1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

Some words about this site

t the end of 1998 we came up with the idea of making a site about Death and concentrated on what was written about them in Europe. Our main goal was to use material that wasn't on the internet already and to put up a lot of articles.

e began digging ourselves through the pile of magazines we had and tore out every article we could find related to Death. There were so many good articles that we thought it would be nice for fans in the rest of the world to read them also. In the meantime we started to think about the lay out of the site.

hen came the biggest part of work the translating of Dutch and German articles into English, realizing that "translating remains mutulating" (M.A. Schwartz in the foreword of his translation of Homerus' Odyssey). We called in the help of our American friends, Adam, and later on Colleen (thanks again guys, this site would not be what it is today without your help) to correct our English so we would violate as little as possible.

ermission was asked to the magazines to use their stuff, we got all the help we wanted from their side. We also wanted permission from Chuck to go along with it, and the first contacts were made with Nuclear Blast America (Maria at that time, later on Paula, and now Liz is a big help). Maria, on behalf of Chuck, agreed! But asked us not to put on a discussionboard and not to put on soundfiles. We respected Chuck's wish and got back, really motivated to collecting, translating, scanning and lay-outing again.

arch 31, 1999 we had translated enough to put the site on the internet already exciting! Control Denied was in the studio recording and we worked ourselves through another pile of old Rock Hard and Aardschok magazines with more articles in it to translate. The first reaction about the site was from Gene Hoglan! As you might have noticed, he has a special place on this site.

ut of the blue, came the shocking news about Chuck's illness and all of a sudden everything seemed less important. On the other hand it inspired and motivated us even more to make something beautiful out of this for his sake. We decided to put on a guestbook.

n July 3, came an email from Travis Smith, the coverartist of Death/Control Denied about the site and offering his help. We were really honored. A few weeks later, thanks to Travis, we could put on the artwork of the new Control Denied album.

ctober 18, after almost a year, we finished translating everything we had from the past. In a week's time, The Fragile Art Of Existence will hit the shops over here and we are awaiting the future now and everything that comes along with it to add to this site.

f course our main concern at the moment is Chuck's well being. We are keeping our fingers crossed for what the tests will tell in December and are hoping we can enjoy watching him play again on the stages of Europe.

The sitekeepers, October 1999

Looking back on the past year

ver the past year a lot has happened and we thought it would be nice to look back on it all. First of all everything that happened with and around Chuck. Because of this, we got involved in things we would never have imagined when we started with this site. Before we knew it we were in over our heads.

he Dutch benefit concert and the benefit account kept us busy during the first four months of the year. We want to express the doubts we had about doing all this, knowing how much Chuck values his privacy we felt like we were crossing his personal boundaries. Decisions were made weighing the pros and cons while attempting to respect Chuck's privacy as much as possible.

e've had a lot of guestbook entries, which are really appreciated. It's heading towards 400 entries at the moment. We're quite sure Chuck has read them all. We are keeping up statistics from the guestbook and it's great to see that people are signing in from all corners of the world.

esides that we got a lot of questions through email which we tried to answer as best we could. One of the most frequently asked questions concerning the site, was about the spelling of "Nietz(s)che". Of course we know that it's "Nietzsche" and not "Nietzche". We also know that it's not "Frederick" but "Friedrich". We just wanted to hold true to the TSOP booklet. But it's always good to see how critical our visitors are and to know that we are reaching the right group of people

nother frequently asked question is about the state of our site, whether or not it is the official DEATH website. We were never asked to be the official site and will never claim ourselves official unless we are asked to be by the band. So we look at ourselves as a fan page. Making it as fans, for fans.

hen there's the Death live album, which has been postponed over and over again. Questions about the VHS that should come along with it have never been answered to us. Sorry for those who were at the show at the Whisky. We simply don't have any more information whatsoever about this subject. We are as impatient as you all only time will tell.

ver the past months we have tried to get back to business as much as possible. Since we have so many drummers visiting this site we added some articles dealing with drumming issues. We also have been restyling the layout of all articles and the concert reviews. Right now we are studying some Flash, but we are still doubting whether or not to interweave this into the site. It takes an awful lot of time to load, but we're working on it and will let you know in time.

his site still wouldn't be what it is today without the help of our editors! We even got some new hands on deck. Thanks again guys. Your help is really appreciated!

eanwhile the band is busy with the second Control Denied album which, according to those who know, should be crushing. We are awaiting everything that comes along with the new CD and will try to keep you informed and as up to date as possible. Stay tuned.

