Chuck Schuldiner Zero Tolerance

Before Death founder Chuck Schuldiner succumbed to cancer at the end of 2001, he was well into the recording of When Machine And Man Collide, the sophomore outing from his post-Death melodic, prog metal outfit, Control Denied. After continued legal wrangling with the Schuldiner family, Karmageddon finally releases what might become the closest thing to those highly anticipated recordings. Four untitled, vocal-less rehearsal tracks, with only Schuldiner on guitar and Richard Christy on drums, are pure Chuck — blazing leads and solos, ethereal bridges and interludes, and Christy’s unmistakably phenomenal polyrhythms. Tracks one and two allow Obituary and Iron Maiden to share practice space, while track three answers the age-old query about Slayer jamming with Rush. Though track four begins on a sombre note, it quickly sheds its dark coat for one of gleaming metal to bring home the speedy goods. 1985’s Infernal Death and 1986’s Mutilation demos are also included, though they’re merely mastered from pathetic tape sources. The muddiness of them would appeal — aside from the classic "Zombie Ritual” — only to the most diehard fans. If Zero Tolerance is all we can get from the Schuldiner camp, then so be it. However, the forthcoming Zero Tolerance II will feature 19 tracks of vintage Death demos, plus a live set on the Spiritual Healing tour in 1990. Viva Chuck! (Karmageddon)