Chuck Schuldiner is a legendary guitarist and songwriter which influenced my guitar playing, songwriting and composing style the most. He is a pioneer of melodic death metal, as he wrote numerous songs, riffs and melodies for his bands Death and Control Denied.

Sadly, I revealed him after he passed away in 2001, so I didn't have an opportunity to attend his concerts. I'm sure that experience would be something to remember and keep close to my heart.

Death released eight studio albums plus two live concerts, and Control Denied only one album, but every song has 'that special something'. I especially love "Symbolic" and "Sound of Perseverance" albums by Death. In my teenage days I could play almost every Death song, from beginning 'till the end. Every single riff and solo is incredibly melodic and groovy. The more songs from Chuck I knew, the more I developed my skills, without even realizing it. To tell the truth, those songs are pure addiction.

My favorite solos are the main solos of "Without Judgement", "Sacred Serenity", "Flesh And The Power It Holds", "Spirit Crusher" and "Crystal Mountain". They're full of melodies which remained with me ever since I first heard them. On the other hand there are so many wonderful song parts where the whole ambience settles up and takes you to some mystical, cozy place. Listen to "Sacred Serenity", "Perennial Quest", or simply an instrumental "Voice Of The Soul" and you will understand.

Chuck has always been my idol when it comes to taking a guitar and writing deep, meaningful music. Each of his riffs, licks and solos has a story of it's own. It's an outworldy experience to learn to play his creations when you're just attempting your first guitar lines. That's what happened to me and changed my life forever. It got me into writing riffs of my own, my first form of songwriting. Also, it's amazing how my technical skills got better by playing Chucks' songs, and the effort I've put in it was minimal, since the songs got into my ear so easily. It's unbelievable how someone's creation can open your thoughts.

Check's lyric writing style has brought so much. I'd like to excerpt some of my favorite lines;

 

 Without Judgement, chorus

"Without judgement, what would we do?
We would be forced to look
At ourselves emerged in lost time
Assuming what may be
Without judgement
Perception would increase a million times"

 

Sacred Serenity, second verse

"Maybe we could take a step back
And discover what leads us to attack
Time that is short - distance unknown
For them, each day life has just begun
Observing spirits on the wall
What are they telling you?
Following all instincts that are pure
Oblivious to time that may be the cure"
 

Perennial Quest

"The journey begins with curiosity
And envolves into soul-felt questions
On the stones that we walk
And choose to make our path
Sometimes never knowing
Other times knowing too much
 
Filtering out the bad that holds us back
Take hold of what is true to your hunger
A hunger that will not go away
Plans for tomorrow, they will remain
 
Won't you join me on the perennial quest
Reaching into the dark, retrieving light
Search for answers on the perennial quest
Where dreams are followed, and time is a test
 
No time for mental crutches
The maker has moved on
I will take it raw and be on my way
Those that stood beside me
I'm glad you understand
Behind these written words
I share the simple plan
To hang on to the way that we feel
 
From rivers of sorrow
To oceans deep with hope
I have travelled them
Now, there is no turning back
The limit, the sky
I ask my questions Why? What today?
When tomorrow?
 
Filtering out the bad that holds us back
Take hold of what is true to your hunger
A hunger that will not go away
Plans for tomorrow, they will remain
Won't you join me on the perennial quest
Reaching into the dark, retrieving light
Search for answers on the perennial quest
Where dreams are followed, and time is a test"