Listening to Mirrorcell is rather like looking through the possessions of someone who’s just returned from a long trip. You know where they’ve been, and as a result, can easily ascertain which elements have been picked up where. So, as well as featuring some intriguing lines of thought (‘I’m entombed inside my castle where we died’), Never Wanted That, with its moody vocal and a guitar solo that cuts like a scythe, is pure Alice In Chains. One wonders whether it’s a hat tip to the grunge legend, but, given that it’s not an isolated case, it’s more likely that Mr. Cantrell’s influence has recalibrated Greg’s songwriting.
Later, Rainbow Underground, initially at least, recalls the measured approach of The Black Queen, albeit painted in more molten tones. Meanwhile, Lowered, featuring Reba Meyers from Code Orange, sounds like Siouxsie And The Banshees and is proof that while Greg is a dominant vocal presence, he’s able to adapt his voice to suit the person he’s singing with and in service of the track in question.
While Mirrorcell has clearly identifiable points of reference, it’s much more than the sum of its parts. It’s a fascinating prism through which to view the mind and motivators of an artist it’s increasingly difficult to get a beat on, given his wilful desire to never be just one thing. It’s a lesson we can all learn, powered by an awesome soundtrack.
For fans of: Dillinger Escape Plan, The Black Queen, Code Orange
Mirrorcell is released on July 1 via Federal Prisoner