To Release is to Resolve, the new album from West Virginia groove metallers Byzantine, is one of the most hotly anticipated metal albums of the year. The first track they released from the record, ‘A Curious Lot,’ was a ferocious onslaught of groove-laden riffs, and if that song did a good job of whetting your appetite, then their new track ‘The Agonies’ is going to make you salivate uncontrollably for the album. Give it a spin after the jump, and prepare to headbang!

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The Agonies‘ kicks off with quite the tasty riff, and only gets better as it chugs along. They song’s lyrical content is just as heavy as the riffs that carry it, discussing the inevitable downfalls of pill addiction, and includes a reference to a song from Byzantine’s first album. Frontman Chris Ojeda explains further over at Decibel:

“The Agonies” is a street term for withdrawal symptoms from pain pills. This song is a continuation of the topic of rampant drug abuse in my home state of West Virginia and particularly the area that I was raised in. Last album, we released the video “Soul Eraser,” which focused on the meth problem. “The Agonies” is about prescription pill abuse. My state has the highest mortality rate from RX pill abuse in the country. It is literally crippling our economy. In the chorus, we have the line: “These WV hills can sedate you.” On our debut 11 years ago, our biggest song “Hatfield” had the line: “These WV hills can’t sedate me.” We go back to our first album to let people know that things have changed — for the worse.

If the two tracks released so far are any indication, To Release is to Resolve is shaping up to be one of the best metal albums of 2015. It is set for release on April 7 via the band’s own Snakepit Records. Be sure to pre-order it here!

– AL


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