Before giving in to the big request for a new Death album in mid
'97, Chuck Schuldiner had been peddling with his Control Denied
project. A band with which he played, for a change, just guitar,
and left the vocals solely to Tim Aymar (Psycho Scream).
Although leaked out demo tapes
were received very positively by fans throughout the entire world,
Chuck couldn't get a deal with his non-grunting band. Eventually,
the project ended up in the fridge and Chuck rushed whole heartedly
into writing a new Death album, together with his Control Denied
colleagues Shannon Hamm (g), Richard Christy (d) and Scott Clendenin
This month, through Nuclear Blast,
as awaited a Control Denied album appears. Due to Chucks health
problems, the title got, of course unintentionally a total new
load. The first that strikes with "The Fragile Art Of Existence"
is that the resemblances between Control Denied and Death are
really very big. The complexity of the music is in a same lightly
way camouflaged by the vocals. The super fast bass drums and typical
Schuldiner guitar harmonies in "Expect The Unexpected" could as
easy have been on "The Sound Of Perseverance". Also the production
(Morrisound) and the involved musicians (The last Death line up
with Scott Clendenin replaced by the good old Steve DiGiorgio)
are pushing the album unmistakable towards Death.
However, Control Denied sounds,
due to the relatively clean vocals of Tim Aymar, more melodic
and Schuldiner seems to dare look a step behind the borders of
Death Metal with this band. The opener "Consumed" is very 'basic
metal' and the choral singing at the beginning of "Breaking The
Broken" and the acoustic intermezzo in "When The Link Becomes
Missing" might not quickly be found on a Death album. After all,
the almost 10 minutes during title song is, with its woolly vocal
lines, rousing guitar solo's and very anti-commercial construction
a musical adventure by itself.
It takes a while to get to know
"The Fragile Art Of Existence" through and through, but it is
worth the effort!