Liner notes TSOP/TFAOE
Written by: Nuclear Blast Records

Published: 1998/1999


  The Sound Of Perseverance

Exactly what 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 jugular.

Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, 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.

Death's history 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, etc...

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 was released.

Schuldiner explains, "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."

  The Fragile Art Of Existence

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 new millennium.


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EmptyWords-Published April 27 2002