"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 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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Byzantine To Record New Album

West Virginia outfit Byzantine has issued the following announcement about working on an upcoming album:

"It's been very quiet here in the Byzantine camp, and for good reason. We have taken the last few months to write what will become our 5th studio album.

"Tomorrow will be our first rehearsal in almost 3 months. We will begin learning the new songs, adding personal touches and making them true Byzantine songs. 7 songs have been written so far. We most likely will be adding a few more new songs along the way as well.

"With our new bassist Sean Sydnor and lead guitarist Brian Henderson both making their Byzantine recording debut here, this album will surely be a departure from our previous efforts. Stay tuned for more updates. Recording will begin in September when engineer/producer Jay Hannon lands back in WV."

Further details are forthcoming, and you can follow the band's recording process at Facebook here.

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Indianapolis Metal Fest III Announces Lineup

The Indianapolis Metal Fest III will take place September 20-21, 2013 at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, Indiana. Among the acts features is the reformed Byzantine, as well as, Temple of Brutality, which features Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and guitarist Stet Howland (W.A.S.P.). Tickets can be purchased over at this location.

The full slate of acts to appear:

Rivers of Nihil
Seven Witches
Vicious Rumors
Angel Vivaldi More...

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Gravedancer Records Announces First Signings

It is with great excitement that Gravedancer Records announces its formation. The label is the brainchild of the former Head of Publicity for Century Media Records and current Head of Marketing for The MuseBox, Josh Eldridge. Gravedancer Recoreds has already teamed with EMI to offer worldwide distribution, while The MuseBox Label Group will provide label services.

An exclusive interview with Eldridge and EMI Executive VP/GM Mike Harris can be found online at Billboard.com at this location. The following press release was issued about the label and the first band signings:

"Gravedancer Records looks to deliver the best in heavy music and has already inked three great bands that have releases planned for 2012. The label’s first signing is Chrome Waves, a group made up of Jeff Wilson (Nachtmystium, Wolvhammer), Stavros Giannopoulos (The Atlas Moth, Twilight) and Bob Fouts (The Gates of Slumber, Apostle of Solitude). The trio has constructed an epic, haunting album, combining elements of doom, black metal and post-metal that is already highly anticipated by fans and press alike. The self-titled effort will be available on July 3rd, 2012 in CD, digital and a special, limited edition vinyl package that will be revealed soon.

"The label has also partnered with the iconic Roadburn Festival for the North American market to release ‘Monnos,’ the monstrous doom metal masterpiece from UK trio Conan. The band has already begun to establish themselves in the worldwide metal scene and recently teamed with Pitchfork to give away their track 'Hawk As A Weapon.' ‘Monnos’ will be available on July 31, 2012. More...

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Byzantine Announces Reunion

West Virginia’s Byzantine is reforming almost 4 years to the day since the last album, “Oblivion Beckons,” was released. The group’s 2012 lineup is as follows:

Chris Ojeda: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Tony Rohrbough: Lead Guitar
Michael Cromer: Bass Guitar
Matt Wolfe: Drums

As singer/songwriter Chris Ojeda states, “We’ve all kept in contact through the past few years and have worked on each other’s projects as well. With our guitarist Tony moving back to WV from NC, we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to hang out again and jam. Before we knew it, we were tossing around riffs and song ideas and realized we had what seemed to be the foundation for a pretty kick ass Byzantine album.” More...

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Byzantine Announces Three Local Reunion Shows

West Virginia thrash metal band Byzantine has begun plans for a weekend of reunion shows after a hiatus of over 2 years.

Vocalist/Rhythm Guitar Chris "OJ" Ojeda comments about their upcoming reunion, "2 and 1/2 years ago we put a sudden and abrupt halt to our musical careers under the name Byzantine. It was a really anti-climactic way to go out. We know a lot of fans and friends alike felt cheated that we didn't play any shows supporting our last album, 'Oblivion Beckons.' Now, we all feel like it's time to give a little something back, all guns blazing. Unfortunately, we are unable to tour since we live scattered across 3 states, have children and full time jobs, but we want to give our local fans something to remember us by."

The reunion show schedule is as follows:

03/5 - The Sound Factory, Charleston, WV
03/6 - The V Club, Huntington, WV
03/7 - 123 Pleasant Street, Morgantown, WV

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Byzantine Vocalist Recording Thrash Cover Album

Chris Ojeda, vocalist of the now broken up metal band Byzantine, announced that he has begun recording a solo project under the name Black Cap Miner. The album will consist entirely of covers of eighties and nineties thrash songs. Ojeda is handling the rhythm and vocals and will be featuring various guitarists to handle the lead guitar work, who will be named at a later time. Ojeda stated that "As of right now I have 8 songs started and should have them finished on a very tentative schedule within the next two months."

