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Control Denied - The Fragile Art Of Existence

8.7 | 508 votes |
Release date: 13 May 1999
Style: Progressive metal


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Disc I
01. Consumed
02. Breaking The Broken
03. Expect The Unexpected
04. What If...?
05. When The Link Becomes Missing
06. Believe
07. Cut Down
08. The Fragile Art Of Existence

Disc II [Reissue bonus]
01. Consumed [1999 demo]
02. When The Link Becomes Missing [1999 demo]
03. The Fragile Art Of Existence [1999 demo]
04. Breaking The Broken [1999 demo]
05. Breaking The Broken [1999 demo with Chuck Schuldiner on vocals]
06. Believe [1997 demo]
07. What If...? [1997 demo]
08. Cut Down [1997 demo]
09. Tune Of Evil [Chuck Schuldiner comedy demo]

Top 20 albums of 1999: 11

Additional info
Produced by Jim Morris & Chuck Schuldiner at Morrisound Studios, Tampa, Florida.
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Jim Morris.
Music and lyrics by Chuck Schuldiner.
Artwork and logo by Travis Smith.

Re-mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music.
Additional bonus material mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music.
Re-issue coordination by Drew Juergens.
Revised layout by Jacob Speis.

Album Biography:
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.

Guest review by
I could write about this album for days, weeks, even months - this album had its past, present and future, because of its tight connections with other bands and excellent musicians, so its not easy for me to put it short, but I'll try:

This album was Chuck's long time wish, which he eventually made possible through Control Denied. Whenever I try to briefly describe that band to someone, I say: Death with real vocalist. And basically, thats what it is - Chuck took crew from the last Death's album, supported with vocalist Tim Aymar, and recording of the album could begin.

published 19.09.2007 | Comments (23)

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Comments: 18   Visited by: 1147 users
28.11.2011 - 01:58
Rating: 9
Metal slave
I have a hard time with this album....I think it's because I keep expecting to hear Chuck's voice, but don't....not that I think he was the greatest vocalist but it makes me think I'm listening to a Death rip-off band....maybe.
24.04.2012 - 16:07
Rating: 9
Written by JÄY on 28.11.2011 at 01:58

I have a hard time with this album....I think it's because I keep expecting to hear Chuck's voice, but don't....not that I think he was the greatest vocalist but it makes me think I'm listening to a Death rip-off band....maybe.

Chuck didn't have the voice for what he wanted this band to be. There were some demos with him on the vocals and it sounded just ... bad. His vocals were perfect for Death, not so much for Control Denied.
04.10.2013 - 17:03
Rating: 9
Metal Addict
Great album. It sounds very much like Death on its final album (which is no surprise, given it was recorded by almost the same line-up), but evolved in a more progressive direction.
"And we are not who we think we are
We are who we're afraid to be"
- Lux Occulta "The Opening of Eleventh Sephirah"
11.08.2014 - 15:59
Rating: 10
This Album Is THE ART OF CHUCK ....
11.08.2014 - 16:48
Account deleted
Written by -Behnam- on 11.08.2014 at 15:59

This Album Is THE ART OF CHUCK ....

I did The Art of Chuck just yesterday, after eating too many spicy wings.
21.01.2017 - 08:19
Rating: 6
Burning inside
Great music, but the voice really doesn't do it for me.
11.05.2020 - 16:01
Rating: 9
Tim Aymar, very powerful voice, he really fit the role for this project, all instruments are very well balanced, excellent combination of various tracks, you must never compare one band to another otherwise you will always anticipate bands to be somewhat identical without appreciating the creativity of the individuals..
07.07.2020 - 18:10
Great record and a prog metal staple for sure. The only thing I'd like is maybe some backing screams from Chuck here and there. Otherwise, it's pretty much perfect. Tim Aymar kills it on lead vocals.
07.07.2020 - 18:22
Rating: 9
Metal Rasputin
For years I only listened to some crappy mp3 version of this album and thought it sounded terrible, then I actually bought the album on CD and enjoyed the living hell out of it. Rarely have I encountered so huge difference between two formats, but what a great thing.
You've got a lot of guts. Let's see what they look like!
22.08.2021 - 07:24
Rating: 7
Sick drumming, i also could imagine warrel dane singing on this
22.08.2021 - 13:09
JoHn Doe
Been a while since I last listened to this, I will change that and listen to it later today.
I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
15.09.2021 - 11:24
Rating: 8
Longtime Death fan, closing in on, what, 34 years now, and only today listened to it for the first time.


Sound of Perseverance with a different singer. Not quite as good as most of Death's stuff, but Death is one of my favorite bands, so that doesn't say much
29.03.2022 - 15:10
Rating: 8
Written by sgtrobo on 15.09.2021 at 11:24

Sound of Perseverance with a different singer.

I heard this album after listening to SoP on repeat for a while - quite a jarring experience with music that sounded similar but a completely different vocalist!
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10.05.2022 - 15:13
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
Written by sgtrobo on 15.09.2021 at 11:24

Sound of Perseverance with a different singer.

Maybe this will be enjoyable then! I'll check this one out after work. Not sure how I haven't listened to this yet.
14:22 - Marcel Hubregtse
I do your mum

14.07.2022 - 17:30
spendin' cheese
Damn upon hearing this the Warrel Dane feels are felt.
I may not have the largest collection but I certainly have the absolute best

14.07.2022 - 20:52
Rating: 8
A Nice Guy
This was a great lineup (basically Death with a new vocalist), the bass, drumming and guitarwork all fitted together well, the vocals were ok but obviously took alot of getting used to, Chuck's songwriting and guitar skills are as usual incredible. For me Chuck was such a technically gifted guitarist that his route into progressive death suited his talents best, and this album was a step forward in the right direction.

I believe though if this album had Chuck on vocals it could well have been a lot better, maybe as good as TSOP who knows, but somehow this lacked that overall passion and spark of Chuck's earlier work, maybe due to his high pitch screams and growls being missing, not that I've got anything against the vocalist of course, I don't think Warrel Dane would have made a difference personally, I just don't think it fit this style personally, it was still very good work though nonetheless.

"Expect the Unexpected", "When The Link Becomes Missing" and "The Fragile Art Of Existence" are my pick as top tracks.
23.08.2023 - 21:48
Rating: 10
Just received the vinyl edition a few days ago, and even if i did not know this was the missing piece in the puzzle, or something like that, i already adored the record, but now i am in love... amazing...
08.10.2023 - 10:19
Rating: 7
Roman Doez
This is so absurdly better than TSOP

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