Aragorn Honors: Chuck Schuldiner

Today I am honoring a musician who had a huge impact on the metal industry. That musician is Charles Michael Schuldiner, frontman of death metal pioneers Death. Now I'm not a huge extreme metal guy like I said before but I'll still listen to it depending on my mood. And Death is certainly a band that I would occasionally listen to. The reason I'm honoring him is because he had influenced me as a person because of his awesome personality. But before I can tell you about what he was like, let me tell you a little bit of his history as a musician.

Chuck was born on May 13, 1967. He was the youngest of three kids. He started playing guitar at age 9. His parents bought him one to help him with his grief over the death of his 16-year-old brother at the time. He took classical lessons for less than a year in which his teacher taught him Mary Had a Little Lamb, which he didn't like and almost stopped completely until his parents bought him an electric guitar. Chuck really got into the instrument and after he got amps, he would never stop playing, writing and teaching himself.

Some of his musical influences were Metallica, Iron Maiden, Kiss, classical jazz, Sortil├Ęge, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Possessed, Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, Watchtower, Coroner and Queensr├┐che. He enjoyed all sorts of music except country and rap. He also enjoyed jazz and classical music and has even expressed his liking of British band Lush.

Death was formed in 1983 when Chuck was just 16-years-old. The band had released 7 studio albums, 4 live albums, and 1 compilation album. They are considered one of the most influential bands in metal history, pioneering the genre of death metal and influencing a generation of bands to come.

Things took a turn for the worst when in 1999 on Chuck's 32nd birthday, he was diagnosed with pontine glioma (a very deadly and incurable form of brain cancer). He was able to get what remained of his tumor removed in 2000 and it was a success. But unfortunately in 2001, his cancer returned and he fell ill again. What was even worse was that he wasn't able to afford surgery this time due to his insurer refusing to pay cause of the tumor pre-dated insurance being taken out. Chuck received chemotherapy with vincristine. Like most drugs used in the treatment of cancer, the side effects were harsh and weakened him greatly. In late October/early November of that year, Chuck's condition worsened as he became ill with pneumonia. He eventually died on the 13th of December that year at the age of 34 (as of 2018, if he was still alive he would've been 50).

Now I'm not gonna lie. When I started researching him and found out how he died, I was actually crying. I mean, this sweet innocent man died in a really aggressive way, and he wasn't an aggressive person. It really does sound like an agonizing and scary way to go. If there is a heaven, then hopefully that's where he'll be going where he's not in pain anymore.

Now that we've the history out of the way, let me tell you how he influenced me as a person. Chuck was known as one of the nicest guys in metal. He never took drugs, loved nature and animals, respected everyone's opinion, and openly condemned and disavowed stereotypes of metal musicians as being harmful to living things, or being anti-life. He also didn't like to involve religious themes in Death's music, stating that religion is more of a personal thing (I honestly agree with that. I think it's best to not use music or any form of art to promote your own beliefs, but that's just me. If you are gonna do it, don't make it your only theme. Variety is an artist's best friend ya know). His awesome personality inspired me to be a better person. If he was still alive today I would honestly like to have a beer with him (I'm just kidding when I say I want a beer. I personally don't plan on drinking but if you're gonna drink, please drink responsibly).

I've listened to some of Death's songs. I actually think some of them are okay. Not all of them are too heavy or brutal or anything. But my absolute favorite Death song of all time is Voice of the Soul. It's an instrumental which really sounds awesome and beautiful. I like how emotions can be expressed through only music instead of words sometimes. I remember listening to the song on YouTube and in the comment section, a person wrote this:

"My mother had stomach cancer. I threw her ashes into the ocean while listening to this masterpiece. She was a fan. R.I.P. Mom"

That's really cool! I don't know who the person was (and it's best that I probably don't know because I don't wanna give any names of non-celebrities) but that was truly awesome of him to do. I'm not religious or anything but I guarantee him that his mom is up there in heaven with Chuck, always watching over him.

Now I've stated before that I'm not really a fan of death metal or black metal but I have absolutely nothing against it. I remember writing on BoredJeff02's post on how he doesn't like death metal that the media sends a message that if you say something loud enough and it gets our attention, you'll get famous for it, and I said that a lot of death metal artists don't get attention because most people can't understand what they say most of the time. That in NO way means that I'm trying to kill off death metal. It was just a simple thought I had that I felt like sharing. You can still like death metal, that's fine. I just feel like that if you wanna get a message across you gotta have people understand it (but at least there's some hope for them because we live in the age of the Internet, where people can easily look up the meaning of a song. But you should always keep in mind that the Internet is a serious place filled with sick and twisted stuff like porn, gore, stalkers, cyberbullies, and all kinds of stuff that would mess you up. Never turn Internet addiction into a habit. It's really not worth it at all. Trust me).

With all that said, Chuck really was a talented musician and a great, great man. Whether or not you like death metal, you can't deny that the guy is really awesome. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest and most influential musicians in metal history. And his awesome personality will continue to inspire others to be better people.

R.I.P. Chuck


Why him and not Seth Putnam? At least Chuck didn't write his music to be the most offensive and he didn't have gay or some homosexual slur in 19 (counted) of his song titles. He even had dogs. Whats weird is both him and Layne Staley died at 34... - visitor

Well Seth is dead now if that makes you feel any happy. - visitor

Can't tell if you're praising or criticizing Seth Putman. - Skullkid755

@Skullkid755-Who me? - visitor

Chuck's diagnosis reminds me of DIPG (Also a form of Pontine Glioma, although it primarily affects children). I feel somewhat upset that his diagnosis was a terrifying one, which is made worse in that there is hardly a cure.

I'm no Death Metal fan (yet), but Chuck has done more than enough to earn my respect. - CrimsonShark

Great post! Very balanced and mature opinions. Was pleasure to read it.
R.I.P. Chuck - Metal_Treasure

This is an amazing post, Really mature and elaborated. - Ananya

Insurer refused to pay...Just imagine that time, that situation...That a human...a true human...doesn't want to die..and asks for help...So that he'll live his life and he's f***ing denied the right to live?!?!
I simply have no he must've felt...the feeling of hopelessness and death...
Money and rules are more important than saving lives? And if those bastards denied help why couldn't the medical facility help the man who could've lived?!?!...who couldve lived... gotta choke on in too of course... - Ananya

Choke on it * - Ananya