ALBUM REVIEW: Greg Puciato – Mirrorcell 

Since The Dillinger Escape Plan disbanded in 2017, their enigmatic frontman appears to be a man on a mission, allowing his creative juices to flow and taking the opportunity to musically expand and collaborate like never before. 

First he created his own artistic collective and record label Federal Prisoner, delivering a second album with his experimental eightie’s influenced dark-pop / synthwave project The Black Queen, before once again joining forces with Max Cavalera and Troy Sanders to create a second record for Killer Be Killed. Then in 2020 Puciato released his debut solo album Child Soldier:Creator Of God, a critically acclaimed blend of styles and influences, incorporating everything we had come to know previously, and with a sizable dose of electronica. 

And yet somehow he now also finds the time to deliver his sophomore full length solo album.

It’s difficult to know what to expect from the album given the eclecticism of Puciato’s output over the last five years, however the intro ‘In This Hell You’ll Find Yourself’, paints a fine picture of what’s to come, as a soaring lead guitar licks over the top of a chugging riff, before they melt into a concoction of duel distortion.

The album then kicks off proper with ‘Reality Spiral’, where the guitars continue in the same vein before Puciato’s powerful, clean singing is introduced. It’s fair to say that it seems the influence of hanging out so closely with Jerry Cantrell is strong on the early part of this record, as the track bares a strong resemblance to Alice In Chains at their heaviest, with a hint of Soundgarden in the chorus. 

This continues on ‘No More Lives To Give’ with harmonised vocals on the verse. There is some haunting lead guitar work following on from an awesome solo on ‘Reality Spiral’, which shows just how impressive Puciato is as a guitarist, and it’s also worth noting that as with his debut solo record, he has performed everything bar the live drums himself on this release. 

Elsewhere, Puciato creates a smoky bar room vibe with baritone vocals, and an alluring bass hook on ‘Never Wanted That’, while on ‘Lowered’ he channels influence from the likes of The Cure and Depeche Mode. With ‘We’ he edges closest to his work with The Black Queen, with the prominent use of an 808 style drum machine. 

On ‘Eclipse’ his vocals take on an ethereal quality over a deep growling bass and dream like guitar lead, which then explodes into a heavy final riff with intense but subtle screams, before Puciato shows off further great guitar work and vocals that again bring forth memories of the late great Layne Staley on ‘Rainbow Underground’. Mirrorcell finishes with ‘All Waves To Nothing’ and is the records most aggressive track, starting off with a stoner / doom vibe and a rolling bass, before Puciato’s echoed screams take over. 

And before you know it the record is done. Somewhat of an emotionally pure rollercoaster ride, which definitely has a more cohesive sense of direction than its predecessor. And a record that, in my opinion, cements Greg Puciato as one of the finest current voices, musicians and solo artists of today.

Buy the album here:

9 / 10