While you might hear an awful lot about society’s ills in metal you don’t hear about the plight of rural America too often. But the harsh realities of Appalachia provide much of the inspiration for Byzantine’s take on thrash, particularly on “The Agonies,” the song we’re premiering today.
Frontman Chris Ojeda explains:
“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.
Stream “The Agonies” now and preorder To Release Is To Resolve — details are available on Facebook. It’s out April 7.