Younger metal fans might not be aware of who this guy is, so let me explain; Chuck Schuldiner IS death metal. The man who formed the band Death, he is pretty much responsible for creating death metal, and as such he was (and still is) very important for me, as death metal is my favorite genre, and my favorite bands are directly influenced by this man’s work (Obscura, The Faceless, Necrophagist and Fallujah to name a few).
Ten years ago today, on December 13th, Chuck Schuldiner passed away. He was struggling with brain cancer, and the medication he was taking made him weak to common diseases which took his life – but his legacy lives on, and unlike many other guitarists who became a big deal after their death, Chuck is irrefutably one of the most important people in metal. His philosophical take on lyrics, his jazz-influenced songwriting and his early era technical/progressive death metal is still unmatched by most. When most bands were concerned with thrashing, Chuck was making music for the mind. Some of his prowess is still unmatched; many bands mistake technicality and progression for chugging on the open string with staccato rhythms, whereas Chuck hit all the strings with odd timing, and screamed like hell at the same time.
So today, one decade on, we celebrate his life and works, and if you haven’t heard them before (or just need a refresher), here are some of his great, unparalleled works to remember him by:
Fun fact: I broke my ankle and tore my tendons while covering Death onstage. Didn’t stop, played through the entire set. Most painful and metal moment of my life.