Byzantine bassist quitsBassist Michael "Skip" Cromer of reunited West Virginia metallers Byzantine has released the following statement:
"I am writing this post to inform you that as of after the Sound Factory show this Friday, I will no longer be playing in Byzantine.
"I have in recent months become a Christian and I feel at this point in my life that I have another direction that I must go in.
"I would like to thank my brothers in Byzantine for the opportunity to play in (my not-so-humble opinion) the best heavy metal band in the world. Through choosing me to fill the bass spot, I have seen more of the world than I ever thought I would. I have also had the privilege to be around some of the best musicians that have constantly pushed me to improve not only my skills as a musician but also as a businessman and friend. I love you, Oj, Tony, and Wolfe. You supporting in my decision means more to me than any song, any album, or any tour that we have worked on. I look forward to hearing what you crazy rednecks come up with next. I was a fan before I joined Byz, and I am a fan still.
"Next, I would like to thank all the friends I have made during my time in Byzantine. There are so many of you that to write all of you down here would take more room than I think Facebook will allow. You all have made such a impact on my life that to not recognize you in some way would be a disservice. I will, however, point to some key people. They are Aaron Fisher, Daniel Johnson (Logan County as a whole, really), Anthony Lewis, Rod Lanham, Xack Padin, Jamie Rakes, Roadblock, and the Ojeda, Rohrbough, and Wolfe families as a whole. You all have stood out to me as supporters of this band in good times and bad. Much love to you as well.
'Last but certainly not least, I want to thank all the fans. When I joined Byzantine, I was welcomed with open arms in the way that only West Virginia knows how. I felt as though I became a 'honorary redneck.' Without your continued support, Byzantine, or any other band for that matter, would not be possible. I will remember the crazy nights and conversations that I have had with some of you and it is my hope that I will run into you in the future.
"Please join me this Friday in celebrating the Sound Factory. I think it a very fitting finale to my time with Byzantine that my last night with them will be in my favorite club in Charleston. It will be a great time and there will be a couple of surprises.
"God bless you all. Montani Semper Liberi."
Byzantine's self-titled latest album was released on February 26 through Gravedancer Records, the new label formed by MuseBox Vp of marketing, Josh Eldridge, in partnership with marketing company MuseBox.
The "Byzantine" cover artwork was designed by David Friedmann, the winner of the contest the band launched on MetalSucks.
Byzantine was first discovered by Lamb Of God and released three highly respected albums and completed several major tours before calling in quits in 2008, just after the release of their most respected effort, "Oblivion Beckons". Last year, the band entered the studio to begin work on the new Cd.
"Soul Eraser" video: