Control Denied - The Fragile Art Of Existence  CD (album) cover


Control Denied


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.10 | 102 ratings

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3 stars The Fragile Art of Existence is the debut and only full-length studio album by US power/ thrash metal act Control Denied. The album was released in May 1999 by Nuclear Blast Records. Relapse Records re-released The Fragile Art of Existence in 2010. The re-release features a bonus CD with unreleased demo material. Thereīs also a 3 Disc deluxe version available.

Death frontman Chuck Schuldiner had long wanted to pursue a dream of making a traditional/ US power metal album with a clean vocalist as opposed to the technical death metal with growling vocals of his main act. The Fragile Art of Existence was as far as I understand his dream come true. The Fragile Art of Existence would sadly turn out to be Chuck Schuldinerīs last studio album, before his untimely death in 2001. He succumbed to brain stem cancer.

The music on the album is US power metal played with great technical skill. Itīs not far from sounding like the last couple of Death albums but with a clean vocalist instead of a high pitched growling ditto. There are some other differences too though. The songs are generally quality compositions but there are few highlights on the 8 track, 50:49 minute long album. Itīs like the vocal melodies simply arenīt that memorable. The strong chorus in Expect the Unexpected is an exception. Itīs about the same with the riffs. They are good but not exceptional. I have to admit that my attention simply wanders at times, which is always a sure sign that something isnīt right.

The technical level of musicianship on the album is excellent. Chuck Schuldiner and his fellow Death collegues guitarist Shannon Ham and drummer Richard Christy are all excellent musicians. Especially Richard Christy needs to be mentioned for his phenominal playing. That man is a drum genious IMO. Steve DiGiorgio ( Sadus, Death, Iced Earth...etc.) plays the bass and as always the man cooks up some nice things for us. Tim Aymar is a skilled vocalist, but not a personal favorite of mine. He has a raw yet melodic style. Pretty typical for US power metal vocalists.

The production is in line with the last couple of productions by Death, which means the production is excellent. Clean, powerful and well produced. The demo recordings on the second disc of course have a lower sound quality but they are still allright.

If you ask me Chuck Schuldiner didnīt exactly go out on a high, but at least he got to try out his dream of making a more traditional sounding metal/ US power metal album and of course I respect that. With a more unique vocalist and stronger vocal lines The Fragile Art of Existence might have been a really great album, but as it is now I think a 3 - 3.5 star rating is warranted. The version with the bonus material is IMO only for the hardcore fans and doesnīt change my rating one bit.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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