does it take to be a pioneer? For some, it can simply be the result
of releasing one, maybe two, influential records, never to be
heard from again. For others, however, it is an ongoing endeavor
which continues long after the initial wound is made on life's
Chuck Schuldiner, first set the heavy metal underground aflame
in the early 80's with his seminal metal outfit, Death, a band
that has achieved unparalleled status as one of the genre's most
respected and influential acts. Despite the early acclaim and
attention, Chuck had no interest in resting on his laurels and
the musical prowess and originality he had already become known
for were pushed further and further, consistently remaining ahead
of the times. And now, in 1998, having seen fourteen years and
six albums of setting new standards for metal, Schuldiner has
proven yet again with no room for debate, that his reputation
as a pioneer is no fluke.
dates back to 1983 when Chuck formed Mantas together with a couple
of high school friends and started gaining much notoriety within
the underground tape trading circuit. Soon after the band's name
was changed to Death and several more self-released tapes followed.
It was the blistering 3-track Mutilation demo that drew Combat
Records' attention and Death was subsequently inked to the label.
The debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, surfaced in '87 and has since
then become a metal classic. Even now it is impossible to get
through a live Death performance without hearing the crowd chant
for incredible songs like "Zombie Ritual". The following
year saw the release of their second album, Leprosy. Though certainly
not lacking ferocity in any manner, Leprosy contained material
which was much bolder and musically adventurous, foreshadowing
progression to come. Over the course of the band's next four albums
(Spiritual Healing - 1990, Human - 1991, Individual Thought Patterns
- 1993 and Symbolic - 1995, through Roadrunner), the musical and
lyrical boundaries continued to expand while the gap between brutality,
progression and tradition started to close. It was at this time,
primarily around Human, that Schuldiner had truly captured Death's
essence and distinctive style; a style that major publications
like Guitar World (ranked amongst the top 100 most important guitarists
in rock), Bass Player and Modern Drummer have stood up to recognize.
Death's rabid fan base is in no way confined to The United States,
though. Their headlining tours have dominated world-wide for many
years now, touching upon mainland Europe, Japan, South America,
After the release
of Symbolic, for the first time in Chuck's adult life he was free
of any/all contractual obligations with record labels. It was
truly a new beginning; a time for decisions to be made and doors
to be opened. At that time a bold choice was made to write music
for another metal project Chuck had wanted to pursue appropriately
named Control Denied. The musical direction in C.D. was even more
melodic than Death and most notably, Chuck was not the vocalist.
Instead a more traditional style (ala Iron Maiden, Queensryche,
Nevermore) was incorporated. After an album's worth of material
was laid to tape Chuck surprised the metal masses again by announcing
that he was putting C.D. on hold so he could complete a new Death
album, which he had started working on right around the time Symbolic
"Timing is everything when it comes to music. I was feeling
music bubbling to the surface that was unmistakably Death and
the fans have always been so supportive of what I have done, it
just felt right. It was time to seek out a new recording contract
for the band. I haven't given Control Denied up and I plan to
release material in the future, but only after everything with
the new Death album is done."
Some listen to music.
Others create it. Still others sculpt sounds of intriguing distinctiveness;
of startling creativity instinctively creating new orders, classes
and entirely new genres of music fit for others to idyllically
mimic. And if there were some universal time line dedicated to
metal's most cogent ring leaders; the ones who've unwittingly
branded their ingenuity into the minds of all those who listen;
it would unquestionably touch on Black Sabbath bleed into the
more bombastic realm of Slayer and inevitably wash itself into
the sole manipulators of extreme music: Death. Founded by guitarist/
vocalist/ song-writer Chuck Schuldiner, Death blended mature,
structured musicianship with assaulting aggression, an influential
style of precision and an infinite frontier of thought provoking
subject matter from their very inception in 1983.
Lyrically thought provoking
and extreme in every way, Death proved that "brutal"
could indeed travel beyond the conventional blast beat-pit riff-growl
motif. The band's potency instantly earned them respect worldwide.
With seven LP's each capitalizing upon the last, and a planet
of dedicated Death devotees, Schuldiner had an entirely new musical
agenda; an extension of the larger-than-life blue prints drawn
up during his years with Death.
The concept of CONTROL DENIED
materialized in '96 following Death's Symbolic LP. Schuldiner
sought a more traditional path of metal; a bit more melodic with
cleaner vocalization while still maintaining Death's patented
precision, intensity and depth. The line up features guitarist
Shannon Hamm, bassist Scott Clendenin (both of whom joined Death
for The Sound of Perseverance LP), drummer Richard Christy, vocalist
Tim Aymar (formerly of Psycho Scream) and of course, Schuldiner
as the leading guitarist. Eventually legendary bassist Steve DiGiorgio
was added completing what is today's CONTROL DENIED.
Much like Death, CONTROL
DENIED is fully carved by the song writing expertise of Schuldiner.
Leaving the vocalization in the hands of Aymar, The Fragile Art
of Existence is the purest form of guitar wizardry planet earth
has to offer. Recorded alongside Jim Morris at the legendary morrisound
Studios, CONTROL DENIED, with its all-star line up, expels a rich,
explosive amalgam of vigor, emotion and unbridled power complete
with a subtle, classic metal edge; an ultimate progression of
Death. A new realm of trend-free metal fit for the sounds of a