Splintered Halo Headline gig @ Ivory Blacks, Glasgow Sep19


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Splintered Halo Headline gig @ Ivory Blacks, Glasgow

Splintered Halo Headline gig @ Ivory Blacks, Glasgow

Just a few weeks ago Splintered Halo were at the very same venue supporting their good friends Damaj on their first ever headline gig…but now it is their time to shine and they did it with style.

The first support band tonight were The Starry Wisdom Cult and they nailed it. The crowd had came to party tonight and these guys supplied the aural bunting and streamers. This Doom/ Rock band come at you straight from the off. Their sound was steeped in Black Sabbath and I felt a good bit of Blues running through their songs too.

I loved their set tonight and I will certainly be checking them out more as I am sure will everyone who attended tonight as they went down a storm.

Next up was Break The Embargo and these guys are not going to get shoehorned into any genre. They burst straight into a track that was perfect punk and then the groove went straight to early Iron Maiden which had me singing “Prowler” on the train home. Not only are these boys from Fife experts at getting bargains at your local supermarket(check out their facebook page) but they can write some cracking tunes that just ignite with life on the stage. Before much ado myself and everyone else was at the barrier going just that little bit crazy( well, you have to keep your full on crazy for the headliners tonight).

The punk energy continued throughout their set and we even had tinges of The Cult thrown in for good measure. For a band I had never heard or seen before these guys impressed me mightily…a great set and some very powerful, fast and abrasive songs.

At this point it is a good time to give promotors ZD a mention. They put on a brilliant bill, filled with sheer entertainment but they really shone with bringing The Hero Dies First all the way from Bedford for their first ever Scottish gig. I mean no disrespect to the first two bands tonight but these boys were a massive step up.

As soon as the guys plugged in and burst into “Castles” I immediately paid attention. Although they class themselves as a metal band you would put the label Metalcore on them straight away…the dual vocals, the Screams, the melodics and the down right brutality just blew me away.

As soon as that song had finished the band were taken aback with the crowds response and were smiling from ear to ear, before the grins turned to the stunning guitar and drum work on “Phantoms” from their most recently released EP Rise (watch this space for a full review shortly). This is fast, melodic and downright evil all in one.

They continued to play the remainder of the EP which is number two in a four part series with a couple of older numbers thrown in. On the last two songs we saw some incredible finger picking on the guitar which really impressed me, especially the intro to the final song “Falling From The Sky”.

If I had to sum up these guys in one word it would have to be crunchy, it fits perfectly…and Glasgow loves a bit of Crunchy(be it chocolate, pizza or metal) so make your way back here again soon guys, you kicked our ass.

I have seen Splintered Halo perform a few times now and I can honestly say they are the most original band in the city, with an amazing stage presence. Everything is immaculately thought out from the bands clothes, the masks they wear and the incredibly intricate and deeply weird songs. They have that kind of driving past a car crash mentality…you know you shouldn’t look but you cannot help yourself.

I actually love everything about the band, I am a massive Alice Cooper fan and I know for a fact the Grandfather of Shock Rock would adore this band. They are drenched in lyrical gore, their songs emanate from books, movies and real life horror stories…I mean, c’mon, what more can you ask for?

As much as you know what the band will be wearing it is the leading lady Evilyn you are always wondering what outfit will we see tonight( who said she has multiple personalities?) and tonight we have her own take on Harley Quinn( but a lot darker). We have the bikers hat, the baseball bat, the baseball jacket and the hot pants. No wonder the first song of the evening is “Mad Love”.

As much as this band are full to overflowing with imagery it is the songs and the performance of the twisted lyrical content that grabs you. Tonight alone we have rockers, punks and out and out thrashers in the crowd and each and every one of them loves this band, they are fresh and exiting and really do offer something different.

As Evilyn introduces “I Bathe In Blood” which she dedicates to a hero of hers(Elizabeth Bathory, from Transylvania who abducted, killed and bathed in the blood of virgins) you know this woman’s dreams are not of unicorns and fluffy kittens…I am also checking that baseball bat for blood staines and I cannot confirm one way or the other the outcome of said search.

The song up next is probably my favourite “ Dark Side Of Oz”, yes it is based on the movie and it also has a great and unusually placed sing along of “ Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. With songs so dark and twisted you feel a little bit guilty and a whole lot dirty that you are having so much fun.

The band took to this stage as headliners with ease, in fact the stage was far to small for them(Evilyn did step of it at one point) but when I say that I mean the band and the songs deserve an almost broadwayish stage set, numerous backdrops and props the likes of Mr Cooper has made his trademark.

I want to see the story of each song unfold in the warped minds of this band, I want covered in blood, I want human face masks, I want Mad Matters, Leatherface and the Jekyll and Hyde from new song “Duality Of Personality” on the stage. I want to see Evilyn’s scary adaptations unfold from her mind as well as her mouth.

You may be able to tell that I kind of like this band and everything they stand for and as I said the songs are very strong as are the musicians that play them, they are no supporting actors that is for sure. With the angry and ferocious Griever on drums to the outstanding guitar work from Jabberwocky and Slender to the backbone of the band The Dandy Man on bass. The man who broke his guitar strap and decided to sit crossed legged on the stage to finish the song before being assisted with one of Jace Media’s reviewers to rehouse his buttocks on a stool…all the while looking mean and moody.

Splintered halo’s first headline gig was a complete success and I look forward to many more but on a far larger stage. The band are also releasing their debut album on halloween(when else would it have been?) so keep your eyes peeled here for a review of the album and possibly some ghostly goings on from the band.

Review and Images Ritchie Birnie

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