A very special treat was gifted to those of us who are Greg Puciato fans and were anxiously awaiting his debut self titled album titled Child Soldier: Creator of God on October 23. Thanks to some cock (jerk wanna-be album reviewer) deciding to totally ignore Greg’s official release date and take it upon himself to leak the album onto the worldwide piracy webs. Whilst that was, as we all agree, a pretty fucking shitty thing to do to an independent artist who has spent years crafting his solo career, it was a bonus for those of us who actually pre-purchased the album and it dropping into our inboxes on Friday, October 2 at 4:42am; three magnificent weeks early! I pre-ordered the numbered vinyl version in July and would’ve gladly waited until the end of the year for it, because based on everything Greg has touched (Dillinger, Killer Be Killed, The Black Queen) being more platinum than gold I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed….So was it worth the wait?
On all levels, more than YES!
Knowing Puciato’s varied musical background fairly well, I had an inkling of what to expect but would never have assumed anything. Child Soldier: Creator of God is pretty far removed from TDEP; more TBQ meets NIN meets psycho angry metal rebellious artist type. More leaning towards the former hearing Greg definitely embracing the noir cathartic electro ambience of reflection as opposed to the bone-breaking, skin slicing torment of the Puciato of old The Dillinger Escape Plan.
“Heaven Of Stone” greets the listener at the entrance of the album. It is a very simple prelude; reflective, slow, quiet subtle lead-in and nothing but a solo acoustic guitar accompanying a breathy and high pitched Greg serenading us into the unknown. “Creator of God” is our first audible glimpse at Greg’s influences of old creeping in. Dark hypnotic synthwave opening heavily effects-driven deep slow drone melting vocals introduced with guitars and drums. Seemingly “Creator of God” is the title track of the album and where the pulse of this creation takes hold. It has many haunting faces and still refuses to give us a clear path of the journey we are about to undertake. At a minute and eight seconds the song lulls to a distant heartbeat as closer Puciato hugs us tenderly for another minute where out of the blue for nearly another minute an intolerable sonic wave of white noise pushes the album to a limit the listener knew was coming but not quite sure when…”Fire For Water”, the first glance into the album and if you have been waiting for the album to be released and not listened to anything yet (like I did!) well then – congratulations; but if you had a festering Dillinger itch that needed to be scratched then my friends you know that “Fire For Water” is that NIN influence being showcased proudly but certainly in no way overdone. At under three minutes, it leaves a satisfying grin staining our faces as we graciously get pummelled by Greg all over again. Again though as with “Creator Of God” this song is distinctly broken up into various parts or even chapters. The first being as initially described, then a straight gut-punching monotonous riff and being screamed at as only GP can. Part three is two haunting riffs, kick drum and snare backed by one bass note plus discordant keyboard as he screams with poignant angry familiarity. And into the second track released from the album “Deep Set” is a collage of influence where not only myself but many others can hear with absolute clarity. Both “Fire For Water” and “Deep Set” are one beating heart of a pair of conjoined twins desperate to separate but not wanting to leave their sibling discarded and ignored. Both songs are readily digestible on YouTube for you to enjoy which I insist you must. Only a third of the album deep and yet we are still to unwrap the beauty within its core.
But the deeper down the Puciato rabbit hole we go, the more wonderful treasures both good, evil, happy, sad, avant-garde and discordant we graciously consume.
Imagine a mid to late eighties high school movie now if you will please. The bullied kid has had enough, nothing to live for and everything to give up on. Walks home almost in tears/cut scene to bedroom wearing headphones, falls backwards onto his/her bed and contemplates existence. I know you can do it ‘cos you and I both know that we’ve all been there. “Temporary Object” is your soundtrack right now. It is the soundtrack to our existence and quite simply why we are actually fans of Greg Puciato isn’t it? Fade out…
…Fade in “Fireflies” an almost contradictory uplifting song. Positively menacing with a slow pulse, purely synth-driven with GP reaching into our innermost core. Puciato’s soul, voice and intent has touched many MANY people such as myself. This is the album Greg Puciato wittingly had to write, purge and release. Bringing forth and seemingly relieving so many emotions and feelings through artistic connection. Child Soldier: Creator of God is a thirteen song memoir from a man that is all too aware of how to guide his listeners through both mire and paradise. So in summation, whilst I have barely spoken of the album in its entirety I hope the passion poured into my brief description of Greg Puciato’s debut should be enough to make you journey once again through his mind.