Oldschool Sunday: CONTROL DENIED [‘The Fragile Art Of Existence’ Available On Vinyl For 1st Time]


(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)

As we know, some bands truly are “one album wonders” whom, for whatever reason, release only one official album… that is either awesome or awful in many cases.

Florida’s CONTROL DENIED could be considered such a band I suppose, the band an incredible supergroup that saw only one full-length recording released. That isn’t to say that other recordings did not exist in this band’s case, but we’ll get more into that momentarily.

First, CONTROL DENIED originally manifested as an outlet for the metallic genius Chuck Schuldiner, of Death fame, to pursue creating more melodic metal. If you are familiar with Death then you know their progressive / technical death metal (get it?) was both extreme and revolutionary. Anyway, Schuldiner sought out a group of immensely capable, talented players to assist in making his quest materialize.

Chuck’s first recruit was Psycho Scream / Pharaoh vocalist Tim Aymar, a powerhouse singer with dynamic range and presentation. The remainder of the band was eventually filled with a trio of musicians that would all log time in Death also at some point, drummer Richard Christy (Iced Earth, Charred Walls Of The Damned), guitarist Shannon Hamm (Order Of Ennead, Metalstorm) and bassist Steve DiGiorgio  (Testament, Sadus, Painmuseum).

After a string of demos issued between 1996 and 1997 – which featured bassist Scott Clendenin and drummer Chris WilliamsCONTROL DENIED made their lasting, milestone mark with the band’s 1999 debut album for Nuclear Blast, “The Fragile Art Of Existence“. The classic, early power metal style of the music on it was fantastic, a total one-eighty from the Death material yet you could instantly recognize Schuldiner’s musical footprint all over the songs.


Alternating tempos and tightly intricate, intense playing permeated each moment captured on the recording. Each individual player bringing their best performances to the table, which were quickly rewarded with immense critical acclaim for the album.

Unfortunately, the album would also become a very bittersweet moment in time as it eventually became the final studio album from Chuck Schuldiner. The same year of its release, Chuck was diagnosed with a high-grade pontine glioma – a malignant type of brain cancer that invades the brain stem – which, despite treatments and best efforts, Chuck succumbed from on December 31, 2001.

The CONTROL DENIED story does not end there though as partial recordings for a second album, to be titled When Man And Machine Collide, were begun. In the years since, the remaining band members have expressed a wish to complete and release the material but a longstanding legal dispute over the rights of the material with Karmageddon Media has postponed the completion and release of the album.

Part of these incomplete recordings were released without authorization in the two-part Zero Tolerance, a compilation of bootlegs containing B-sides and other unreleased tracks. However, Schuldiner estate lawyer Eric Greif settled all matters with the label in December 2009, allowing for the possibility of completing the album, which hasn’t happened yet.

In the years since its release, The Fragile Art Of Existence has been reissued at least two times, in both limited and expanded editions from Metal Mind Productions and Relapse respectively. We have included the streaming embed above of the 2010 reissue, available in 2 disc and 3 disc (limited to 1,000 copies) sets, from Relapse Records in today’s article.

Now, we have an update to the CONTROL DENIED story, one concerning The Fragile Art Of Existence as Relapse just announced they will issue the album on vinyl for the first time ever!

Arriving on June 1st, The Fragile Art Of Existence will be available in limited 2LP or 3LP versions, including Box Sets of differing colored variants and Picture Discs. Do not hesitate in obtaining your very own vinyl edition of this landmark record from metal’s history!

Pre-orders are active NOW at THIS LOCATION.