Published Oct 07, 2020With the end of the Dillinger Escape Plan in 2017 and continuation of the Black Queen following the latter's demise, fans of Greg Puciato's heavier tendencies have been lacking material utilizing his blood-curdling screams. Aside from one single from supergroup Killer Be Killed this year, the multi-talented musician has been largely focusing on his synthwave skills in lieu of visceral musical beatdowns.
That's changed now though as the musician embarks on his first-ever solo record, Child Soldier: Creator of God, which brings together Puciato's hardcore and metal experience, his electronic leanings and a hefty dose of industrial-tinged grunge.
Following a short acoustic-driven kickoff, Puciato brings in "Creator of God," which walks the line between the Black Queen's electronic atmosphere and Dillinger's noisier, industrial aspects. This theme of branching together various aspects of Puciato's professional career carries throughout the record too, exemplified by the quick shift to his signature hoarse screams belting out in "Fire for Water" over top of chaotic skittering hardcore.
Puciato does a good job with his well-proven strengths, but on this record, he excels in what is less expected, such as Child Soldier's grungy noise rock tracks. His passion for '90s-styled tones comes to fruition in the bass-driven "Deep Set" or the alt-rock leaning "Down When I'm Not," and while these moments shine, they don't appear often enough. In other places, some of the material on the album feels like unused ideas for the Black Queen, such as "Fireflies" or "Evacuation," which may satisfy fans of that project, but comes off as limiting.
Child Soldier: Creator of God is impressive in that it features Puciato's first pieces of solo music and displays his ability to work alone, as he composed and performed everything aside from drums. The downside of the record comes in its flow as well as restraint in pushing such a good musician's skills to their full potential. It works more like a collection of very strong singles than a cohesive album from beginning to end, but anyone who has enjoyed even a snippet of music from Puciato will have plenty to enjoy from this record. (Federal Prisoner)