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Byzantine: Oblivion Beckons

Byzantine have been pushing the boundaries of extreme metal over the last four years, and their latest release Oblivion Beckons might just be the one to push them over the top and give them the wider recognition they so deserve. At their core, Byzantine is a thrash metal band, but their music is so textured and intricate that it should easily appeal to progressive metal fans, especially those into more extreme bands like Meshuggah, Between the Buried and Me, Lamb of God, and Opeth. The guys go for some atmospheric and quite progressive layers on "The Gift of Discerment", then bash you over the head with blinding guitar leads and frantic rhythms on the pulverizing thrash of "Expansion and Collapse". This 'keep you guessing where they will come at you next' format continues throughout the CD, Byzantine showing that they are mastering the art of varied songwriting, hammering the listener with catchy melodies, heavy riffs, and complex arrangments. Lead singer/guitarist OJ Ojeda mixes in growls, shouts, and clean melodic vocals equally, many times within the same song, like on the killer track "Centurion", a crushing combo of complex prog-metal, hardcore, and death metal. Drummer Wolfe plays like a man possessed throughout, crashing his kit with reckless precision-check out his insane work on "All Hail the End Times" for proof of his talents. Keyboards are added in for color on a few songs, but for the most part this is a guitar driven album, with Ojeda & Tony Rorhbough doing all the heavy lifting and really coming up with some inventive riffing and harmony lines.

With 13 songs clocking in at 55 minutes, there's not a dud in the bunch. Byzantine have come up with a real winner here with Oblivion Beckons, a CD that is one of 2008's early gems and sure to be one of the year's best metal releases when it's all said and done.

Track Listing

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

Added: January 13th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Byzantine My Space Page
Hits: 4780
Language: english

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