"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Formed: 2000
From: Charleston, WV, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Byzantine News

Below is our complete Byzantine news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Byzantine Releases New Video

On July 28th, Byzantine will release new album, "The Cicada Tree," via Metal Blade Records. For a first preview, a new video for the single "New Ways to Bear Witness" (featuring a cameo by Skeletonwitch's Dustin Boltjes, as well as ex-Byzantine drummer Matt Wolfe) has been launched online.

Directed and edited by Holly Siders, the filming of "New Ways to Bear Witness" resulted in Chris "OJ" Ojeda (vocals, rhythm guitar) suffering a concussion. OJ comments about the experience:

"So, we came up with an idea of having our old drummer do a cameo appearance in the music video. Matt Wolfe left the band right before we signed with Metal Blade and had occupied the drum seat for the last 12 years. We felt it was a perfect opportunity to let fans know that we still love Matt and he's still welcome and important to our band. What's the best way to have an ousted band member make a cameo? To hit me with a vehicle, of course!

"We set up the scene and did about 5 or 6 takes of Wolfe hitting me with the vehicle and me rolling off the vehicle. I didn't know until we wrapped shooting the next day that something was wrong and had a very hard time driving home. I contacted an ER doctor friend of mine who told me I needed to come see him ASAP. After a CT Scan and an EKG, he let me know I had a standard sports type concussion from repeatedly hitting my head during the video shoot. I got 3 days off work and a cool story out of it! Rock!" More...

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Sacred Reich Announces New Tour

This year, Arizona thrash crew Sacred Reich is celebrating the 30th anniversary of classic album, "Ignorance." To commemorate this milestone, the band is bringing the "30 Years Of Ignorance" tour around the world, which kicks off in Europe in July.

Following the European run, the trek will make its way through North America in September. Support will be provided by Byzantine on those dates. See below for all upcoming tour info:

7/26/2017 The Underworld - London, UK
7/27/2017 O2 Academy Birmingham - Birmingham, UK
7/28/2017 The Cathouse - Glasgow, UK
7/29/2017 The Limelight 2 - Belfast, IE
7/30/2017 Voodoo Lounge Dublin - Dublin, IE
8/02/2017 Colos-Saal - Aschaffenburg, DE
8/03/2017 Bastard Club - Osnabruck, DE
8/04/2017 Wacken Open Air - Wacken, DE
8/05/2017 Dynamo Metal Fest - Eindhoven, NL
8/06/2017 Into The Grave Fest - Drachten, NL
8/09/2017 Backstage Halle - Munich, DE
8/11/2017 Brutal Assault Festival - Josefov, CZ
8/13/2017 Alcatraz Festival - Kortruk, BE
8/16/2017 Dornbirn Conrad Sohm - Dornbirn, AT
8/17/2017 Innsbruck Hafen - Innsbruck, AT
8/18/2017 Summer Breeze - Dinkelsbuhl, DE
8/19/2017 Turock Open Air - Essen, DE
8/21/2017 Eightball Club - Thessaloniki, GR
8/22/2017 Kyttaro Club - Athens, GR More...

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Byzantine Crowd Funding New Album

Metal Blade Records has given Byzantine the chance to show off the band's talent on a bigger stage with "The Cicada Tree," the culmination of many years of musical craftsmanship and resounding songwriting. After 16 years underground, it's finally time for the world to hear Byzantine on June 2nd!

In conjunction with PledgeMusic, "The Cicada Tree" is now available to pre-order in various formats and bundles, with every pledge receiving a digital download of the tracks, plus exclusive content.

To reserve your copy of the album (with 2 cover songs by Fishbone and the Cars), signed material from the band, apparel, and more, head over to this location. Chris "OJ" Ojeda (vocals, rhythm guitar) comments:

"The last two Byzantine albums were released DIY and both were coupled with successful crowd-funding campaigns. Now that we have finally landed a home with Metal Blade, we feel that it is vital that we continue our close relationship with our fan-base by offering up pre-orders for 'The Cicada Tree' through PledgeMusic. Our experience with PledgeMusic has been nothing short of fantastic. We hope you enjoy 'The Cicada Tree' as much as we enjoyed making it for you!" More...

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Heavy Metal In Video Games Part 5

Heavy metal and video games are such an obvious combination that its baffling the collision doesn't happen more often. Despite four decades of games to work through, the number of titles that specifically revolve around metal themes or use heavy metal soundtracks is just abysmally low.