The sitekeepers, November 2000

Just to put things in perspective

he year 2001 would begin quietly… While awaiting the new Control Denied album "When Machine And Man Collide" we started off by publishing some old material, and Matt invested a lot of time revising the "Voices From Iran" article.

pril 13, we set up the Death/Control Denied Fans United team at United Devices so everybody visiting this site could join together and help find the University of Oxford a medicine against cancer. The team has 62 members and we have already donated over 5 years of computer time together! Thanks to those of you who joined, and for those who haven't, join the team today!

ay 11, the new URL emptywords.org is published. Due to the high amount of traffic we had to obtain more webspace. Thanks for visiting our site, we're really honored to have so many visitors! Our appeal for your help with the new TOURS page got us quite a few responses, not just for dates but pics and stories as well. We still need your help to keep this page growing, but we want to send thanks to those who have contributed already.

ay 24, after a few months of silence the devastating news got out that Chuck was indeed very ill again and had a major setback. The support and benefit page got back on top of the site again, and shortly thereafter the first benefit concerts started being organized. The response was overwhelming… many, many emails and guestbook entries from all over the world were directly addressed towards Chuck, his mom is taking care of those messages coming to him.

oon the announcement came for a huge benefit festival in the States, 'Thrash Of The Titans' for Chuck Billy of Testament (who's suffering from cancer as well). Chuck Billy announced that the proceeds will be shared with the Schuldiners. This festival turned out to be a great success.

inally on July 18 the streetdate for Death's 'Live in L.A.' CD/DVD was set for September 17. Even before the release date Nuclear Blast announced another Death live CD/DVD titled 'Live in Eindhoven', available exclusively through mailorder, with the proceeds going to Chuck.

eptember 11, 2001 changed the world forever. The horrible events that took place in New York City put the world, even the music world, upsite down. Tours were postponed or cancelled (for those who were planning to see Richard Christy with Iced Earth/Judas Priest in the States) and even a benefit concert in New Jersey had to be postponed. We had just started to design a new look for EmptyWords and somehow, all of a sudden, it didn't seem to matter anymore.

t the end of September (like a gift from heaven) Luca Minieri offered to help with the site lay-out, we exchanged ideas and created a new design. A week of hard work (mainly from Luca), and we could publish the new design for the mainpages and some articles. Bit by bit we are transforming the rest of the site. Another great member joined the ranks of EmptyWords. We'd like to say THANKS AGAIN GUYS, you know what you mean to us and how gratefull and proud we are to have you on the team! We also got quite a few articles sent to us by Perry Grayson, thanks again Perry, awesome stuff! Kerry Vick decided to close down his site (due to lack of time) and become a contributor for EmptyWords.

ctober 19, the first personal message from Chuck arrived on the site in which he sends out his thanks for all the support world wide. After the over 18 months of "radio-silence" a lot of emotional responses followed. Due to the fact that Chuck still has a long way to go, the new Control Denied album has been postponed indefinitely. It is still far from finished, but well worth the wait… We'll keep hoping for Chuck to recover and bring his music to life again.

The sitekeepers, November 2001

Why things will never be the same again

t the end of each 'site year', we have a tradition of reflecting back on the past year, including this year. This time, it's completely different, and we realize more and more that things will never be the same again.

s we write this piece (in the Indian summer of 2002) it's about 9 months after December the 13th, a day which marked an event which left the metal world in shock. Nine months in which Chuck's family has received an impressive amount of condolences from all over the world, and they keep coming. Every day, in the condolence book as well as in the guestbook, new messages appear. All the books can be viewed from the memorial page, as well as several memorial articles.

ne by one beautiful articles that, together with the condolences, showed how much Chuck was loved by his fans, proved that his music will live on. In our eyes it is a much-deserved homage to one of the pivotal figures of metal, who really made the difference. Memories that leave us with a melancholic feeling.

