CHUCK SCHULDINER – Zero Tolerance

In December of 2001, the metal world lost one of its pioneers in Chuck Schuldiner. During his two-and-a-half year battle with his health, he was working on the second CONTROL DENIED album. Against the wishes of his family, Karmageddon Media has released the Zero Tolerance compilation, which features four rehearsal tracks of unreleased CONTROL DENIED material. It must be said that it is quite a shame and a useless tragedy that this release basically kills all hope that the CONTROL DENIED album will ever be completed and properly released. Listening to these four rehearsal tracks, which feature Chuck Schuldiner on guitars and Richard Christy on drums, is quite surreal to say the least. While you’re awed by the potential of this great material, you can’t help but be reminded of what a loss the music world suffered. These tracks undoubtedly sound like a progression of his work on DEATH’s The Sound of Perseverance and CONTROL DENIED’s debut album, The Fragile Art of Existence. Also included in this 2-CD release are DEATH’s earliest recordings in the form of the 1985 Infernal Death demo, 1986 Mutilation demo, Death by Metal demo, Reign of Terror demo, and a poor bootleg recording of a show during the band’s Spiritual Healing tour. These demo tracks are valuable in their own right for those who don’t already possess them. And as a diehard fan, it’s difficult not to want to hear these final recordings. That is where the fatal flaw of Zero Tolerance becomes apparent. While one doesn’t want to purchase something Schuldiner’s family is against, the curiosity to hear some of his final recordings is strong. It’s just wrong when the fans have to be caught in the middle of this legal dispute and come away feeling torn. There are certainly better ways to honor the memory of a legend. (Candlelight USA)

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