LOUDER REVIEWS: 'Child Soldier: Creator of God' - Greg Puciato
When you’ve fronted one of the greatest hardcore bands of all time (and literally shat in a plastic bag on the Reading Festival main stage), it could be difficult to go solo, but Greg Puciato has no such trouble on his debut solo album 'Child Soldier: Creator of God.' Drawing experience from both his time in The Dillinger Escape Plan and synth-focussed project The Black Queen, it is clear that Greg is combining elements from both bands, in a diverse cacophony that is sometimes beautiful, sometimes abrasive, but always uniquely Greg Puciato.
Opening with the acoustic ‘Heaven of Stone’ is a side of Greg not often seen, and it serves as a taste of the diversity to come, with the synthy ‘Creator Of God’ building up to a huge mathy breakdown in ‘Fire For Water’ that could’ve come straight off any Dillinger record. As great as those Black Queen records are, it is goosebump-inducing to hear that iconic Puciato scream again. The Black Queen was clearly Greg positioning himself as far away from Dillinger as possible, but 'Child Soldier: Creator of God' finally sees him draw from both sides of his musical life – and it is incredible that a song like ‘Temporary Object,’ with all its groove can be on the same record as the abrasive ‘Roach Hiss!’
Not only is this Greg’s most inclusive release ever, it is also the most involved he has ever been in a project – playing every single instrument except the drums on every song, and it is clear that extra level of involvement has led to a perfectly handcrafted album, that compromises on absolutely no aspect of itself. It’s a long old album, clocking in at just over the hour mark, but the journey it takes listeners on is so varied that it will feel much faster.
The only downside with this record is that it makes the absence of The Dillinger Escape Plan from our lives feel that much harder, as no matter how good Puciato is on both the synth tracks and the more TDEP inspired ones, neither quite hit the perfection that both of those bands achieved. This is an excellent record, but it does miss that special something that elevated Dillinger above just about every single other band, and maybe it is that lack of collaboration between members that has left this just falling short of that mark.
Nonetheless, this is a fantastic record, one of the best debut solo records in a long time (especially considering some other recent solo debuts), and it never feels false. Greg Puciato has put his whole spirit into this and it shows, with every aspect of this album feeling authentically part of his musical identity. Maybe some refining is needed, but this is definitely going to scratch the itch of everyone missing The Dillinger Escape Plan – let’s just hope that the live shows (whenever they may happen) also reach those same heights.
'Child Soldier: Creator of God' is out now - stream the record here:
Check out the video for 'Roach Hiss' below: