Sad news today, as Matt Wolfe, longtime drummer for West Virginia groove metallers Byzantine, has died. He was 46 years old.
As MetalSucks reports, Matt’s death was confirmed by the band, who released a tribute video for Matt compiled by Screaming Butterfly Entertainment. They also released the following message regarding Matt’s passing:
“We are deeply saddened to pass along word that our friend and ex-drummer Matthew Wolfe has passed away from a long battle with addiction. Matt was a phenomenal musician, songwriter and guitarist. Matt started playing drums only 8 months prior to joining BYZANTINE, quickly getting the band signed and performing on stages alongside some of his biggest idols in heavy metal. Matt loved the WV Mountaineers, the Green Bay Packers, loved animals and meeting new friends on the road. Matt’s biggest love was his son Ethan and Ethan’s two older sisters Kendall and CJ. Matt’s unwavering support of the local music scene and bands he shared the stage with will forever ensure Matt is remembered fondly. Matt Wolfe was 46 years old. WE LOVE YOU WOLFE!”
For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, Byzantine were an awesome act who emerged during the early 2000s. While so many other bands were focused entirely on adopting booming trends like metalcore and nu-metal, the West Virginia quartet made old-school groove metal that walked a line somewhere between Prong and High On Fire. Their unorthodox song structures and incorporation of diverse musical elements also made them an uncommonly interesting band, and earned them tours with then-emerging acts like Lamb of God and Shadows fall.
Though not the band’s first drummer, Wolfe played with Byzantine from 2002 to 2015, appearing on all of the band’s studio albums except for 2017’s The Cicada Tree.
Everyone at The Pit sends their heart out to Matt’s family, friends, fans and collaborators during this difficult time.
Words by Chris Krovatin