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Tribute album appearances are located underneath the main discography.



2011 Lion Music

Chasing The Shadows Away.
Fallen Warrior.
I Don't Believe in Love (Falling in Lust).
Fly To The Sun.
On My Mind.
Waiting in The Shadows.
Remember Love.
Angel of Mercy.
 After The Fire.
Eye of The Storm.
Stranger in The Night.
Let it Out.
Gotta Find You.
Requiem Atlantis.


Some true musical treasure in the form of this special release from the early days of one of the worlds most accomplished guitarists, James Byrd. A name synonymous with some of the finest guitar work committed to tape, this unique release is an album any fan of the former Fifth Angel guitarist will have been longing to hear and serves as a reminder of just how good a songwriter and musician Byrd is.

Comprised of 14 never before heard performances and 7 new songs, “Beyond The Pillars” is -literally- a lost album. The material's origins date to when James Byrd began writing and recording with vocalist Freddy Krumins within days of departing Fifth Angel in the summer of 1987, with much of the music material Byrd had originally intended for the second Fifth Angel album.

Like Deep Purple's “Smoke on the Water” release, “Beyond The Pillars” was recorded on location. Brain Storm Productions mobile captured the band's magic at the infamous Music Bank sound stages in Seattle Washington from the fall of 1987 through the winter of 1988. Fans of Byrd’s solo debut “James Byrd’s Atlantis Rising” (Shrapnel Records) will recognise 7 of the track titles on offer here. However the versions here showcase a rawer, heavier and more immediate delivery to those that were later re-recorded on the now out of print “Atlantis Rising” release by Shrapnel Records. Further treasures are revealed in 7 never released songs rich in diversity and depth that make this a “must own” part of any Byrd, or indeed Fifth Angel’s fans music collection.

The forgotten masters that make up “Beyond The Pillars” were undiscovered until early 2011 when Freddy Krumins was going through a box of old tapes. Regarding the discovery of the recordings, James Byrd comments, “I was shocked to have had these masters turn up, and then to hear the quality. I had long forgotten the sessions after almost 25 years of other musical activities. Everything sounds better than I could have imagined and I think my playing was on a higher energy level than what later ended up on the J.B.A.R. debut. I knew it needed to be heard”.

On the musicians’ aim almost 25 years ago Byrd recalls, “The goal was to create a musical statement which was melodic and dynamic”. This material's character is further shaped by a lyrical content which blends tales of lost love, with Greek mythology and fantasy all powered by the sublime vocals of Freddy Krumins, himself a student of legendary vocal tutor David Kyle (who also coached the likes of Geoff Tate/Nancy Wilson/Chris Cornell etc).

“Beyond The Pillars” sounds like no other album from an American group before or since. The combination of European influences by groups and musicians such as Scorpions, UFO, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Uli Jon Roth, and James Byrd's decidedly classical influences, is such that “Beyond The Pillars” captures the energy of a newly formed group ready to take on the world.

From hard driving dark tracks tracks like “Chasing The Shadows”, to power ballads like “I've Got To Find You”, and lush instrumentals such as “Requiem Atlantis”, this album showcases a level of maturity and sophistication seldom heard from any band, let alone a new one from America in 1987.

James Byrd -All Guitars
Freddy Krumins - Vocals
Ken Mary - Drums
Tim Wolf – Bass

Additional performances by:
J. Byrd - Bass Guitar
F. Krumins - Keyboards and percussion
Jeff Mills - Drums
Andrew Baldwin - Keyboards
Gary Thompson – Drums
Richard Stuverud - Drums


2005 Lion Music

Prelude In Sea
Heaven On Their Minds
Shot Down In Flames*
In My Darkest Hour
The Hunted Heretic
Get Free
Storm King
Bolero - No.46 Mvt. 3*
Goodbye My Love
Going Home


An enhanced re-release of one of the best albums ever produced within the progressive heavy metal style and features guitar virtuoso James Byrd at his incendiary best. The album also features the astonishing vocals of Kendall Torrey, certainly one of rock's unsung vocal geniuses. The pairing of Torrey's impassioned vocals, and Byrd's soaring virtuosity, proved that its sheer musicianship and socially relevant content were a high water mark for the entire genre. Seemingly almost more relevant today than when it was produced, "Crimes Of Virtuosity" fit's the definition of a timeless album.