Today we're going to take another look at the limited options available, covering some old and some new entries that should be sitting on your shelf or taking up space in your Steam library.

For those who missed our previous three articles discussing various games with heavy metal soundtracks, be sure to go back and check 'em out (and let us know if you end up playing or re-playing any of these gems!):

Part 1: the amazing Brutal Legend, Saints Row III, Killing Floor 2, Pain Killer, and Guilty Gear X2 Reload

Part 2: Splatterhouse, Twisted Metal 2, The Witcher's bonus music disc, and Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost And The Damned.

Part 3 (the retro edition!): Rock And Roll Racing, Beavis And Butthead, F-Zero X, Earthbound, and Heavy Metal Geomatrix

Part 4: the return of music games with Rock Band in addition to Carmageddon, NeverDead, and NeverGone. More...

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Byzantine Announces New Album

West Virginian groove metal outfit Byzantine has finished recording an upcoming sixth full-length album, and Metal Blade Records debut, "The Cicada Tree."

Set to be released in spring of 2017, "The Cicada Tree" was recorded at 7over8 Studios in Myrtle Beach, SC with producer and engineer Jay Hannon. To view a video update from the band regarding this new album, check out the clip below.

Chris Ojeda (vocals, rhythm guitar) comments: "'The Cicada Tree' represents 16 years of a heavy metal band thriving completely underground. Byzantine has been on a slow burn since 2000, constantly crafting our brand of heavy metal and now, with the support of Metal Blade Records, we will finally get a chance to showcase our music on a bigger stage." More...

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Byzantine Announces New Tour Dates, Posts Video

West Virginian groove metal outfit Byzantine will play select USA shows this summer, before the group enters the studio to record a Metal Blade Records debut and follow-up to 2015's "To Release Is to Resolve."

The run of performances begins tomorrow (June 24th) in Johnson City, TN; see below for all dates. Byzantine has also launched a video for the song "Justinian Code," which can be seen after the jump.

June 24 - Capone's - Johnson City, TN
July 8 - 5th Quarter Lounge - Indianapolis, IN
July 9 - Rockstar Pro Arena - Dayton, OH
July 22 - Spirit - Pittsburgh, PA
July 23 - The Vclub - Huntington, WV More...

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Byzantine Signs With Metal Blade

West Virginian groove metal outfit Byzantine has signed a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records. After releasing music independently over the last three years, the quartet is ready to unleash a sixth, currently-untitled album in early 2017 via this new label home.

Front-man, Chris "OJ" Ojeda had this to say about the band's recent signing: "For the last few albums, we have operated outside the fringes of the music community by necessity. I had almost lost hope that we would ever have the chance to showcase our music to the world on a bigger stage. With the help of Brian Slagel and Metal Blade Records, we feel like Byzantine has been given a 2nd chance to make our 1st impression. We are absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to share our brand of heavy music with the world on the world's best metal label!"

Byzantine was formed in 2000 by vocalist/guitarist Chris Ojeda and former guitarist Tony Rohrbough. After releasing three albums via Prosthetic Records, touring with Lamb of God, playing the main stage of New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, and receiving much praise from fans and media alike, the band abruptly called it quits in early 2008 - but it wasn't long before the metal community demanded a return.

In 2012, a reinvigorated Byzantine reunited with the band's seminal line-up, and consequently delivered two highly praised albums, which were crowd-funded through Kickstarter and Pledge Music. Now, after having been an independent artist since 2013, Ojeda and his crew are back with a new record deal, poised to dominate the scene once again. More...

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Byzantine Posts 2015 Recap Message

Chris Ojeda from Byzantine just checked in with this year-end recap message and update about what to expect in 2016:

"Hey guys, OJ here! We have been really quiet here in the Byzantine camp during the last month as things are winding down for 2015. This year has been a roller coaster for the band as we have had some of the coolest things and some of the worst things happen. We will start with the worst...

"This year we lost Matt Wolfe as the drummer of Byzantine. This came as a shock to us and I personally didn't think I would be carrying on with Byzantine without Skip, Tony and Matt. BUT, the show must go on! We are currently in the process of finding the next member of our band that is willing to get into the trenches and continue to make waves for Byzantine.

"We are currently looking for tours for Spring, Summer and Fall so if any of you around the world want to see Byzantine live, write your congressman and favorite band and request to see us on their tour!