ithout scanting justice to others, we want to give some special attention to the mega piece of work of Perry M. Grayson. Months of research preceded this near-complete history, which we (after a prior short publication in Metal Maniacs) could publish as a whole on EmptyWords. Besides Perry found the time to write the liner notes for the FORGOTTEN PAST page, written specially for EmptyWords! Very, very dedicated. Perry, we owe you. We also think that the timeline, with the contribution from Aardschok's Robbie Woning, on the restyled BANDS page is a great asset. Robbie, thank you very much too.

fter the hectic pace of the first few months, when the emphasis was mainly on the memorial articles (thanks Matt for always being there to edit our English and give your wise advise when asked, we owe you too much in the meantime), reflection after that, editing the condolence books (Luca thank you very much for this huge job, we owe you as well), we are going to focus again on everything that is still laying around. Every article is archived, so be patient, if it's not on yet, it will be in future. Also, some material from the Norwegian Death site, Crystal Mountain, by Jens-Remi Karlsen (he had to quit) will be added to EmptyWords in due time.

e were asked how things would go with the site in the future. We can be short and clear about that: we never doubted to continue with EmptyWords. It's an honor for us, to keep promoting Chuck's musical legacy this way.

rom time to time forums appear about Death on the internet. When we started with EmptyWords, Chuck specifically asked us not to put sound files and not to put a forum on the site. In the beginning of this year a beautiful forum was made by Zac Schaffer and we were about to cooperate with him. But some of the EmptyWords team were not comfortable with the idea of doing something that Chuck never wanted…

e once again discussed this with Jane and this is what she said: "The answer is very clear. Matt and Kees are correct, the forum should not be done since Chuck felt that way about them". Although we do understand so very well that there's a great need for a Death forum, and we are not doubting their good intentions, we feel that we have to respect Chuck's and his families wish regarding this subject. That's why there is not a forum on EmptyWords.

t last we want to thank everybody (we may have forgotten some names and facts) who contributed in one way or another to the site. And to Chuck: we are almost sure that you're watching over our shoulders every now and then, and turn a blind eye on some things. Will we ever hear some 'new' work from you in the near future, which will enchant us once again? Until then…

The sitekeepers, September/October 2002

The way things are (and how to deal with it)

n a few months EmptyWords will enter its 6th (yes, sixth!) year. We often think back to the early days of the site: the first cautious publications, the news of Chuck's illness shortly thereafter, the day that made everything change instantly… like they were yesterday, but they seem so long ago as well. Time flies.

hen reading the entries in the guestbook and the condolence book (they just keep coming) it's striking how many people have only heard of Chuck's death recently, and want to pay their respects and support to his family and friends. For a moment we considered merging both books, but eventually we decided to let them exist side by side for the time being.

ften, when we're working on the site and particularly when summarizing the past year in a new Backstage piece, we are overwhelmed with a certain melancholy. Things aren't always that easy to deal with, but those days are mostly followed by something uplifting, like the encouraging words and contributions of fans, which make us realize (inspired by AC/DC's 'Back In Black' playing in the background) that we're still on the right track and have to keep moving on.

lmost two years after Chuck's death EmptyWords hasn't lost any of its attraction and although things could've been very different (what if…? history would have taken another course…) we are still proud of that. Of course the hectic pace is gone and with time gone by the function of the site changed from a topical to a memorial site. But this year as well the site has gone through some changes, the Perennial page (where Chuck's mom answers questions submitted by fans) being the most important one. Given the response, this page appears to satisfy an enormous need.

ue to circumstances, which we let pass, Jane is only sporadically tempted to do an interview and has previously said: "[…]With this in mind, I will not give any more interview to magazines, but will continue with the Q&A on the EmptyWords site[…]". We don't want to flood Chuck's mom, so for now we will send her 5 questions at a time, Jane wants to take her time to give the best possible answers, so it might be a while before you find yours.

esides some overdue maintainance, most of what was still laying around for years has gone on the site in the meantime (at least that's what we think/hope), we are working on some new ideas, which were suggested to us by fans. They still have to be hammered out. To get a glance behind the scenes, many are still being inspired by Chuck, in all sorts of ways. As you can see EmptyWords is still alive and kicking.

