As of March 2016, the band consists of front-man and co-founder Chris "OJ" Ojeda (rhythm guitar and vocals), Brian Henderson (guitar), Matt Bowles (drums) and Sean Sydnor (bass guitar).
The band has released three studio albums on Prosthetic Records along with two independent albums, and are probably best known for their unique sound and modern, "forward thinking" musical style which explores different musical territories and song structures.
The band split on January 26, 2008, one day after the release of their third album, due to various circumstances, but reunited in 2010. On March 31, 2016, Metal Blade Records announced that they had signed the band to a worldwide deal and that they would be releasing a new album in early 2017.
Byzantine were formed in the spring of 2000 by bassist Chris "Cid" Adams, drummer Jeremy Freeman, guitarist Tony Rohrbough, and vocalist/guitarist Chris "OJ" Ojeda after their former bands, New Family and Temper, disbanded.
Byzantine wrote four songs before Jeremy Freeman left, then seven more songs were written, and 2000-2001 Demos were recorded and self-released in 2001.
Jeremy Freeman returned for a short period of time in October 2001 to February 2002, then parted ways with the band once again. Soon after, Byzantine became a part of the local West Virginian Heavy Metal scene.
Subsequently, the band recruited local musician Matt Wolfe as a drummer. Ten songs featuring Wolfe were recorded in 2003 at Broadmoor Studios in Huntington, West Virginia and subsequently were released as The Broadmoor Demo, arousing the interest of Lamb of God's drummer Chris Adler. Byzantine then had a short East Coast tour with Lamb of God. This tour helped them obtain new fans and a deal with Prosthetic Records.
Soon after Byzantine released their debut album The Fundamental Component in February 2004, which introduced the band's trademark sound. Subsequently, Byzantine toured with Lamb of God and Shadows Fall as well as playing the main stage of New England Metal and Hardcore Festival in 2004 (and later in 2006). Chris "Cid" Adams was soon fired, and Byzantine returned to the studio to record their second album in 2005: ...And They Shall Take Up Serpents, with Tony Rohrbough taking over bass duties in the studio. The album received high praise both abroad and domestically.
A 2007 fan-oriented DVD titled Salvation, featuring exclusive material, scenes, in-studio clips, interviews, the uncut version of the "Jeremiad" music video and the performance of the never-before released "Cradle Song", increased the band's popularity. On January 22, 2008, the band's third studio album Oblivion Beckons was released. The band announced its break up one day after the release.
In March 2010, the band reunited and played local shows around West Virginia. The band members insisted that they had returned with the intention of carrying on Byzantine. However, it was announced on August 17, 2010, that original guitarist and founding member Tony Rohrbough would leave with the group. Brian Henderson then filled his role.
On January 26, 2012, it was announced the band was reunited with original lead guitarist Tony Rohrbough and had plans to record another album, which was to be self-funded. On February 26, 2013, their self-titled album was released. Bassist Michael "Skip" Cromer left the band due to finding religion.
On May 29, 2014, it was publicized that Byzantine would be recording their fifth album that September when producer Jay Hannon returned to West Virginia with new guitarist Brian Henderson and new bassist Sean Sydnor. On April 7, 2015, the studio album To Release Is to Resolve was released independently by Byzantine for the second time.
Studio Albums List
1) The Fundamental Component – (2004, Prosthetic Records)
2) ...And They Shall Take Up Serpents – (2005, Prosthetic Records)
3) Oblivion Beckons – (2008, Prosthetic Records)
4) Byzantine – (2013, self-released)
5) To Release Is to Resolve – (2015, self-released)
1) 2000-2001 Demos – (2001, Caustic Eye Productions)
2) Broadmoor – (2003, full-length demo, also known as European Sampler, DK Entertainment/KMS)
Members Name Check
- Chris "OJ" Ojeda – vocals, guitar (2000–present)
- Brian Henderson – guitar (2010, 2013–present)
- Sean Sydnor – bass (2013–present)
- Matt Bowles – drums (2016–present)
- Matt Wolfe – drums (2002–2015)
- Chris "Cid" Adams – bass (2000–2004)
- Michael "Skip" Cromer – bass (2004–2013)
- Tony Rohrbough – guitar (2000–2013)
- Jeremy Freeman – drums (2000) (Late 2001-2002 live)