The Fragile Art of Existence; A Decade without Chuck

Posted on December 15, 2011


This week marks the 10th anniversary of the death of one of the founding fathers of death metal, Chuck Schuldiner Today we remember a man who left a legacy that rivalled some of rock’s greatest stars and changed extreme metal forever.

Many people view Schuldiner as one of the most influential musicians in the Heavy Metal scene and although the scene and metal itself have changed drastically in the years since Chuck’s passing, the music he created with Death have stood the test of time. Albums such as Scream Bloody Gore, Symbolic and The Sound of Perseverance showed that Chuck was more than just a run of the mill frontman. He was an innovator with an ability to play far beyond the limitations of a single genre when he ventured into power metal with the band Control Denied.

When members of the metal industry became aware of Chuck’s illness many major bands such as Korn, Kid Rock and the Red Hot Chili Peppers held auctions to raise money for his treatment. Other bands such as Trivium held benefit shows with the profits going towards Schuldiner’s surgery.


Schuldiner was diagnosed with a tumour on his brainstem in May of 1999 and although he continued to work on his music he fell ill and died two years later in December 2001. Chuck was just 34 years old.  Many artists such as King Diamond, Ville Valo and Max Cavalera attended the memorial service held after his death.

Recently his former band members Control Denied announced that their previously unreleased album (When Man and Machine Collide which features 17 previously unheard songs written and performed by Chuck) would be released in early 2012. A large percentage of the album’s sales are to be donated to various cancer relief charities and members of Chuck’s family.

Chuck may be gone but it is his legacy that shall live forever through his family, his friends and his music.

“I don’t think I should take the credits for this death metal stuff. I’m just a guy from a band, and I think Death is a metal band.”

Chuck Schuldiner 1967 – 2001

By Glenn Paton

Posted in: Profiles