mptyWords remains an ongoing source of information about everything related to Chuck and Death/Control Denied. Actually in essence Chuck's death doesn't change that. The information will be thinned out in time, but we'd like to maintain what we've built with a lot of hard work over the past five years. There are still articles we have to yet to publish, so be prepared, and we love that you keep sending us material that we still haven't got.

nd don't forget that Chuck's final album is waiting for its destination. It would be fantastic to be able to report on that, it would give EmptyWords a huge boost. On the very day this album finally comes out, a promise shall be met to a lot of fans, and we know for sure that their patience shall be rewarded with a masterpiece.

ut at the same time we have to realize that this will definitely be the last material that will ever be released by Chuck, and that EmptyWords will then change into a true retrospective site. Us, Matt and Luca and all those who contributed to the site throughout the years will have to get used to that, that's the way things are.

The sitekeepers, October 2003

Zero Tolerance, Within The Mind & EmptyWords

lthough not quite finished yet, we can already conclude that Death-wise the past year was focused on two events: Zero Tolerance and the Within The Mind project. The struggle surrounding the Control Denied demos (despite everything eventually being released by Karmageddon in the early spring) probably didn’t escape anybody’s attention. On the other hand there is the upcoming Death-tribute album by James Murphy that can count on the full support of Chuck’s family.

ero Tolerance. Well… We decided some time ago to not go ahead with the original plan to put the demos on EW for free download. We were aware of the fact that discussions would continue, but we thought (and still think) that none of this was doing any justice to Chuck’s final music at all. His last masterpiece deserves more than to be released as unfinished bits of rehearsal room recordings on CD, or to be grabbed for free on the internet. It deserves to be finished by the rest of the band and to be released on a full-length album, titled: “When Machine And Man Collide”.

ome are of the opinion that we, the EW sitekeepers, got too involved in all this business. That’s true. However, we were always approached by those (not the Schuldiner family, they never forced us into anything) who regarded us as a primary contact point and mediator; a role into which we were reluctantly thrown. Maybe, by starting a website, we were very naïve, underestimating the other side of the coin, but (even when we became official) we were never in any way responsible for either side reaching or not reaching the goals they set.

e regret that the matter never came to a solution although it seemed very close… maybe closer than any of us will ever know. Chuck once wrote and sung: “This is not a test of power, this is not a game to be lost or won, let justice be done”. And as M. Muller said in her thesis: “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it will not be the end”. Only in retrospective, when “When Machine And Man Collide” has been finished and released, it will show whether Zero Tolerance has any additional value at all.

nto something positive that we already mentioned: the Within The Mind project. The Death-tribute that saw more and more shape this spring and summer, will pay its respects soon. James was able to gather many enthusiastic musicans around him, even from the nu-metal generation (a move that got a lot of unjust criticism, we think). We think it’s a great idea to let current musicians participate on the tribute. This way a whole new generation of fans will get to know Chuck’s music, and realize that their heroes were inspired by Death.

urther some EmptyWords domestic: after many requests, both of Death’s official videos (for The Philosopher and Lack Of Comprehension) became available through EW. To accommodate the videos, we created a new Downloads page. We think that the videos are of quite acceptable quality combined with a reasonable download speed. We have plans to expand this page with video-interviews, wallpapers, high-resolution pictures, etc… So stay tuned, there’s more to come!

any questions reach us also regarding Death merchandise. What we have to offer is on the SUPPORT page and is being handled totally by Chuck’s mom. Please read the instructions on how to order attentively. To make things easier we made some deep links on the NEWS page. For the rest the merchandise recently has been updated with a limited amount of the grey “Let The Metal Flow” shirt with the Death logo on the front. Maybe there will be other (re-)issues in the future!

efore ending this, some guestbook maintenance (or actually non-maintenance). The current guestbook (book II) will be ongoing, but unlike with the first guestbook, the last one will continue with the first in / first out principle. This goes for the 8th condolence book as well, whenever entry 2000 is reached again. Put differently: the final versions of the guestbook as well as the condolence book will each stay on-line but will not be kept forever. Experience shows that many visitors renew their entry every now and then and that the older pages are hardly ever looked at. Add to that the limited amount of space we have and you’ll understand why we came to this decision.

