It’s been nearly five years since we last heard new music from the West Virginian groove metallers Byzantine. After breaking up days after their previous effort Oblivion Beckons, the band finally returned earlier this year and successfully funded their upcoming self-titled album on Kickstarter. I didn’t get into the band until after their break-up, but I’ve recently been revisiting their back catalog, sparked by their recent appearance at the West Virginian Independent Music Festival in Logan this October. Yes, they were amazing, and I’m stoked that I live within reasonable driving distance to a band this great.

That show was bittersweet, as the band played songs exclusively from their first record in lieu of any new material. After long last though, we finally have a new Byzantine track to behold, and it is brilliant! The time off has done the band some good, and there appears to be a bit of a stylistic evolution. Chris Ojeda’s vocals have improved tremendously, and they seem to have incorporated more progressive elements — at least as far as ‘Signal Path’ leads one to believe. You can stream the track over at Metalsucks. 

Byzantine is due out February 26th on Gravedancer Records, being quite possibly one of the first great records of 2013.

– JR


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