|EVIL SCARECROW LEAVE ECSTATIC CROWD BEHIND IN GLASGOW
Evil Scarecrow/Dog Tired/Splintered Halo
The Cathouse, Glasgow
Thursday 26th January
Words: Johnny Main, Pictures: Carlan Braid
This was my first time seeing avant garde Metal band Splintered Halo, and they certainly know how to put on a show. Only Evilyn, the charismatic vocalist, has any kind of recognisable identity, with the other band members remaining firmly 'faceless' behind their masks in this Heavy Metal feast packed with melodic hooks, technical drums, soaring solos and occasionally some dirty grooves.
The band have quite a big local following, and there was a good sized audience packed into the venue as the lights went down and the band walked on stage for their thirty minute set. From start to finish it was a very theatrical performance from Evilyn. She has a huge personality whether she's dressed as Linda Blair from 'The Exorcist' or a more a gothic version of Dorothy Gale from 'The Wizard of Oz' (complete with Toto in a miniature wicker basket) and she certainly has a powerful voice which ranges from tuneful singing to a more Metalcore based growl.
Musically the band were tight as they ran their five song set and, overall, they manage to successfully create songs about historical or comic book characters better than some attempts I've seen in the past. Amongst the highlights were 'Dark Side Of Oz' and 'I Bathe In Blood', the latter of which was written about Countess Elizabeth Bathory, with Evilyn playing every part with relish as she prowled the stage.
As far as the rest of the band were concerned, drummer Griever put in a sterling performance at the back whilst the guitar of Slender was, for the most part, drowned out by the rest of the performance – still, he made a good spectacle during his solo sections. All in all an interesting set from a band who I'll definitely be looking out for in the future.
Splintered Halo Setlist:
Dark Side Of Oz
I Bathe In Blood
Bloodshed In Wonderland
Splintered Halo are:
Evilyn – Lead Vocals
Slender – Guitar
Jabberwocky – Guitar
The Dandy Man – Bass Guitar
Griever – Drums
Next up were Penicuik's finest, riff mongering Metal beast Dog Tired, who've been off the radar for sometime, so it's nice to see the band back in action and their special guest performance here shows they've lost none of their spirit or passion for playing, as guitarist Luke James so eloquently put it, “Heavy Fuckin' Metal”!
A slick, professional, loud, heavy, entertaining, loud, committed, unforgiving (and did I mention loud) – I mean how many more superlatives do you really want? – performance all told. This band are going places, that's for sure because they are the complete package – from the powerhouse vocals of Chris Thomson led the way throughout their thirty minute set whilst bass player Barry Buchanan and drummer Keef Blaikie are the engine room keeping things solid and dependable at the back.
Then of course you have James on guitar – not only the lifeblood of this band, but a towering musical force who makes everything he does look effortless with guitar riff after guitar riff driving the songs on.
A batch of tracks from their last album, 'It Came From The Sun' were executed perfectly, well, almost perfectly except for a slight issue with Thomson's microphone going down during the performance of the title track, but he just switched over the James' mic without a second thought and didn't, as I've seen many times before, make a drama out of the situation ensuring none of the momentum was lost.
Throughout their set, the tightly packed crowd head banged and jostled for position with those who just wanted a better view as the band relentlessly powered through their set. The long and short of it, is that if you like your music heavy, then this is a band that should be on your list – if they're not already on there – a simply outstanding performance from start to finish.
Dog Tired Setlist:
Storm Of Hammers
It Came From The Sun
Dog Tired are:
Chris Thomson – Lead Vocals
Luke James – Guitar
Barry Buchanan – Bass Guitar
Keef Blaikie – Drums
So, to the headliners for the evening, Evil Scarecrow, on what was their second ever Scottish performance, and their large fan base turned out in force to see them. Like Dog Tired before them, Evil Scarecrow have been pretty quiet lately with just a handful of gigs in 2016, but they seem to be kicking off 2017 on a solid footing judging by this performance.
The audience were eased into things with the bands intro (The Scorpions 'Rock You Like A Hurricane'), and that's what they pretty much did throughout their sixty minute set, which was strewn with smoke bombs, theatrical props and some very fine tunes indeed with front man Dr Rabid Hell having the packed audience in the palm of his hand from start to finish.
The band, especially Dr Rabid Hell, interacted well with the audience throughout the entire set. Despite his name, he's an amiable chap who reduced the audience to laughter on several occasions and he also, along with guitarist Brother Dimitri Pain, seemed to be having the time of their lives on stage. Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist proved his monumental drumming skills time and again throughout their set, and provided a seriously heavy foundation for the songs throughout the set.
Drawing heavily from their 2014 'Galactic Hunt' album, the band performed some seven tracks from it including 'The Book Of Doom', which saw the book itself brought ceremoniously on stage by The Librarian (aka Princess Luxury) before Brother Dimitri Pain read a short passage from it, in a moment of theatrics that was warmly applauded by the audience before the track finally kicked off. Other highlights included 'End Level Boss' and set closer 'Crabulon' whilst 'Dance Of The Cyclops', described by Dr Rabid Hell as a "Heavy Metal waltz" may have slowed the pace of the set down, but it did actually get the packed crowd dancing much to his delight.
The bands new single, 'Hurricanado', was also included late in the set but it was the one-two strike of 'Morbid Witch' and the stone cold classic 'Robototron', especially, that got the loudest reception of the night. Always a popular number, the latter had not only the bands own robots on stage but a couple of punters even took the time and effort to build their own costumes (out of cardboard and tinfoil - Blue Peter style), much to the delight of the band, especially Dr Rabid Hell. When it came to the chorus it seemed that everyone got involved doing the robot actions, even gifted Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist slipped into the audience with a side-drum to make sure that no-one at the back was slacking.
Evil Scarecrow left an ecstatic crowd behind in Glasgow, thanks to their solid set and their superb choice of support bands ensuring that all the musical bases were covered. If you haven't seen the Scarecrow live in their fantastically evil action, then they come very highly recommended, not only by me and a host of others here at MetalTalk Towers, and I'm hoping it won't be long before they head back up to Glasgow – just next time, they should book a bigger venue!
Evil Scarecrow Setlist:
The Architect Of Hate
The Book Of Doom
Dance Of The Cyclops
Blacken The Everything
End Level Boss
Evil Scarecrow are:
Dr Rabid Hell – Performing Illegal Medical Operations/Vocals
Brother Dimitri Pain – Time Travel/Lead Guitar
Kraven Morrdeth – Planning Executions/Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Chucky The Bastard – Keyboards
Princess Luxury – Organising Swan Fights
Ringmaster Monty Blitzfist – Handling Dangerous Animals/Drums