nd finally, speaking of the guestbook: through the guestbook and through mail we regularly get positive reactions and contributions. Without naming everybody individually, we know that you all carry a warm heart for EW. THANK YOU! And speaking about saving and goals: our goal still is to gather and save Death material on “[…]a virtual place for old and new Death fans to congregate[…]”, and to remain Chuck’s “[…]solid cyber home[…]”, called EmptyWords… “The music is there forever, and Chuck will influence and inspire always”. [Eric Greif] Okay, one name though: thanks Eric.

he sitekeepers, October 2004

Music & memories, and family, friends & fans

verytime I come here to sign the book, I feel a deep sadness which is hard to match. The only thing that puts a smile on my face is seeing my fellow death brothers and sisters all around the world, continuing the never ending quest of cherishing the great memory of Chuck Schuldiner. I will love and cherish the memories you have left behind for us until my day comes. Every time I pick up my guitar I play Voice of the Soul in rememberance. Thank you eternally for all you have done for the metal community and for the world.” [Yener Ozturk, Istanbul, Oct.’93]

e started this year’s editorial comment with a few lines from a Turkish fan. Not just some lines that have been scarcely saved from the last page of an ongoing guestbook (the first in first out principle, remember?), they summerize the feelings of many fans that keep visiting EmptyWords and often use words of similar meaning. Characteristic of what Chuck still stirs up among his fans and which hasn’t lost any of it’s power with the passing of the years, on the contrary, it only seems to gain force, given all the new fans that take notice of Chuck’s masterly music only now.

s for the music: James’ Death Tribute Project as well as Chuck’s final product keeps us (at least for the time being) waiting. For the first it’s just wait and see, we haven’t had a real update from James in quite a while, but he undoubtedly will come up with something beautiful. And for the second, well the story’s the same. Although the struggle around “When Man and Machine Collide” unfortunately still hasn’t ended, after a long period of radio silence, all of a sudden Guido Heijnens (Hammerheart/Karmageddon) announced in an email to EW that nails have been hit on the head at long last, and he even speaks of a rectification through EW, unless a settlement will be reached. But all this can not be further verified, sofar it appears to be a one-way message.

n answer to his question to bring his message across to the other party we wrote Guido Heijnens: “Before we run ahead of things we have a question for you: until anything is official, please do not approach us anymore and handle things with the Schuldiner family directly. Whenever things become clear and should, as you say, lead to a rectification of any sort on EW in the future, we will give Jane all the space, like we always have. But again: we won’t intervene in anything, Jane even explicitly asked us not to. We hope to have answered your question and for your understanding regarding our situation.” For obvious reasons we already decided way earlier to not put any messages regarding this distasteful matter on the NEWS page anymore for the time being.

ith these “backstage words” you might have noticed that this is the first update in ages. Any reason? Not really, except maybe the fact that we felt the need to take things easy for a while as said, to keep aloof from things, to spend some more time with the family & friends, and to work a little on the background. In example we are busy revising some old articles and reviews of former Aardschok and WATT author Robert Heeg. The first is already on. The articles, translated by us and published in the beginning days of EW, appeared to be having too many mistakes grammaticaly as well as linguistically to keep them in this form on EW. Hence we scrutinize them once more as we might do with some of the other articles in the future as well (thanks Robert).

he fans who sent us new material will have to be patient before things get published/integrated on EW. There’s just so much, and it only piles up. Ideas, questions, pics, a bit more questions, tabs, even more questions, ticket stubs, much more questions, tourdates and… you already guess: tons of questions… So whenever your email is not being answered instantly we ask for your understanding, also on behalf of Chuck’s mom. Many thanks in advance! Again: be patient, sooner or later everything definititely gets our attention and will your name be immortalized on EW’s THANKS page.

