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


Control Denied


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.10 | 103 ratings

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3 stars "The Fragile Art of Existence" is the debut and sole full-length studio album by US power/thrash metal act Control Denied. The album was released through Nuclear Blast Records in May 1999. 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/guitarist 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, when 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 tracks 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 well written but not exceptional. 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 high class on all posts. Chuck Schuldiner and his fellow Death collegues, guitarist Shannon Ham and drummer Richard Christy are all very skilled musicians. Especially Richard Christy needs to be mentioned for his phenominal playing. To my ears the man is a drum genious. 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 lacks a distinct voice and vocal delivery. He has a raw yet melodic style singing style which is pretty typical for US power metal vocalists.

The sound production is in line with the last couple of productions by Death, which means the production is professional and well sounding. The demo recordings on the second disc of the re-release features a lower sound quality but they are still decent. 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 and more memorable vocal melodies "The Fragile Art of Existence" might have been a really great album, but as it is now I think a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is fair.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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