Review: The Fragile Art Of Existence
Magazine: Metal Hammer / Italy
Written by: Luca Signorelli
Published: December 1999

Sometimes (usually rarely, often not at all) you find yourself in the middle of shit. I would have to tell the battle, but this term evokes heroic images (and a little bit stereotyped) that in last analyses they have nothing to do with "the real thing". You awake in a world of fear, of stomach knots, of frozen and endless dawns, of worried looks, of whispered truth, of your please repeated beyond of every rational decency. Of "why?", of "do only that it ends well", of horrors at the end of the corridors, of blocked eyes behind the oxygen masks, of scales of values pulverized in the turn of a second, of as inevitable as sudden religious conversions, of anonymous and inconceivable heroisms - beyond every human imagination - and mean and fast cowardice. A world where you can only swallow the tears, tighten your fists, and hope that it ends. A little after having written this, 'The Fragile Art Of Existence' Chuck Schuldiner (leader of the Death but, in this case, reincarnate as mind of the Control Denied) has been beaten - brutally but perhaps not without presentiments - in this universe. I don't know if he wrote this disk thinking, for an atrocious coincidence, that he was writing the soundtrack of his own pain, but - after all - to this point it doesn't matter anymore. Not for me. Not for somebody else.

This disk is, in a word, terrifying. I don't know if it is the disk of the year. When a disk - in his deadly and absurdly simple refinement, in his being Heavy Metal up to the annihilation, the classifications lose reason to exist. It is only matter of listening folks: Consumed, Breaking The Broken, Expect The Unexpected, When The Link Becomes Missing (absolutely sublime), Cut Down and the burning title-track. Classical but genial architectures that slash recyclers and rip-offs (you know their names). Chuck's almost maniacal taste for the killer riff, with those ascending scales that seem to submerge and grind you, the rhythmic section (Steve DiGiorgio and Richard Christy, do you see what I mean?) that gives lessons of control and economy to the whole gang of those that flatter themselves that it's enough to have the best sampled sounds to be great. A production even not so amazing (rather, in some points perhaps too obsessed by sound fidelity), but cut with the scalpel. And Tim Aymar to the voice - he doesn't seem to mind Rob Halford's decline. Psycho Scream, correct? And speaking of expressive singers… there's only another disk this year that talks me with an as eloquent a language as ' The Fragile Art Of Existence', and it just talks - in the concept base - about the same things that Chuck wanted to put in music. Listen to ' The Fragile Art Of Existence' and understand once for all that these are iron times, and iron times need a steel soundtrack. "Will you understand my feelings as you must hold your breath"…eh?

"The treatment's only 10 minutes long each day, I expected to go in and have a lengthy ordeal, but it's only 10 minutes. It's very high-tech, very aggressive radiation treatment. They tell me they've had very good success with the treatment. They're very, very upbeat about the progress I've already made. My walking's normal. I had a cane for about a week. It's mind-boggling, it really is. Just the whole concept. You can look at it as a gigantic wake-up call."
Wake-up call? Oh, Chuck, if only you knew how right you were. If only you knew…

Luca Signorelli
VOTE: 6 / 6

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Translated by VC/MM for EmptyWords-Published on January 14 2003