ome time ago many of you responded to our request regarding getting the various Death Tribute Bands (not to be confused with James’ Death Tribute Project) to come forward for a special contact page on EmptyWords. Thank you. As we stated then, we wanted to get some numbers to see if there was enough interest to make the page. At this time it seems there is not. There’s not enough reason to start such a page now, but that doesn’t mean that it will never happen, we just need to give it some more time. The bottom line is that we want it to be more than some glorified links page. So we decided to give this project the benefit of the doubt for the time being, and give more bands a chance to respond, and perhaps come up with some additional ideas to help keep the metal faith alive. Thanks again!

peaking about tributes: striking is the big amount of Benefits/Tributes being organized throughout the years in honour of Chuck, and that in all corners of the world and not just around his dying day. Also amazing is the continuing response to the site and to Chuck’s mom which are all signs that the metal faith indeed is kept alive and that the fans haven’t forgotten Chuck by long and never will. Without YOU EmptyWords actually wouldn’t have any right to exist at all.

inally we come back to Control Denied’s “When Man and Machine Collide” once more. Some of you are scared that this might all end in an anticlimax. However we’re still convinced that Chuck’s last piece of work will be a dignified conclusion of his impressive body of works, but only then when circumstances allow it to be. Until that day we will have to deal with the vague domain of conflicting interests. Instead of speculating endlessly, we can do nothing but have patience, hoping that some day soon justice will be done and matters will be solved to everybodies satisfaction. Until then…

The sitekeepers, September 2005

Still doing what we do best...

e are regularly asked about two projects in progress: "When Machine and Man Collide" and the James Murphy Death Tribute "Within the Mind." We can answer both these questions with three simple words…"we don't know." In this case, it's safe to say no news is good news, and we're waiting for information as anxiously as any other fan. We're impatient too!

here’s been some critisiscm about the fact that we haven’t got any real news anymore. There is this idea that we have inside information or hold influence over the way things work. Just to be clear, we do not have, nor do we want this power. Without going too far into this we just want to say that we know what our part in the play is. But to be honest: a meaningful update would do EmptyWords good, that’s for sure.

hich doesn’t mean that we’re doing nothing. On the contrary, we know our responsibility. We admit it sometimes takes a while, but we are doing what we can to keep the fans informed, to update the site with reviews, interviews and anything else useful that trickles in. Please note that we mostly save the special things for both 13th’s (May 13 & Dec 13). As you know we also promote various benefits and tributes being organized in honor of Chuck's memory.

peaking of tributes: in contrast to our earlier intentions to give the Death Tribute Bands contact page another chance, we have decided rather than make such a page, to move the tribute bands links to the LINKS page under Related II. All in all we think that this is the easiest way to support those who are keeping the metal faith alive. Thanks to those who responded.

e are also reevaluating the sitering. With few exceptions many of the sites do not work or have fallen into disrepair. In short: it’s quite a mess. That’s reason enough to take another critical look at the continued existence of this ring. Maybe we’ll move the remaining websites into EW’s LINKS section. To be continued.

fter a two year hiatus Chuck’s mom decided earlier to resume answering the Perennial Questions. As said before: we don’t want to flood Chuck’s mom, so we will send her about 5 questions at a time. At the same time we actually think that many of the most common questions have been answered already, so updates will continue to be sporadic. If you however have an original question not answered there, please ask, it may be a while before you get a response though.

s for the merchandise: back in November 2005, while we were in Florida, we suggested to Jane that she re-release some original Death album shirts. With our urging on behalf of the fans she agreed, choosing to start with Leprosy. We think she made an excellent choice.

eanwhile however Jane decided to stop after the Leprosy shirt and we support her in this decision. Printing, handling, shipping, re-handling, re-shipping and emailing back and forth is difficult for her, and she wants to slow down in the future. There are quite a few shirts left though, so get on it. Sold out = sold out. After that the new merchandise unfortunately is finished. Shirts can be ordered directly through her while supplies last.

o return to the beginning: know that while we have shifted to more of a tribute and memorial site, we are dedicated, as always, to maintaining the official source for information about Death and Control Denied. We are proud to serve as a digital refuge for the many Death fans around the globe who continue to “let the metal flow” in these modern times.

