Album Review: Byzantine – “The Cicada Tree”

Byzantine_-_The_Cicada_Tree

I understand the desire to label West Virginia’s Byzantine underdogs.  Rising up in the midsts of what I guess will be forever known as the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, they took flight alongside acts like Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and their local brothers Lamb of God with a trio of popular albums before somewhat imploding in 2008 thanks not only to the changing scene but strife within the industry and the band itself.  You can paint that picture, and talk about being overshadowed by larger acts, but let me tell you a different story, one that ends with how The Cicada Tree, the band’s latest and first for Metal Blade, is not only tied for the best album they’ve released to date, but is an adrenaline-fueled highlight of 2017.   Continue reading