I often find that the word “Visionary” seldom makes it’s way to most written vocabularies when describing artists these days. To open your mind to the possibility that someday in the future people around the world will fully realize the vision you bestow upon them today is not only risky in the entertainment business, it’s the true definition of a rule breaker, a game changer, a visionary. Ten years ago today, the world lost Chuck Schuldiner, and thus one of the greatest minds our genre ever had the privilege to call our own.
For over 15 years Florida born Charles Michael Schuldiner gave the world an insight to the future of metal. A place were technical musicianship, melody and death metal can not only co-exist, but it can be mended, molded, and stretched to the point of absolution. In the end it was cancer that put an end to the magic. After a grueling 2 years of battling cancer, a lack of medical funds, and the American healthcare system, Chuck Schuldiner passed away on December 13, 2001 at age 34. As a long time Death fan, being able to see and meet Chuck live various times, I was completely devastated, as was the rest of the metal community who understood the loss of a great man and music pioneer.
I often recall how angry I was with the MTV reporting of Chuck’s loss with cancer. They mentioned it on a 30 second news reel, but this was the same channel that ran a 72 hour special on Kurt Cobain when he supposedly killed himself. I think I held onto that grudge for a while, until I realized metal heads don’t need a stupid corporate TV station to celebrate Chuck Schuldiner. His inspiration is literally every where I look today, in every single metal genre. Although one of the saddest parts about being a visionary is sometimes never seeing your work fully appreciated to it’s max potential years later, I’d like to think he would be happy knowing where metal has gone since the 90’s.
We wish we can give Chuck 72 hours of coverage here at Metal Injection, but you can at least join us today as we rock out to non-stop Death and Control Denied. For a look into what some other artists have to say about Chuck Schuldiner, check out this cool piece NPR released today.