"Now for the good stuff... With the help of Adam Pollock @ (RED), we released our 5th album on our own label, Snakepit Music. Kodi, Zach and Nick @ The Syndicate were instrumental spreading the word around the airwaves and in the press. The Art of Christopher Lovell produced the hands down BEST album cover we have ever had! And lastly, Jose and Sirius XM allowed us to sit beside our heroes at the big boys table. Thanks to all you guys! More...

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Death Goat Launches Through Steam

The indie twin-stick shooter Death Goat just landed on Steam and is available now for $2.99.

While actually a feature complete casual game, Death Goat is currently in "early access" mode as new features are being added (funded by gamers picking up this version early).

Why should metal heads give a shit (besides the name "Death Goat" of course)? Glad you asked - it's got an all-metal soundtrack including music from:

Between The Buried And Me
Holy Grail
God Forbid
Bloodshot Dawn
I Legion
Tyrant of Death
The Raven Autarchy
Immortal Guardian More...

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Byzantine Announces U.S. Shows

Byzantine has announced plans for a month long U.S. tour with special guests Mobile Deathcamp. The West Virginian titans will be touring in support of "To Release Is To Resolve," out now via CEN/RED Distribution. Dates for Byzantine’s upcoming tour can be seen below.

May 30 - Charleston, WV - The Monkey Barrel
June 12 - Elmhurst, NY - Blackthorn 51
June 13 - Chicopee, MA - Maximum Capacity
June 14 - Lewiston, ME - Irish Twins Pub
June 15 - Burlington, VT - Nectars
June 16 - Watertown, NY - The Flashback Lounge
June 17 - TBA
June 18 - Buffalo, NY - Broadway Joe’s
June 19 - Syracuse, NY - Mac’s Bad Art Bar
June 20 - Clifton Park, NY - Trick Shot Billiards
June 21 - Revere, MA - Sammy’s Patio
June 22 - Providence, RI - Firehouse 13
June 23 - York, PA - The Depot
June 24 - New Castle, DE - JB McGinnes
June 25 - Chesapeake, VA - RiffHouse
June 26 - Wilmington, NC - Reggie’s 42nd St Tavern
June 27 - Asheville, NC - New Mountain More...

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Byzantine Posts "The Agonies" Video

Byzantine takes its ferocious brand of progressive thrash to new heights with “The Agonies,” the second single off new album "To Release Is To Resolve" (out now via CEN/RED Distribution and available for streaming right here).

The West Virginian band’s monstrous stage presence is further captured in the brand new video for the track which was premiered via Billboard.com. Check it out below.

Behind the thrashing track is a lyrical theme inspired by a social ill that plagues the band’s home state. “The song title ‘The Agonies’ is a street term for the severe withdrawal symptoms from prescription pain pill abuse,” front-man Chris “OJ” Ojeda shares with Billboard. “This subject is extremely personal for me as this problem has infiltrated many good lives of people I know and grew up with.”

See the band live on these dates:

April 17 – Beckley, WV – Muncheez Bar & Grill
April 18 – Parkersburg, WV – Sixpence Pub & Eatery More...

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Byzantine Streams Full New Album

Byzantine has taken its monstrous sound to new heights with "To Release Is To Resolve," and thanks to our friends at Revolver Magazine, you can stream the album from the progressive thrash titans in its entirety below prior to its April 7th release via CEN/RED Distribution.

"To Release Is To Resolve" finds Byzantine picking up where it left off with 2013’s self-titled comeback album. Front-man Chris “OJ” Ojeda and drummer Matt Wolfe reunited with Jay Hannon to handle engineering and mixing duties for album no. 5, also marking bassist Sean Sydnor and guitarist Brian Henderson’s debut recording with Byzantine. Catch the band live on these dates:

April 04 – Huntington, WV – The Vclub
April 17 – Beckley, WV – Muncheez Bar & Grill
April 18 – Parkersburg, WV – Sixpence Pub & Eatery More...

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SXSW 2015 Day Two: South By South Death

Metalsucks.net's South By South Death showcase featured guitar shredders. Tech death bands Archspire and Allegaeon were in full force, but before they hammered out their first blast beats, a different kind of shredder took the stage. Myrone is a one-man guitar virtuoso hailing out of Los Angeles, California. The sole member of Myrone was similar to Buckethead in that he wore a mask. Many of the long notes he held was reminiscent of Joe Satriani. He later admitted to me that Satriani is a major influence. He played his guitar over top of ‘80s style keyboard samples, which were part of a soundtrack to a video game.


