Existence is purely a state of being. Turning the state of being into an art form is very tricky business. This especially rings true in the musical sense with all the limitations of genre and the expectations of fans and record labels. A very fragile existence it becomes for a musician. After having redefined the genre of thrash and laying the groundwork for death metal with his first legendary band, Death, Chuck Schuldiner returns to a more traditional metal style with his new ensemble Control Denied to prove he is doing ever so more than just existing musically. The music may have overtones of more melodic thrash or progressive metal but the overall tone is unmistakable Schuldiner’s. A virtuoso guitarist, accomplished writer and arranger and a skilled producer Schuldiner brings to the table with Control Denied years of experience writing aggressive music. His natural ability to translate angst into complex musical arrangements that explore a multitude of sounds while remaining * The tight musicianship and progressive song writing of Control Denied is a mark of the excellence carried over from previous efforts by Death. Recruiting Tim Aymar for the vocal duties actually presents the biggest difference between the former incarnation of the Death sound and the new direction of Control Denied. The semi-operatic shrieks of Aymar are a far cry from the gut wrenching growls in Death and at times have a very European power metal influence. For Schuldiner, the Fragile Art of Existence represents a welcome musical change for him, allowing him to expand on melodic ideas and concepts that could only be touched on for breif moments in death metal. This musical growth sees an even greater level of musical complexity with blast beats working behind counter melodies and thrash guitar being incorporated into fusion-esque solos. All in all, Schuldiner’s Control Denied has reigned in all previous musical expectations, turned them aback and brought forth a new beast armed with aggression and finesse and fully capable of defining a genre much like it’s predecessor once had.