supposed to dispose of these forbidden items were full within minutes! The custom officers and their dogs were sneaking around to see if anybody would share his drugs with them. You could really feel the spirit. After boarding, we went exploring around the opportunities of the ferry. There was a nice bar where you could hear acoustic live performances the whole evening, a small club with the “rocktrubadur” and metal karaoke and the main area, a bar with a nice stage. The area in front of this stage had a capacity for about 200 – 300 persons, but the surrounding seating areas were quite spacious. All in all, there were around 1400 metal heads on the ferry. The first concert was scheduled for 9 p.m., so there was plenty of time for dinner. The dinner showcased the opportunities such a cruise can offer to fans. Several band members had their meals in one of the two main restaurants. Elize from Amaranthe sat directly at the window of one of the restaurants enjoying a steak and offering a unique view of her to anybody who passed by. Over the evening you could find band memebers almost everywhere, participating in the karaoke or just relaxing in the bar having a beer and mixing with the fans. The first two bands to enter the main stage were Beside the Bridge and Crunge. These first acts gave a taste of what was to come. The bands put up a good show even though there were only about 20 people in the audience. Everybody else was working on his or her level of alcohol consumption! But these shows also revealed that the sound system was amazing. Several speakers were placed on different locations in the area of the bar. No matter where you were standing or sitting, you always had a good sound. The third band was scheduled for 11.30 p.m. and this was the first main act of the cruise: Smash into Pieces, a hard rock band from Örebro. The area in front of the stage got really crowded and you could see a lot of fans in the audience. But … at some point between 11 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. the main risk for such an event at sea appeared: We entered Finnish sea territory. Ehm – I mean the waves were shaking the ferry a little bit from one side to the other. I am not sure if this led to problems in the schedule, but the show started with a delay of approximately 25 minutes. You could also see that sea sickness was spreading around in the audience … or maybe it was just too much alcohol?! Who knows?! Ha Ha! >< Smash into Pieces really tried their best to put on a good show, but at one point during the second or third song the singer Chris Adam lost a little bit his balance and almost fell off the stage! So for the rest of show they were a little bit more cautious. The last show of the night was Amaranthe! Woohoo!!! If you have never heard about Amaranthe before, it is a quite unique band from Gothenburg with three lead singers: Elize Ryd and Jake Lundberg for the clean vocals as well as Henrik Englund for the growling parts. Before the show I had a talk with their merch guy Maffe. He said that they left Gothenburg around 6 a.m. in the morning. Normally their trip to Stockholm takes about four to five hours, but due to the bad weather conditions it took them around seven hours this time. All of them were pretty tired from getting up early and the trip. So of course, I was a little bit worried if Amaranthe could deliver their highly energetic show. YES – they could! It was amazing as usual and the three singers really owned the stage. Elize was cute as always, wearing a nice black dress and exchanging a lot of heart signs with the fans, Henrik really knew how to push the crowd to its limits and Jake … well … talked the most! I am always amazed by the performance of the band. A lot of hair was flowing around on stage without any further balance issues! But that didn’t mean that the sea had calmed down. During one of the first songs something quite funny happened: The mixture of drunken Swedes jumping to the song on a shaky ship almost led to a moshpit. It would have been the first of the night. After the last concert the parties continued until the early morning. What a great first day! Imber was the first band to enter the stage on Saturday around lunch time. The (almost) all female metal band around singer My Andersson has published two EP’s so far: “The Breaking Point” and “The Black Swan Theory”. They are one of the upcoming bands in the Swedish music scene. It was the 5th time I’ve seen them live on stage and I was a little bit worried about how many people would be there at such an early time to see them, but it started to get crowded during the intro of the band. The show was absolutely amazing and worth seeing and has to be definitely pointed out as one of the highlights of the Adrenaline Cruise 2016. It was Imber’s best show that I’ve seen so far. You could really see that the band has grown over the past years and that they take the music and the performance more seriously. The set list contained a new song which was a little bit darker than usual. I think “Hostages” is their best song, but unfortunately it’s still not recorded, yet. I am really looking forward to new material in 2016 and hopefully this amazing band can one day be seen outside of Sweden soon. The last show of the cruise was The Unguided, second main headliner besides Amaranthe and musically my personal highlight. The Unguided are a melodic death metal band from Falkenberg. It was a nice closure to an amazing event. If you are not struggling with sea sickness, I’d recommend a cruise like this any time.
> Steffen himself