» Close-Up Boat 2010 Part 2  
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Reviewed by Martin
Special guests: 2000 metalheads
City: The frozen Baltic Sea
Venue: Silja Galaxy
Date: 26 February 2010
Bands: Tribulation, Caliban, Sonic Syndicate

To a festivalgoer used to crawling into a freezing tent, sleeping in your own cabin, in a proper bed with real linens is a bit awkward. But let me tell you - you wake up relaxed and ready for another day of mayhem. I and my friends Mats and Rebecka warm up with an all you can eat and all you can drink taco buffet - never mind that it's only 11 am - the Koff I ingested at 11.01 am tasted just fine, haha.


Properly satisfied with our breakfast we are good and ready for some more metal when Tribulation take to the stage. Starting out with a breathtakingly beautiful intro that sends shivers down my spine in anticipation, I'm marvelled by how young this band is. Last year's "The Horror" was one of my favourite records of 2009 - a record that sounded like it had been recorded in Sunlight Studio in 1991- and we all know how good that music was, don't we? Tribulation's concert is tight, aggressive and groovy, and I get really impressed by what this stalwart gang of youngsters is able to churn out. The talk between songs the band simply ignores - they're here to play hateful music and nothing else. When the final song ebbs away the band just walks off stage - no thank yous whatsoever, a thing somewhat cool in my eyes.

6 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)


Caliban's gig on 2007's Eastpak Antidote Tour with amongst others Soilwork showed me than the German metalcore band doesn't deserve the shrug of the shoulder that more than a few bands in the somewhat watered down genre generally deserves. Caliban's gig on the Close-Up Boat proved that I wasn't mistaken in my first impressions of the band. The mixture of the grinding parts, the heavier than thou breakdowns and the very strong melodic elements made me all grins by what I experienced from the sonic onslaught of the band. The mandatory Wall of Death wasn't as massive as usual, but nevertheless got the thumbs up by main-growler Andreas Dörner. Caliban work their asses off on stage, and the power is just awesome - a fact earned by heavy duty touring - and two bands down, day 2 of the cruise proves more aggressive, heavier and as far as I'm concerned, better than day one.

7 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

Sonic Syndicate

The fact that Dark Tranquillity cancelled their gig to go on a quite lengthier tour in the U.S. and that the replacement became Sonic Syndicate didn't make me happy (alongside quite a few others I imagine). The band's quite bland metal is just a bit too polished and made for radio airplay to completely wow me. To the band's defence I have to say that Sonic Syndicate's gig on the Close-Up Boat isn't as bad as I have experienced before on quite a number of occasions. New singer Nathan James Biggs' voice is quite enjoyable, especially on the more clean vocals, and bassist Karin Axelssons' one woman powerhouse is very good. The band has honed their performance by touring, and touring, and touring so their lowest level is more than up to par. I nevertheless feel that for me Sonic Syndicates' music doesn't do the job.

5 chalices of 10

(sorry, no setlist)

On the whole the Close-Up Boat was a memorable and fun event, and should you want to experience a 24 hour binge drinking event coupled with some very good metal - I strongly advise you to embark on the cruise next year.

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