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SXSW 2015 Metal Showcases Revealed

Metal bands at SXSW and metal showcases have been released to the public. The Dirty Dog Bar is a major player at this year's festivities. Both Metalsucks.net's South By South Death and Metal Injection's showcases will take place in this venue. Saturday offers three big shows and a chance to see some bands such as The Skull and Goatsnake twice. More...

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Byzantine Posts New Song

Byzantine is about to unleash its new album "To Release Is To Resolve" on April 7th. Today the band offers a first taste of it by premiering the track "The Agonies" below.

Explains frontman Chris Ojeda: "'The Agonies' is a street term for withdrawal symptoms from pain pills. More...

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Fallujah Playing South By South Death

MetalSucks has announced the fifth annual South By South Death event, a SXSW showcase taking place in Austin, TX.

This year MetalSucks is teaming up with WSOU to present the showcase. Says WSOU program director Rohit Ravi: “WSOU is extremely excited to be returning to Austin for SXSW. As one of the premiere metal stations in the USA we could not be happier to partner with MetalSucks to present the heaviest show in Austin!”

The lineup includes Archspire, Elder, Allegaeon, Byzantine, and Fallujah comprise the meat n’ potatoes of the bill, while Norma Jean comes back for a second South by South Death appearance to headline, and #softshred pioneer Myrone will get the party started.

The action takes place on Wednesday, March 18th at The Dirty Dog in Austin, TX starting at 7pm. SXSW badge holders and wristbands will be let in for free, and there will be a limited number of tickets available to the general public at the door the day of the show only, so make sure you get there early. More...

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Byzantine Reveals Full New Album Details

Byzantine is prepared to unleash new album "To Release Is To Resolve" on April 7th. The full track listing and artwork have now been revealed and can be seen below.

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

"To Release Is To Resolve" finds Byzantine’s ferocious brand of monstrous, groove metal taken to new heights. Check it out for yourself with a stream of the song "A Curious Lot" at this location.

1. Scold's Bridle
2. Justinian Code
3. A Curious Lot
4. The Agonies
5. God Forsaken
6. You Sleep, We Wake
7. To Release
8. To Resolve More...

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Byzantine Streaming "A Curious Lot"

Byzantine is prepared to unleash its new album, but getting to this point wasn't without a cost for West Virginia’s progressive thrash titans.

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

Byzantine reaches this resolution with "To Release Is To Resolve," due to be released on April 7th via CEN/RED Distribution. The album's first single "A Curious Lot" can now be heard below, courtesy of a stream hosted by MetalSucks.net.

For album no. 5, Ojeda and longtime drummer Matt Wolfe reunited with Jay Hannon to handle engineering, mixing, and mastering duties. Having replaced longtime members Michael “Skip” Cromer and Tony Rohbrough in 2013, "To Release Is To Resolve" marks bassist Sean Sydnor and guitarist Brian Henderson’s debut album with Byzantine. “As new members, they had big shoes to fill,” explains Ojeda. “Yet the music sounds 100% identifiable as Byzantine, just with two new, powerful ripples to it.”

See the band live on these dates:

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 More...

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Byzantine Announces New Album

If the old saying, "If at first you don't succeed... try, try again" was ever in doubt, it has never been proven more true than with West Virginia's heavy metal act Byzantine. In 2007, the band fulfilled a 3-album deal with Prosthetic Records, disbanding the day after "Oblivion Beckons" was released.

This career move stopped any momentum dead in its tracks. 5 years later, Byzantine reformed to release a self-titled 4th album on the band's own indie label (WV Snakepit).

Now, 14 years after its inception, Byzantine looks to push its underground cult status even further. 5th album, "To Release is To Resolve," is set for a March 3rd release. More...

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Byzantine Crowd Funding New Album

Byzantine has launched a crowd funding campaign for upcoming album "To Release Is To Resolve," which can be found at this location. The following press release was also issued about the campaign:

"In 2013, after 5 years of silence, Byzantine releases their comeback self titled album to an overwhelming approval.

"Multiple album of the year nods were given as they proved that the unsigned artist can hold it’s own against the big budget bands. Now, Byzantine eturns AGAIN with it’s 5th studio album, teaming up with PledgeMusic to give their fans the ultimate DIY experience.

"The album, 'To Release Is To Resolve,' will most certainly solidify Byzantine as one of the most consistent and continual genre-bending heavy metal bands of the last 2 decades.

"Byzantine will once again let the fans inside and be shareholders in the recording process. By pledging you’ll receive the access pass, which includes a download of the album well before its physical release and behind the scenes updates directly from the band. You’ll also be able to grab some unique exclusives only available through this campaign."

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