gg-byzOur music pick  for the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide today is the perfect gift for the fan of intelligent Heavy Metal music, and it’s also of local interest. The Cicada Tree by Byzantine is a major release from Metal Blade records, but it was recorded at The Bakery, on Charleston’s West Side.

Byzantine has been making internationally-acclaimed music since 2000, and with the addition of a new drummer last year, and a new bassist three years before that, they are still innovating and creating incredible new music. The Cicada Tree is both a return to classic form and a bold step forward, as the new line up gels into a cohesive whole, and their musical journey continues, full speed ahead.

The entire album is terrific, but standout tracks are the lead single, “Vile Maxim” (see the video below), “Trapjaw,” “New Ways To Bear Witness,” and the title track. This is thinking man’s Heavy Metal at its finest. You ought to be able to find physical copies of the album at Budget Tapes and Records or Sullivan’s Records, or you can order them from Metal Blade or Amazon.

You can also pick up the CD or vinyl at their shows, and they have a huge one coming up on December 3. Chris Ojeda of Byzantine has been instrumental in the efforts to save The Bakery (Charleston’s former Purity Bread factory), and Byzantine will be part of a gigantic three-day benefit to transform a huge space in the building into a much-needed all-ages venue.

You can read about the benefit HERE, and donate to the effort HERE. You can also pay to attend the show, buy the album, have the band autograph it, and come away with the coolest Christmas present in the world for the metalurgical music fan on your shopping list.

As we go to press we’ve learned that there will be a Swap Meet at The Bakery Sunday, November 26, starting at 9 AM. We will post full details on that benefit for the Bakery Friday, in our local merchant wrap-up for the Gift Guide. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few copies of The Cicada Tree for sale there.