Since the split of The Dillinger Escape Plan at the end of 2017, every move of each respective member has been closely watched by their loyal global fanbase, Greg unsurprisingly not the exception. With his project The Black Queen releasing two albums revealing an unfamiliar side to Greg’s writing, future releases could take any direction. Would we receive the 80’s electro pop and grooves of ‘Fever Daydream’ or the aforementioned face melting roars in the likes of ‘Party Smasher’?
The answer is confusingly neither and both. Child Soldier: Creator Of God is ‘everything you wanted’ but also at the same time shifts your understanding of how Greg writes and where he pulls his influences from. It is refreshingly new but distinctly familiar.
The opening track ‘Heaven of Stone’ starts with calmly spoken, almost whispered lyrics. This eases you into ‘Creator of God’ which would not be amiss on a The Black Queen album until two minutes in when a siren of white noise leads you into ‘Fire for Water’, written with Greg’s Dillinger hat on.
The album continues to explore every corner of Greg’s mind with the metal heavy, ‘Do You Need Me To Remind You’ to the straight up 4/4 beat and 90’s vocals and riffs of ‘Down When I’m Not’. ‘Evacuation’ Trent Reznor could have easily penned. For an album that is dauntingly 65 minutes long it pulls you in multiple directions before peacefully setting you down with ‘September City’ wondering where that last hour has gone.
Dillinger always composed music and performed shows on their own terms and Greg is continuing his legacy with the same mentality. In starting his label Federal Prisoner he stated it was “an important control element” behind the music he puts out. If he releases more material like this first effort at a solo album, long may that continue.