Byzantine release new song, album details, tour dates

Posted by on February 2, 2015

The reunion of West Virginian progressive groove thrashers Byzantine was one of the most welcome metal band returns of the past few years. Despite constant setbacks, the quartet has announced the release of their fifth album, To Release Is To Resolve, this spring, along with its elaborate artwork and impressive first available song, “A Curious Lot.”

The band’s biography is full of inspiring hard work tinged with all-too familiar obstacles. Now nearly 15 years old, Byzantine got their first break after catching the attention of Lamb Of God drummer Chris Adler, which led to the bands touring the East Coast together. Not long after, Byzantine signed to Prosthetic Records and began their journey of expansive songwriting with vast, eclectic composition with 2004’s The Fundamental Component, followed by 2005’s acclaimed …And They Shall Take Up Serpents. Preparing to release their 2008 album Oblivion Beckons in January of that year, Byzantine found themselves struggling with the challenges faced in the music industry. The group disbanded within days of the album’s release, much to the dismay of fans. Five years later, however, Byzantine reformed with a much more grassroots mindset to their music. Front-man Chris “OJ” Ojeda (no, not THAT “O.J.”) elaborates:

“We had no clue how to run a band like a business. But I just had this horrible feeling we were making a big life mistake by walking away. The second time around has been harder, but more rewarding for us all. It’s taught me a major life lesson; never quit something you love just because it’s hard to do.”

After a successful crowd-funding campaign through Kickstarter, Byzantine released its self-titled fourth album in 2013. The record yielded positive feedback and reviews, even earning several “Album Of The Year” nods. With regaining the admiration and fan base they originally earned prior to their disbandment, Byzantine continued the forward momentum in summer 2014 with second crowd-funding campaign, this time through Pledge Music.

Ojeda and longtime drummer Matt Wolfe once again teamed up with Jay Hannon to engineer, mix, and master the fifth Byzantine album, titled To Release Is To Resolve. The album’s title comes from the 2013 departure of long-standing band members Tony Rohbrough (guitar) and Michael “Skip” Cromer (bass), shortly after replaced by Brian Henderson (guitar) and Sean Sydnor (bass). Ojeda commented on this change with the following sentiments:

“Since coming back with our self-titled album, I went through a personal split and lost two very important band members. It’s taught me that once in a while, though, you have to lose something to actually gain something.”

“As new members, they [Henderson, Sydnor] had big shoes to fill. Yet the music sounds 100% identifiable as Byzantine, just with two new, powerful ripples to it.”

With the battle scars of the past to prove their resilience and dedication, Byzantine are set to pick up where they left off, only stronger. The first song from To Release Is To Resolve, “A Curious Lot,” can be streamed below, and will be available on February 10 for download on all digital platforms. Making it’s debut on Metal Sucks, the song does not disappoint those familiar with the band’s back catalogue, combining technical ferocity with inviting groove. Ojeda’s final comments prove the members are motivated and optimistic, but not taking this opportunity for granted:

To Release Is To Resolve will see its release on April 7, 2015 CEN/RED Distribution, but fans can still pre-order the album here, as well as contribute and receive one of several exclusive package bundles. As if that weren’t enough, Byzantine has also announced the following upcoming tour dates as well:

03/19 – Little Rock, AR @ Shooters Bar & Grill

03/20 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar

03/21 – Dayton, OH @ Rockstar Pro Arena

04/04 – Huntington, WV @ The Vclub

04/17 – Beckley, WV @ Muncheez Bar & Grill

04/18 – Parkersburg, WV @ Sixpence Pub & Eatery


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Categorised in: New Music, News