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Hmm, what do we have here? A death metal front man doing a power metal side project? Wait, its not just power metal, but it’s progressive and technical as well? It sounds almost too good to be true...right? It’s definitely not too good to be true if Chuck Schuldiner is to lead it.
Take the pushy, stick out bass fills along with the highly technical and aggressive guitar sounds of Individual Thought Patterns and combine it with non torpid and speedy trem picking, glabrous melody, and progressive qualities of The Sound of Perseverance and you’re about half way there. Chuck decides to repose from the duty of delivering the vocal performance, and picks up Tim Aymar to relay Chuck’s lyrics. Tim takes on the “classic” heavy metal singing style for Control Denied and gives it more edge with his precise high pitched shrieks and screams when appropriate. Tim’s screams are suitable for the name of his own band; “Psycho Scream“. The lyrics on this album are probably the most personal out of all of Chuck’s past lyrical work.
The lyrics keep their unique comparisons between emotions and actions among other things, but Chuck has the tendency to compare things like soul and voice, tears and pain, eyes and soul, and other themes from his more recent work with Death repeatedly. There are times that I get the sense that he was running short of ideas for good lyrics without changing his style too much, but at the same time trying his best not to sound repetitive in phraseology. Never the less, the lyrics speak fluently to just about anyone and never erodes once you begin to ponder the meaning behind the message. What this album gives is the erosion of the idea that all power metal sounds the same, which seems to be a problem with most power metal these days. The fast and stand out melody is evidencing the ability of the musicians.
Essentially, this album is impossible to be classified as lackluster; the vitality of the teeth gritting tremlo riffs and change up crashing drumbeats packs a ten-fist punch. The compositional limitations seem to not exist at all. Sure, there are a few minor recursive rhythm riffs, but the fervent nature of this music completely erases any concern of the listener and is almost unnoticeable once you get into it. Album highlights are the songs “Consumed”, “Cut Down”, “What If..?”, and “When The Link Becomes Missing”. If you’re a fan of Death and can endure at least a minimal dosage of power metal then this album will most likely please you.