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Byzantine have broken up, but thankfully this West Virginian squad left behind an admirable swan song via the 13-track album OBLIVION BECKONS. Maintaining their sharp thrash metal persona with a modern twist, tracks like "A Residual Haunting" screams Bay Area circa 1983 meets Lamb of God while "Pattern Recognition" radiates Meshuggah's robotic elements with a gallop that resembles that of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse before breaking into a Megadeth-esque low down musical interlude and "Nadir" combines the southern charm of Alabama Thunderpussy with the thunder of Testament. It's a shame that this band has called it a day, as their posthumous release juxtaposes a rich blend of forward thinking from today's metal bands with hearty chunks of old school thrash metal details for a potent sound that hits from all angles.
- Mike SOS