Control Denied - _The Fragile Art of Existence_
(Nuclear Blast / PHD, 1999)
by: Adrian Bromley (8 out of 10)
I know there is a high contingency of metal critics out there who are not at all impressed with Chuck Schuldiner's new band Control Denied. Well, I am. For years Schuldiner has fronted Death, a truly inspirational and highly influential band for death metal music, but it's been very noted that in the past few years he has somehow grown tired of what he has done with Death. For years word spread of Control Denied, a new, much more technical project he was working on. It was something new and fresh, far from what he had ever done with Death. Finally the band is seeing the light of day in a time where Schuldiner needs all the good news he can get, having recently (within the last few days of finishing up Control Denied) been diagnosed with a brain stem tumour. The music of Control Denied is a skilful and technical set of material, superbly played and wilfully guided by the hearty vocals of singer Tim Arymer. Whether Death fans may or may not be into what they hear here, Schuldiner's guitar style is all over the place, helping shape solid guitar passages that bring out emotional sides to many of the tracks here. With a very classic heavy metal style running throughout the music of Control Denied, Schuldiner and co. play their hearts out here and the end result is nothing more than magical. With a few misguided moments on the record, it just goes to show that much like life (as Schuldiner has recently discovered), it's not always a smooth ride to your final destination. If Death has actually been put to rest by Schuldiner, so that Control Denied becomes a full-time gig, then Schuldiner may have some hard work ahead of him to move past the stunning grouping of accomplishments he did with Death. In due time we shall see how this all pans out.

(article published 12/10/1999)

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