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Control Denied | Fragile Art of Existence | review | metal | Lollipop

Control Denied

The Fragile Art of Existence (Nuclear Blast)
by Tim Den

All that can be said has already been said of Chuck Schuldiner. Band leader/sole survivor/songwriter/guitar master/growler/genre forefather with the fine machine known as Death, Mr. Schuldiner pretty much has the respect of every metal fan in the world. He could record himself shitting and it would be praised. Why? Because, as time has proven, it would be interesting (especially compared to the authentic shit being passed these days). It's small wonder then that his venture into power metal, Control Denied, is nothing less than "two thumbs up." All that one would expect from Death is here: technical arrangements, rapid fretboard work (melodic and catchy yet so very busy), and smooth transitions from one tempo to another. With the addition of power vocalist Tim Aymar, the only thing that Control Denied is missing is Chuck's old grunts. Maybe it's just my sentimental side, but every time I play this disc, I expect to hear the familiar growl over the riffing. Instead, I get shrieks and falsettos. Aymar is not a bad singer by a long shot, it's just that Chuck's writing doesn't fit melodic singing as well as it does growling. I bet he'd beg to differ, saying that Death is incredibly melodic and definitely singer-friendly, but I think the whole mystique of Death was that it made death metal moving. It gave beauty muscles. In Control Denied, the vocal melodies often make everything sound cheesy. There's no cojones to speak of. When Chuckie whips out the darker riffs, Timmy's whispering, "scary scary" vocals just make me chuckle. Maybe I'm just bitter because Death doesn't put out a new album every year anymore.The Fragile Art of Existence, despite my little problem with the singing (and Chuck's growing fixation with seven minute songs), is one ripper of a record. It proves once again that Chuck's got one of metal's most recognizable writing styles. Heavy, musical, so rich in its textures you can almost taste it. Get whatever this man puts out. Period.


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