Note: Corrected to reflect this will be Shiprock's fourth voyage. Also, according to the promoter: "Hot tubs."
Many moons ago, Rocks Off let you know about how the Mayhem Festival was taking their show to the high seas for a cruise this December. It seemed like the perfect vacation for the metal fan who wanted to get tropical as the weather here at home turns
cooler less hot. We thought that would be the end of sea metal discussion for the year.
Come to find out we were wrong because last week we received a press release informing us that a challenger has appeared on the horizon to test Mayhem's sea supremacy. Approaching its fourth voyage, Shiprocked sets sail a week before Mayhem with its own collection of hard-rock superstars.
Looking to go aquatic but not sure which cruise to choose? We compared, we contrasted, and we're sharing the results with you.Round One: The Headliners
Mayhem: Lamb of God, Machinehead, Anthrax, Hatebreed Shiprocked: Godsmack, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch
Some would say this is a battle of personal taste, but consider what Shiprocked is bringing to the table: Two bands that spent the last decade slowly wearing out their welcome and one band that's quickly becoming the Nickelback of loud rock.
Mayhem gives you two legends in Anthrax and Hatebreed along with two metal workhorses in Lamb of God and Machinehead. Unless Hatebreed goes dubstep between now and then, we're going to go with Mayhem on this one.
Mayhem 1, Shiprocked 0
Round Two: The Other Bands
Mayhem: Girl On Fire, Born Of Osiris, Periphery, Gojira Shiprocked: P.O.D., Sevendust, Filter, In This Moment, Helmet, Dead Sara
While we're sure the bands on Mayhem are really nice guys, there's just so few of them booked currently. Typically we go with quality over quantity, but Shiprocked has a nice balance of older acts we used to like with a pair of female-fronted modern bands (In This Moment, Dead Sara) that have really impressed us.
The good news is that if the Mayhem bands keep it up for another seven years, they can probably graduate to Shiprocked status.
Mayhem 1, Shiprocked 1
Round Three: Non-Musical Entertainment
Mayhem: Art show, Film Festival, Dancers, Comedy Shiprocked: Did we mention there were a lot of bands?
Maybe Shiprocked will announce a bunch of bonus attractions that will knock our socks off, but until then this round belongs to Mayhem. Sure, I don't think art appreciation when I think of Clown from Slipknot, but maybe he has a great eye for painting.
At least he had the good sense to partner up with Fangoria for the film-festival portion of the cruise. Nothing says tropical living like horror movies.
Mayhem 2, Shiprocked 1
Round Four: The Jon Davis Experience
Mayhem: JDevil Shiprocked: Korn
It appears that you're going to get a dose of EDM no matter which cruise you pick. For those of you who don't know, JDevil is Jon Davis's DJ side project, which mostly means he wears funny contacts and plays electro.
Meanwhile, it's hard to imagine that Korn won't play at least a few of their newer Skrillex assisted tracks. Davis never seemed like the seafaring type to us, but given the choices we're going to go with the (J)Devil we know.
Mayhem 2, Shiprocked 2
Round Five: Wild-Card Round
As you may have read previously, Randy Blythe is having some legal troubles that have already led to the cancellation of one Lamb of God tour. It's hard to predict what will happen next in the Free Randy saga, but if things stretch out long enough it goes without saying the band would have to cancel their Mayhem appearance.
The worst thing Shiprocked has going for it currently is the fact that some of the booking decisions they've made are awkward. While most of the bands fit in nicely together, Fuel and Lit both stick out like sore thumbs. We get wanting to provide as much entertainment as possible but it's still a pretty big gap between what Five Finger Death Punch do and "My Own Worst Enemy."
On the plus side, Mayhem has announced that anyone who goes on the cruise gets a free ticket to the land version of the festival for life. If you're spending $800 to get on a boat you can probably afford to catch the tour when it comes to town but that's not the point; it's a very nice gesture on Mayhem's part.
Shiprocked, being a strickly aquatic event, can't really offer anything to top that.
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Final Score: Mayhem 3, Shiprocked 2
After a back-and-forth battle, Mayhem squeaks out the win. For now.