The sitekeepers, December 2006

Hardly a day goes by...

ow, as everyone in the metal world knows, the holidays for all of us now are forever bittersweet. With rememberences for the loss of Chuck and Dime, and now with the untimely passing of our new brother Vitek, the holiday cheer might not seem so, I don't know… cheery. But, I'm sure a crestfallen feeling would be the last thing any of these gentlemen would want from us, so with a glass in one hand and horns raised in the other, we remember our fallen brothers with a… smile. And maybe a cranking-up of the volume. A happy holidays to all of ya…” [Gene Hoglan]

sually we finish the year with December 13th and all that goes with it, but this time we wanted to end with this year’s closing editorial comment, starting with Gene’s words. Not looking back too much, but more a stand still… and looking forward. What would have been Chuck's 40th year was not a spectacular year Death and EmptyWords wise, but hardly a day goes by without somebody, somewhere in the world, expressing their feelings; about the loss of Chuck, and gratitude for what he left behind, via email or the guestbook. They are often very personal messages that leave a deep impression, with us as well as with Chuck's mom…

s said: it wasn’t a spectacular year in terms of real news. For the moment we leave the progression on “When Machine and Man Collide” and James’ Death Tribute Project for what it is. It’s useless to speculate about this once again, so we won’t. We’d better repeat last year’s words: no news is good news, with the addition: forbearance is no acquittance… okay? Same goes for the possible continuation of Death merchandise. Only time will tell…

oes that mean the EmptyWords will go into calmer waters? It depends how you look at it. Regularly we announce the several tributes and there are (mostly silent) updates on the tours pages, with every now and then an interview. Proudly, we were able to present the long awaited tribute article about Chuck from Guitar World this spring. Although we still think that Chuck should have been on the cover as well, we are very content with this posthumous honouring. And as a fan said in the guestbook: “Chuck was a TRUE artist. His spirit is undying. Infinite respect for him is all we have to offer. Infinite respect from every musician/artist/person is what he deserves”…

nd then there’s the long-lasting United Devices project. Thanks in part to the participation of all the EW members, Grid.org announced in April that it had completed its mission, with almost 80 years of our computing time! Is that something or what? Amazing, Al Gore would be proud (of sharing energy serving the cause). But… when you thought it was finished: the Death & Control Denied team has returned on the World Community Grid’s new health projects. You helped us make a difference with the old team so we encourage you to help us make a difference with this team as well…

very special event took place last summer: the reunited Cynic visited Europe and we think it was great! We were able to see Paul & Sean at work for the first time at Doornroosje/Nijmegen in the Netherlands, just around the corner! Although there weren’t any Death songs being played, a lot of Death fans for sure must have enjoyed the arts of Paul & Sean! After the show we shook hands and talked a while with them, and guess what: they knew about EmptyWords, and were very complimentary about Chuck’s official cyber home: “Very, very deep”. Their names will be forever connected to Chuck’s…

nother very special event recently took place in Canada during a Tribute To Chuck benefit concert. Next to the many other tributes, that are always being organized around this time of the year, this one stood out because of the participation of three ex-Death members: Scott, Shannon & Bobby (where’s Ralph?) together with other internationally known and local musicians. That must have sounded great! We sure wish we could have been there, but it’s a bit out of our way ;) Too bad that EmptyWords wasn’t posted earlier about this tribute, maybe we could have made more for it. Anyway, lets hope some Death members will come to Europe for something like that someday…

peaking about tributes: the last ones of December are hardly done or the first announcement of 2008 is already in. Truly amazing! And although the emphasis still is the good cause, it’s not only collecting money for Chuck and all kinds of cancer projects anymore. To many it’s an unconditional, obvious way to pay an ultimate tribute every once in a while to their hero. It’s just being done, no matter the size of audience, and that’s not given to many musicians…

et’s end with repeating some wise words from the guestbook, an excerpt from what was published before: “Just think about how very different the whole death metal world would have been without Chuck. […] Who was not influenced by Death or by bands that were not in turn inspired by Death? It's crazy when you think about it. The musical world would definitely not have been the same if Chuck hadn't lived. Chuck was a real pioneer, and always with a great attitude towards his work and people around him. The musical world owes him…” Happy Holidays…

