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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:17 am 

Yes another Death thread, fuck it they're worth it..

I just twigged that The Sound of Perseverance came out almost 20 years ago. Time and laziness led me to forget just what an monumental piece of work this was, one which I've been blasting for the past couple of weeks. Not one bad track on the album, still sounds fresh all these years later, heavy, technical, life affirming, transcendental fucking genius..

That led me to Live in LA, which I picked up on VHS when it came out. To finally put a proper form on it all was something very special indeed. This was back pre-youtube when the absolute avalanche of material available now was still something unheard of. I must have watched that video a thousand times..life affirming stuff altogether.

The Control Denied album also has it's place in the legacy. There are some great songs on it and there's a couple I'd be skipping over. It's a strange blend at times and I'd love to see a From the Vaults done on it to see what others think about it. There's no doubt though that when it hits it's stride it can be really great.

Those last years of Chuck Schuldiner were really something to behold. Listening back it's clear that he was a one in a billion, a total individual forging his own path in music. So much music is derivative and of course metal didn't start with Death, but that ability to create your own sound and continue to redefine it is something truly special indeed.

There are mountains of eulogies to the man and, honestly, some of it is bordering on scientology. What I will say though, is that when I was listening to Death back then, I probably knew less than a handful of people who were into them. Going through daily life in my little Death bubble was something very special indeed and when I finally found out he'd died, well I was gutted. I've never felt that way about another artist before or since. Funny how some guy screaming into a microphone can leave such an imprint on your life.

What are others opinons on those final pieces of work? I remember nothing was happening for years and then all of a sudden there was an avalanche of material..what a legacy


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:55 am 

Still listen to TSOP regularly enough,the Control Denied album was great too,Not seeing Chuck live before he passed is probably my biggest metal regret.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:00 am 

From a fellow Death fanboy, nice wee write up!

I agree almost entirely... Sure I have some Spiritual Healing in my ears on the daily commute. Everything under the Death banner for me IS metal, none of the flab. Out of the thousands of albums I know, Human is my all time favourite. I'd put Symbolic and TSoP up there in a top 10/desert island disc too.

As for Live in LA... I remember getting it on DVD and I think I watched it daily for a few months, then at least twice a week for fucking years! Last put it on (albeit on a bus journey) about two weeks ago. Way back in me yoof, myself and Bane would sit up half then night just watching the thing on repeat. Unreal.

The latter Death records informed my taste of all things technical and progressive. Got into Rush in a big way because of how much Death got me into that style.

My only point of disagreement is Control Denied. The lyrics are at times awful and the vocal hooks just don't work (and Tim Aymar is grand but not particularly memorable). I'd listen to the album as an instrumental but just avoid it so it doesn't spoil any spins of Perseverance.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:18 am 

Love the control denied album great stuff gets regular spins


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:58 am 

Control Denied is a tricky one alright and I am only too aware that Schuldiner played on it and that´s the very reason I´m listening to it. As opposed to Death albums where I don´t even think about the players, I´m so wrapped up in it all. There are some truly brilliant moments on the album though some editing might have helped to cut some of the fat off of it. I think the vocals at times can bother me too and I often wonder how it would have sounded if Chuck had sung with his style on it. It has a certain later Fates Warning feel to it with the introspective and slower, meandering nature to some of the songs. Definitely not a heavy metal powerhouse of an album but something to take out every oncde in a while when the mood calls for it.

There are times I wouldn´t be able to get past the first song and others where I think it´s a really great listen...tricky.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:11 am 

Could never warm to Control Denied. Was missing the intelligent menace and simplicity/complexity of Death. Any time I go near TSOP I am sticking it up on Facebook blathering about how great it is. What a shame he wasn't around long to enjoy the cult status it surely has at this stage.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:22 am 

I would fall into the Death fanboy camp, too, but TSOP and the Control Denied album are the weakest two of the lot, for me.

TSOP has some of the finest moments of any Death record but sometimes the song arrangements let it down. There are too many clunky changes from one section to another where you're jarred by how awkwardly the pieces were hammered together. When it's good, it's amazing, but overall it doesn't sit as well as that which came before it. The Painkiller cover hangs awkwardly at the end, too, a crude indicator of the direction he really wanted to go in, had he not been contractually obliged to deliver another Death album first.

Control Denied I have tried to love but the album has never clicked for me. The only reason it gets any time of day is because it's Chuck.

