Father Of Death Metal - Chuck Schuldiner - Loses Battle With Cancer.

12-17-01 antiGUY

Death and Control Denied founder Chuck Schuldiner lost his two-year battle with cancer at 4 PM EST last Thursday December 13, 2001 at the age of 33. 

Considered by many as the founder of “Death Metal”, Schuldiner had been undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumor on his brainstem. The tumor was discovered on the vocalist/guitarist’s 31st birthday in May of 1999, since then Schuldiner had spent the past two and half years being treated for the cancer and working on new material with his band Control Denied. 

Fans and fellow musicians lent Schuldiner a helping hand with their moral support and donations that were used to help Schuldiner pay for the expensive cancer treatments. Many of Chuck’s fellow musicians donated items for online auctions and played benefit concerts with proceeds going towards Schuldiner’s rising treatment costs. 

Schuldiner founded his first band Death in 1983. It was the group’s aggressive riffs,  vocals and dark subject matter that has been attributed with sparking the underground “death metal” and “grindcore” movements. Death spent the next four years building a loyal following in the metal underground with their potent and unique sound. It wasn’t until 1987 that Death released their first album, “Scream Bloody Gore”. The band continued to tour and release new studio albums for the next eleven years with various lineups. Critics heralded their last studio effort, “Sound of Perseverance”, as the “definitive” death metal album.  In October of this year Nuclear Blast records released the “Live in Los Angeles: Death & Raw” CD and DVD. 

In 1996 Schuldiner formed a new group called Control Denied. Seeking a more classic metal sound Schuldiner turned over vocal duties to Psycho Scream’s Tim Aymar. Control Denied issued their debut album “Fragile Art of Existence” on Nuclear Blast records in 1999. According to reports from Control Denied members the writing and some recording of material had been completed on the second Control Denied album, but it is unclear whether this material will be released now due to Schuldiner’s death. 

Emptywords.org has set up a special memorial page for Schuldiner where fans and friends can post messages in a “book of condolence” that will be sent to Chuck’s family. Over six thousand have Posted to the book since it went online Dec 15th. 

Control Denied bassist Steve DiGiorgio, had this to say about his friend and bandmate: (reprinted exactly as Posted on the Nuclear Blast website)
“Saddened...  This is the first time since I’ve heard the news that I’ve been on the computer. I can see that news travels fast. Everyone knows by now. Also I want to thank all of you for your kind words of caring and support. So what do I have to add? We have lost an icon in the metal music world. More importantly, I have lost a good friend of many many years. He was born the same year as me and we had a lot in common. It’s obvious that I played my best around him, somehow he brought out the sickest bass lines in me. He always pushed me to do more, think of more, pushing the boundaries and find the most innovative things...but to still keep it within the formula. I have lost an inspiration to my own personal musical quest, I will miss him forever. We were in the middle of doing the next record, and it’s sad beyond belief that he never saw it to it’s completion. We will try our best to finish it in his honor, but will never know if it lives up to his standards. That’s the least we can do for someone who gave so much and cared so much about what he did and how it effected those who belived as well. Though I am glad in some small way the the suffering is over for him...that he would not be able to play his guitar again, reorganize his massive vinyl collection, work around the house, go to the beach, go to concerts...the things he loved to do. He didn’t deserve a life without those things that made him who he was. Because he was, what he loved. He very much loved his family, never being too far away from his mother, father, his sister and his nephew.  He loved animals and his pets were his family too. He loved the outdoors, barbeques, beaches, hikes, and canoeing took up a lot of time when we weren’t writing new tunes. Of course he loved music, he made it his life...and we made it ours. It’s true he had something very serious, and possibly something that would ultimately take him. But I want you to ignore all the rumors, all the hearsay, all the bulls****...and know that he never accepted his fate. He never gave up trying to overcome it. He went down swinging and was a true fighter until the end. He was told by his first doctor he didn’t have long to live, so he went to another. When those doctors told him the same thing, he did it again - he went to find the answer he wanted, not the answer he was given. He traveled all over the country looking for someone to help in his fight. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. His will to live was strengthened by the resolve of those around him. His family most of all who didn’t hesitate to do what was neccessary for him. His friends who tried to pitch in whatever possible. And the fans and supporters all over the world, who’s words and contributions kept the spark alive when things seemed the darkest. Be proud of his work, his heart still beats for us every time we listen to his songs, because his heart is in his work. Goodbye for a while Metal Brother, I’ll miss you more than words can say.”