Reunited BYZANTINE Parts Ways With Guitarist, Announces Replacement

Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Chris "OJ" Ojeda of reunited West Virginia metallers BYZANTINE has issued the following update:

"We have been receiving a lot of emails and texts lately about a rumor regarding us losing a band member. Well, the rumors are TRUE.

"First, let me backtrack a little and give you the full story.

"After the three BYZANTINE 'reunion shows' we had back in March 2010, a couple of us kicked around the idea of not hanging it up. We thought it would be awesome to keep playing, albeit back in the local West Virginia music scene, unsigned and happy as hell.

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"We had two major stumbling blocks that we needed to cross first. Skip [bassist Michael 'Skip' Cromer] had moved back to Trafford, Pennsylvania to pursue a career in the IT field and Tony [Rohrbough, guitar] moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to try his hand at warmer weather.

"Skip immediately was on board. We asked Tony and, after some thought, he decided to not return back to playing in BYZANTINE.

"We respect Tony's decision to move on with other musical endeavors just as Tony respects our decision to continue under the name BYZANTINE. Skip, [Matt] Wolfe [drums] and myself simply are having too much fun to quit for good.

"Tony and I started BYZANTINE 10 years ago. Tony's writing style and lead guitar technique are an intergral part of the BYZANTINE sound. But, over the course of three studio albums, we had three different writing teams which produced three different-sounding albums.

"In no way are we going to try to bring in another Tony. With that being said, we would like to introduce our newest lead guitarist, Brian Henderson!!! Brian has been an easily recognizable figure in the West Virginia music scene as he currently is the lead guitarist for the Ashland, Kentucky-based rock band SPLIT NIXON. Brian will be handling both duties for BYZANTINE and SPLIT NIXON.

"We are very honored and excited to be playing with such a great guitarist and an even greater friend! So if you attend a future BYZANTINE show, buy Brian a beer. He likes beer. 'Till then!!!"

BYZANTINE played three reunion shows in March 2010 in the band's home state.

Fan-filmed video footage of the group's March 6 concert at The V Club in Huntington can be viewed below.

Shortly following the January 2008 release of "Oblivion Beckons", the foursome announced that they were disbanding. This announcement came as an unpleasant surprise to their fans, particularly due to the fact that they would not be touring at all in support of their latest album.

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