As a legacy, I don't think there is any other artist or band who went through such a remarkable musical growth album-by-album over the course of the 11 years between SBG and TSOP. The leap from Spiritual Healing to Human, in particular, was mind-blowing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:12 am 

Tsop getting vinyl 3 lp reissue this month, CD released last month, great sound of the dlp.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:38 am 

I could never stand either album (or Individual Thought Patterns, for that matter), to be honest. While the musicianship is clearly phenomenal, it's the material that leaves me cold, too unfocussed and freeform, too 'jazzy' for my liking - on the Death albums, at any rate. Symbolic I loved, it simplified things a bit though I'd obviously still rate the firat four well above it. The vocals on the later Death albums weren't to my taste either, too high pitched.

Control Denied I just found dull, really.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:45 am 

Juggz wrote:
The Painkiller cover hangs awkwardly at the end, too, a crude indicator of the direction he really wanted to go in, had he not been contractually obliged to deliver another Death album first.


That´s the first time I´ve ever heard anybody say that. Did you read something or hear some rumours? Sounds very odd to me as the album is a masterpiece to many and doesn´t sound like the work of someone who was only going through the motions.

Painkiller, at the end, I love. It´s almost as if we explore a lot of complexities throughout the album but the message is that sometimes you just need to blow the bollix off yourself with straight up heavy metal.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:09 pm 

pedro wrote:
Juggz wrote:
The Painkiller cover hangs awkwardly at the end, too, a crude indicator of the direction he really wanted to go in, had he not been contractually obliged to deliver another Death album first.


That´s the first time I´ve ever heard anybody say that. Did you read something or hear some rumours? Sounds very odd to me as the album is a masterpiece to many and doesn´t sound like the work of someone who was only going through the motions.

Painkiller, at the end, I love. It´s almost as if we explore a lot of complexities throughout the album but the message is that sometimes you just need to blow the bollix off yourself with straight up heavy metal.


'Tis true, he wanted to wrap it up after Symbolic. A few of the tunes on Perseverance were originally for Control Denied so he just had to use what he had to lash an album out to fulfill the contract. I think it alludes to the clunky and sometimes jarring/not fully worked out section transitions of the music on Perseverance like Juggz mentioned.

There's haeps of demos on youtube of the Perseverance tunes in their original Control Denied format, there's a few with Chuck doing clean vocals over them!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:25 pm 

The Sound of Perseverance is nigh on perfect from start to finish. Just an amazing album.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:38 pm 

Smythsonian wrote:
pedro wrote:
Juggz wrote:
The Painkiller cover hangs awkwardly at the end, too, a crude indicator of the direction he really wanted to go in, had he not been contractually obliged to deliver another Death album first.


That´s the first time I´ve ever heard anybody say that. Did you read something or hear some rumours? Sounds very odd to me as the album is a masterpiece to many and doesn´t sound like the work of someone who was only going through the motions.

Painkiller, at the end, I love. It´s almost as if we explore a lot of complexities throughout the album but the message is that sometimes you just need to blow the bollix off yourself with straight up heavy metal.


'Tis true, he wanted to wrap it up after Symbolic. A few of the tunes on Perseverance were originally for Control Denied so he just had to use what he had to lash an album out to fulfill the contract. I think it alludes to the clunky and sometimes jarring/not fully worked out section transitions of the music on Perseverance like Juggz mentioned.

There's haeps of demos on youtube of the Perseverance tunes in their original Control Denied format, there's a few with Chuck doing clean vocals over them!


Yeah, I thought it was common knowledge. The Relapse reissue of TSOP covers it too, IIRC. He was done with Death after Symbolic. Here's an interview with him from 97 which illustrates where his mind was.

https://www.emptywords.org/SentinelSteel-spring1997.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:38 pm 

Nowadays, TSOP is their album that I probably listen to the most. However, the drum sound is fucking woeful to my ears and the Painkiller cover is jarring and is marred by being a straight copy of the original. I don't know what the purpose was in it.

I don't feel the same about the sudden riff changes and the tone between them is the same. He liked going from slow to fast on later albums and the 'kicks' work for me. In general I do hate that stuff e.g. sudden changes didn't work well on Maiden's The X Factor.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:08 pm 

The drum tone is definitely the thing I dislike the most about TSOP.

In regards the direction, that interview is very interesting and helps me recall others I read at the time. It sounds like he wanted to push into a more melodic style and was really pleased with Symbolic which will always be my favourite Death album..masterpiece.

I get the sense that he was tired of not being pushed (no video for Symbolic ffs..madness). I'm not sure that that literally translates into TSOP being a kind of attempt to please the record company. The newer approach from what I'm reading is the Symbolic,TSOP, Control Denied, more melodic approach which as per the interview, wasn't being pushed at all by the labels and which was causing him huge frustration. Them useless fucks had no idea how lucky they were.


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