Description and History

Control Denied is an American progressive metal band formed by guitar virtuoso Chuck Schuldiner (the founder, lead guitarist, composer, songwriter and vocalist of Death) along with Psycho Scream vocalist Tim Aymar, Death guitarist Shannon Hamm, Death drummer Richard Christy and Sadus fretless bass player Steve DiGiorgio.

Control Denied's style is hard to describe. While it is obvious that the band's members come from death metal backgrounds, Aymar's vocals sound more akin to something you'd hear in European heavy metal (think Iron Maiden, Judas Priest) than in death metal. Also, the guitarists have cranked a little down on the distortion, and DiGiorgio's fretless bass work is loud, clear and very audible (which is sadly uncommon for basses in metal). The bass lines stand out with their jazz fusion inspired style, and add much colour and beauty to the band's compositions.

The name "Control Denied" is Schuldiner's personal little stab against the recording industry; shortly before the band formed, he had left the Sony-owned Relativity Records because he felt that the control over his music had landed in the hands of the recording company. He managed to break away from music business hell (and apparently ruined himself financially in the process, which was a contributing factor to his untimely death from a brain tumor, as he couldn't afford the treatments he needed), and released Control Denied's first album "The Fragile Art of Existence" under the smaller, independent metal-specific Nuclear Blast Records label.

After Schuldiner died in December 2001, the remaining members of Control Denied have been attempting to record a second album (rumoured to be named "When Man and Machine Collide") without him, apparently following one of his final wishes. They have a few recordings of unused Schuldiner guitar solos as well as some unfinished lyrics and compositions left behind by the songwriter, composer and guitarist; these will most likely play a large role in that album.

While the band never reached the popularity of Schuldiner's main project Death, its music tends to have a wider appeal than the fast, hard, unrelenting death metal that characterized Death. Some of the band's popularity stems from the fact that many of its artists (in fact, all but Tim Aymar) had already played in Death, and many of Control Denied's initial fans were long-time fans of Death. Unfortunately, while the band's music definitely has merit on its own, they are often viewed as being a "second band" or "side project" because of the members' affiliation with Death. They have never played any Death covers at their concerts.


  • Tim Aymar (vocals)
  • Chuck Schuldiner (lead and rhythm guitars)
  • Shannon Hamm (lead and rhythm guitars)
  • Richard Christy (drums)
  • Steve DiGiorgio (bass)


  • The Fragile Art of Existence (1998)

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