The current track list is made up of the following songs:

Megadeth- The Conjuring
Nuclear Assault - Brainwashed
Annihilator - Allison Hell
M.O.D - True Colors
Testament - Greenhouse Effect
Wrathchild America - Climbing the Walls
Exhorder - Legions of Death
Kreator - People of the Lie

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Headline News

Byzantine Break Up

Charleston, West Virginia metal band Byzantine has called it quits. Formed in 2000, the group has released three full-length albums with Prosthetic Records. The following statement has been issued:

"As of today Byzantine is no longer a functioning band. Due to various circumstances the band will not be touring or performing together. We would like to first thank everyone that has supported this band throughout the years. You are the people that really made everything worthwhile and we are amazed at the wonderful response we have had from all of you. Because of you, we were part of something special and without you none of this would have been possible. Next, we would like to thank all the kickass bands that we have played shows with and hung out with. These were good times that we won't soon forget. It's with heavy hearts that we move on from this. Sincerely, from all of us in Byzantine, thank you so very much for the great experience that this was. Stay metal everyone. Montani Semper Liberi."

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George Parfitt Team Up With Michael "Skip" Cromer

Former THREAT SIGNAL drummer George Parfitt has teamed up with BYZANTINE bassist Michael "Skip" Cromer to form an as-yet-unnamed new band. The group, whose musical direction is said to be "very heavy, in the vein of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD," also features former CHILDREN OF TRAGEDY guitarist Andrew Wiens. The band is currently writing material for its debut album, which it hopes to release sometime in 2008.

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Byzantine Offers Teaser From New Album

West Virginian thrashers BYZANTINE have posted a seven-minute teaser track online, featuring snippets of tracks from the band's forthcoming record, "Oblivion Beckons." The track is available on the band's MySpace page, which also showcases the band's recent cover of eyehategod's "Shoplift," which appeared on the double disc tribute album, "For The Sick" alongside label mates Kylesa and The Esoteric.

Set for a January 22 release through Prosthetic Records, "Oblivion Beckons" is the follow-up to 2005's "...And They Shall Take Up Serpents," which saw a 2005 release and led to touring throughout the United States and Canada, including an appearance at New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in 2006, as well as the release of the band's first ever DVD earlier this year, "Salvation." The DVD features a live performance film, exclusive bootlegs, an uncut video for the track "Jeremiad," and behind the scenes footage and interviews. A trailer can be viewed here. More...

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Byzantine Announce Release Date For New Album

West Virginia's forward-thinking thrashers BYZANTINE will release their new album, "Oblivion Beckons", on January 22, 2008 via Prosthetic Records. Two songs from the CD are available for streaming on the band's MySpace page. According to a press release, the tracks "Nadir" and "Expansion and Collapse" showcase "the wider range" that BYZANTINE has pursued on its newest release. The album's cover artwork was created by Donnie Searls, who also directed the band's "Jeremiad" video and the "Salvation" DVD.

Regarding the musical direction of "Oblivion Beckons", BYZANTINE frontman OJ Ojeda previously said, "We took a couple different paths on this one, stripping down some things like the vocals for a more aggressive style and then going out on a limb on some other things we have never tried before. This album is more varied than anything we have done prior and, clocking in at around an hour, should have more than enough metal for all our friends and fans."

"Oblivion Beckons" track listing (in alphabetical order):

01. Absolute Horizon
02. All Hail the Endtimes
03. A Residual Haunting
04. Catalyst
05. Centurion
06. Deep End of Nothing
07. Expansion and Collapse
08. Nadir
09. Oblivion Beckons
10. Pattern Recognition
11. Receiving End of Murder
12. The Gift of Discernment

"Oblivion Beckons" is the follow-up to 2005's "...And They Shall Take Up Serpents", which received critical acclaim for progressive song structures and thrash-oriented musicianship.

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Byzantine Posts Two New Songs Online

BYZANTINE have posted two new tracks from their yet-to-be-released album on the band's MySpace page. The new album, entitled Oblivion Beckons is due out in early January 2008 through Prosthetic Records.

The tracks "Nadir" and "Expansion and Collapse" showcase the wider range that Byzantine has pursued on its newest release. "This is the very first Byzantine album in which all 4 members have contributed songs," Vocalist/rhythm guitarist OJ states, "and to my ears, it makes for a much more varied and interesting album from start to finish. This album is one hell of a ride!"

The follow-up to 2005's "...And They Shall Take Up Serpents," "Oblivion Beckons" was again recorded with producer Aaron Fischer and will feature art by longtime BYZANTINE collaborator Donnie Searls. The song listing for "Oblivion Beckons" is as follows:

1. Absolute Horizon
2. Nadir
3. Oblivion Beckons
4. The Gift of Discernment
5. Expansion and Collapse
6. Catalyst
7. Pattern Recognition
8. Renavatio
9. Centurion
10. Receiving End of Murder
11. All Hail the End Times
12. Deep End of Nothing
13. A Residual Haunting

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