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Byzantine’s New Track “The Agonies” Focuses on Prescription Pill Abuse in Appalachia


Byzantine - To Release is to Resolve
Byzantine haven’t ever shied away from the harsh realities of rampant drug abuse in their home state of West Virginia. Juston Norton of Decibel, who premiered Byzantine’s new track “The Agonies,” points out that the plight of poor, rural America is not one often told in metal: sure, we hear about all sorts of drug exploits, but always within the context of the glamorous L.A. lifestyle or the rough-and-tumble streets of NYC.

Here’s what Byz frontman and guitarist Chris “OJ” Ojeda has to say on the subject matter of “The Agonies,” and on the issue of drug abuse in Appalachia in general:

“The Agonies” is a street term for withdrawal symptoms from pain pills. This song is a continuation of the topic of rampant drug abuse in my home state of West Virginia and particularly the area that I was raised in. Last album, we released the video “Soul Eraser,” which focused on the meth problem. “The Agonies” is about prescription pill abuse. My state has the highest mortality rate from RX pill abuse in the country. It is literally crippling our economy. In the chorus, we have the line: “These WV hills can sedate you.” On our debut 11 years ago, our biggest song “Hatfield” had the line: “These WV hills can’t sedate me.” We go back to our first album to let people know that things have changed — for the worse.

Listen to the track below; the music, of course, completely rips… but you already knew it would. To Release Is To Resolve comes out on April 7th and can be pre-ordered here.

Byzantine will appear at the fifth annual South by South Death official MetalSucks SXSW showcase in Austin later this month, followed by a brief string of tour dates, all listed at the end of this post.

March 18 – Austin, TX (South By South Death) @ The Dirty Dog
March 19 – Little Rock, AR @ Shooters Bar & Grill
March 20 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
March 21 – Dayton, OH @ Rockstar Pro Arena
April 04 – Huntington, WV @ The Vclub
April 17 – Beckley, WV @ Muncheez Bar & Grill
April 18 – Parkersburg, WV @ Sixpence Pub & Eatery

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