The sitekeepers, December 2007

Contributions to the betterment of mankind

he editorial comment for 2008 took some time, but is now done. Today, March 31, 2009, marks EW’s 10th birthday, but it seems like it was only yesterday… It’s an anniversary year to be celebrated but with mixed feelings… after all 1999 was the year that Chuck (on his birthday May 13) heard about his illness… Well: first we go back to the (Death wise) most significant moments of 2008 and take an advanced look at 2009.

ne of last year’s first events was B.C. Rich launching Chuck’s Tribute Stealth with accompanying tribute site. With that a wish of many passionate fans finally came to realization. B.C. Rich: “The Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth has finally arrived. With great care we’ve designed a Stealth that can proudly represent Chuck’s legacy and indelible mark on the death metal genre. Chuck played several B.C. Rich models throughout his short but meaningful career, but the most recognized had to be his black single pickup, neck-through Stealth.” Thanks Rock.

ast year also saw the re-issues of Symbolic, The Fragile Art of Existence and digipaks of Chuck’s first five albums. Outstanding among the bunch are the demo/bonus tracks with Steve on Symbolic. Also distinct is the re-issue of TFAOE by the Polish Metal Mind Productions. Metal Mind: “There are several reasons for Control Denied to be taken much more seriously than just a side-project […]”. Less obvious are the re-issues of Century Media: old wine in new bottles so to speak, but not less interesting, we can’t get enough of it… the need stays… Thanks Ula & Century Media ;)

hen of course there was the announcement of the new project by Shannon Hamm, with among others includes old Death band members Scott Clendenin & Bobby Koelble. Probably inspired by “The Ultimate Death Tribute” in Canada, December 2007, which has been extensivly reported, Shannon adds: “This project is in such an early stage right now that we haven’t even had a chance to listen to anything that’s been received yet. We will listen to and/or watch everything we recieve, but we need to complete at least half of the material before making a group desision on a vocalist.”

peaking of old Death band members: Erik Meade has finally surfaced! For years the identity of Erik (not Eric) from the early Death days, was unknown. Erik himself: “Just in case you’re interested, I was the bass player for Death during the “Back from the Dead” era. My name is Erik (with a k) Meade. My claim can be verified by Eric (with a c) Brecht as me and him both joined and left Death at the same time, so any tapes featuring him also include me.” And so the last piece of the puzzle has been found, thanks Erik.

olls, polls & polls… well, as one is horrifed by them the other swears by them. However: two polls attracted our attention. The Brazilian Roadie Crew magazine organized a poll in which 330 guitarists were asked about their favorite guitarist of all time. Second there was Joel McIver’s twelfth book, “The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists” (published by Jawbone Press) in which one of the excerpts discusses Chuck's guitar genius. Chuck landed respectively on the 35th and the 10th place. And as Chuck’s mom used to say: “He would be so proud!”. So are we!

bout being proud: Striking and (because of it being taken for granted) on the other hand not surprising, were the many tributes, letters to Chuck’s mom, and the entries in EW’s guestbook. Take a look at the Benefit page last year for example and you will see what we mean, incredible! And this goes on year after year! It just doesn’t stop. And the first tribute for 2009 (April 3rd) is about to be happening. We think that this is not given to many artists and that all of us, as Chuck’s fans, should be really proud! This is the way to maintain Chuck’s Cyber Home and Chuck’s legacy together!

s some of you may have noticed, posting in our old guestbook was disabled. Bravenet now charges for the service and more important: beside reducing the maximum entries, they cut down on the lay-out more and more, besides the advertising banners were very prominent, so we created a new one and we think it lookes fine. We hope you like it and will keep posting as much as you did in the previous one. The same goes for the condolence book, so (in contrast with earlier messages) we at last merged both books. Hope you understand.

ust like last year we would like to end with some nice and wise words from the guestbook, written by Zack Gilman: “What else is there to say. Chuck was the first, and the best. My life and the lives of many will be spent trying to compliment his works of art with our minor contribution to music. His simple yet beautiful views of life and death were expressed poetically time and time again. We lose those who matter the most, often the soonest, only so we can recognize their greatness and contributions to the betterment of mankind”…

The sitekeepers, March 2009