Basically, Control Denied is Death
with power vocals, i.e. technical metal. Indeed, this side project
stemming from Chuck Schuldiner's tortuous mind finally hatched.
The musicians are more or less the ones of the current Death line-up
(Schuldiner and Shannon Hamm on guitars, Richard Christy on drums),
with the notable additions of Tim Aymar on vocals and the legendary
Steve DiGiorgio on bass.
As a matter of fact, the compositions remind a lot of Death: fast
staccato riffing alternating with slower chords, the whole bundle
integrating numerous progressive features, i.e. frequent tempo
changes, atonality, complex rhythm patterns, chromatic scales,
dissonance, intricate song structure, among others. The technical
edge, though obvious, is in the mid-range complexity; yet the
precision and tightness of this cutting edge band are absolutely
top-notch, seldom achieved at such a level by others.
Tim Aymar's vocals are clearly the most important change in comparison
to the usual cookie monster vox. Tim has a broad range, varying
from raspy yelling to powerful, melodic singing, not to forget
mentioning some high-pitched shrieks. The overall result is actually
most of the time very pleasant.
Extraordinary present is also the outstanding performance of Steve
DiGiorgio. His bass sound is clean and astonishingly noticeable
in the foreground. The production is by the way stellar, incredibly
balanced without sacrificing the sheer heaviness and unbridled
power of the music. Only a handful of metal bands dare to create
a truly original music blend. Those who achieve such a great creative
result must be acclaimed. Control Denied is one of them. (AS)
4 3/4 out of 5