Amongst many of the glorious things within Metal, there’s always been the unforgiving and all inspiring attitude of flying the middle finger in the face of every living thing within the society that surrounds us.
We are a community of misfits that look at the world for what it really is. This being said, all these elements can be found in the latest record by Byzantine. A four-piece riff machine from the state of West Virginia, USA. Forming in the early 2000’s, it’s fair to say that this is a band that have had a fairly turbulent past with line-up changes and a reformation. Back with a solidified line up, Byzantine are on the brink of releasing their 6th studio album and the band have never sounded better!
The Cicada Tree is the latest offering from Byzantine.
Thrashy, Heavy and full of attitude this record is the sound of a band ready to make their mark and make it permanent. Much like Byzantines previous records there’s no fucking around, as soon as you press play your immediately served up mammoth riffs.
You name it, ‘New Ways to Bear Witness’ has it all! Chugging riffs, Ear bleeding solos, all tied together by a vocal performance by founding member Chris "OJ" Ojeda which needs to be heard! If you like the speed of thrash metal and the creative landscapes of Mastodon then you’re about to fall in love with this band.
With a guitar tone that roars at you, ‘Vile Maxim’ begins with the strings ringing out while Drummer Matt Bowles works his way around the kit, there’s a brief part in the intro where the guitars cut out and Bassist Sean Sydnor is jamming along which really shows that everyone is bringing something awesome into the mix. Eruption! The track becomes a wall to wall headbanger with verses that will be caught in your ears for a good old while.
‘Map of the Creator’ is a testament to the fact that there’s a lot more than meets the eye with Byzantine. Incorporating swinging melodies but not losing any of the crunch in their delivery. This is a track that dare I say you could play to an alternative rock fan and they would really get something out of this, this being said the song is still as heavy as an anchor. ‘Trapjaw’ brims with chugging technicality which wouldn’t feel out of place on a Gojira record.
The Cicada Tree is absolutely rammed with interesting riff arrangements and executed in a such a brilliant way, this could appeal to such a wider audience but there’s no getting away from the in your face delivery and harsh vocals with make this undeniably a metal record.
There’s a reason Chris Adler picked this band to be Lamb of Gods support back in the day. All you need to do is open your ears and you will see why!
Byzantine- The Cicada Tree
Out July 28th on Metal Blade Records.