Byzantine: The Fundamental Component

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Byzantine: The Fundamental Component
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Byzantine: The Fundamental Component
Groove Metal, Metalcore, Thrash Metal
Prosthetic Records
February 10th, 2004
Release length: 52:25
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After a few demo releases, Byzantine has found a home with Prosthetic Records. Their first full length album, The Fundamental Component, is the labor of many years of hard work, dedication, and limited demo runs (their 2002 demo Pieces Of The Empire having two versions made of it, but only 10 copies available of each). So, after all this time, you’d imagine this release would be a must own CD, right?

Well, The Fundamental Component is an alright album, but not a must have. Right from the start, “Hatfield” gives you some rather basic groove metal interlaced with a good thrash sound. This continues into “Stick Figure”, which has the pace picked up, and is actually a rather good song with a nice solo. “Stoning Judas”, unlike the other two, incorporates clean singing during the chorus. The problem with that is the vocalist clearly restrains himself and has no idea if he wants to do some rough singing vocals, or if he wants to just go full blown clean singing.

There really isn’t much else to say about the album as far as the songs go, as they all sound pretty much the same as far as the groove aspect goes. “Sin Remover” is a pretty sick track in comparison to some of the others, only because of some of the background guitar riffs that will appear, as well as just how heavy the song sounds in the first place. But, the flow of the song is interrupted about half way through by a slow paced acoustic interlude you would expect from a jam band, and that is an issue that really plagues this band. The songs on this release seem to just sporadically, with or withou transition, change. In this instance you had an amazing song, that suddenly became light for absolutely no reason whatsoever with barely any warning. Even when it picks up it’s a completely different sound from what you were just listening to, as if they forgot what the hell they were even playing, or trying to draw the song out.

“Kill Chain” is really the only decent song on the album, even though it doesn’t sound like anything else on the album, which really helps it out. The song has a continuous flow, the chorus is sung and the music transitions well and doesn’t just stop or slow down. The guitar solo on it is absolutely fantastic as well. Had the band actually recorded this album with music much like this song, the album would be absolutely amazing. Instead, we are given nothing but random change ups that come out of nowhere.

Aside “Kill Chain”, the solos, and some of the guitar work on tracks like “Stoning Jesus” and “Slipping On Noise” (before the you reach three fourths of the way through the track of course), this release really just isn’t that good at all. The music just jumps around too much, many of the songs just feel drawn out, and there’s only a few decent songs on the release that won’t give you whiplash, or sound like the one before it. The only other perk to the album would be the vocals, as they sound great a good majority of the time, with the exception of the god awful singing at the end of “The Devil’s Arithmetic”, even if the music itself does have a sound quality that seems a little too amateurish. All in all, while there are some impressive moments that show off some very talented individuals in the band, they really need to just sit down and focus on their music and quit deciding to put random riffs in their music.

01. Hatfield – 5:51
02. Stick Figure – 4:49
03. Stoning Judas – 4:38
04. My New Casket – 6:16
05. Sin Remover – 5:47
06. Slipping On Noise – 4:54
07. Kill Chain – 5:19
08. The Devil’s Arithmetic – 4:30
09. Brundlefly – 4:38
10. The Filth Of Our Underlings – 5:43
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Byzantine (Band)
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Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.