The "Crimes Of Virtuosity Special Edition", features the re-mixed Japanese bonus track "Shot Down In Flames", one of the hardest driving and politically biting pieces of heavy metal ever recorded by the band. In addition, the special edition features a never before released symphonic performance recorded just before the COV sessions in the same studio: "Bolero - No. 46 Mvt. 3". Known in the neo-classical rumour mill as "Byrd's Bolero", this melding of technical electric guitar virtuosity, with symphony, predated later similar hybrids by guitarist and long-time friend Yngwie J Malmsteen by more than a year. Always on the cutting edge, James Byrd unleashes a soaring blend of neo-romantic Mediterranean melody and dynamics that are unsurpassed for beauty and unique to this day.

Years ahead of its time, "Crimes Of Virtuosity" is increasingly socially relevant commentary set to a level of stellar musicianship and intensity which is increasingly rare. This album is a total knock out! Originally recorded on superior analogue equipment, the album has a wonderful warmth and depth lacking in many albums made today.

Beautifully repacked with all new cover and booklet art, and with all lyrics included in the packaging, plus two unreleased bonus tracks, James Byrd’s Atlantis Rising Crimes Of Virtuosity Special Bonus Tracks Edition is sure to be sought after by existing fans of the band as well as creating new ones.

James Byrd - All Guitars/ Keyboards
Kendall Torrey - Vocals
Randy Matthieson - Bass
Chase Culp - Drums


2002 Lion Music

Anthem ~ Dealt By Darkness
Messages From Home
Some Day
All I Want
Killing Machine
Thank You
The Price Of War
Only Love


"Anthem" is guitarist James Byrd's 2002 follow up to "Flying Beyond The 9", expanding and developing on the symphonic metal advanced by that album. The nine tracks on the CD are again extremely classical in nature, but also feature elements of progressive metal (especially in Michael Flatters vocal approach). Byrd lays down some amazing, fast-yet-melodic solos that have been his trademark since his work with Fifth Angel. Keyboardist/drummer/bassist Brian Hutchinson also returns on this CD, but that's not all - he also engineered, mixed and mastered as well. Fans of Yngwie Malmsteen and Uli Jon Roth will be able to relate to the music on "Anthem" right away - even though Byrd skillfully manages to carve out his own niche in the symphonic metal arena.

"Anthem" sets forth 9 tracks of highly polished progressive symphonic metal featuring complex multi-layered vocal harmonies, AOR melodic sensibility, and incredible guitar performances along with rich orchestration. One of Byrd's finest compositions is contained here with the epic "The Price Of War" as well as the burning fretwork of "Messages From Home", whilst "Killing Machine" is home to some of the most complex arrangements Byrd has fused yet into a metal framework.

James Byrd - All Guitars + Backing Vocals,
Michael James Flatters - Vocals,
Brian Hutchinson - Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Backing Vocals.



2001 Lion Music

Flying Beyond The 9
Dark Heart
W.T.O. (We Took Over)
Everything To Me
Unity (While You Were Sleeping)
Paradise Tonight
All Of Me (an allegory)
Avianti Suite Op.1 No.63


"Flying Beyond The 9" took the best elements of Byrd's own history, and sets them into an entirely new framework for the future. The nine tracks on the CD are extremely classical in nature, but also feature elements of progressive metal and pop, without coming across as either retro or trendy. The blazing melodic soloing which is Byrd's trademark still commands the attention of the listener, while keyboardist/drummer Brian Hutchinson and vocalist Michael James Flatters contribute mightily to the overall sound and production.

Flying Beyond The 9 is quintessentially Byrd, yet entirely fresh sounding and capable of setting a new course.

Flying Beyond The 9 was in Lion Music's top 3 sellers of 2001.

James Byrd - All Guitars + Backing Vocals.
Michael James Flatters - Vocals.
Brian Hutchinson - Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Backing Vocals


1998 JVC Victor / Mascot

Prelude In Sea
Metatron 444
Heaven On Their Minds
In My Darkest Hour
The Hunted Heretic (When I Was Young)
Get Free
Storm King
Goodbye My Love
Going Home

Crimes of Virtuosity was recorded in 1996 and first released on JVC Records in Asia in late 1997. Featuring Byrd's most passionate and aggressive guitar playing to date. The album also features amazing vocal performances long-time friend Kendall Torrey on lead vocals.

Crimes of Virtuosity is a decidedly aggressive album and it's raw, in your face guitar tones mark a change in production for Byrd, being decidedly un-processed and clear.  The album was featured on Masa Itoh's Syndicated Radio Hour across Asia and reviews have been stellar. C.O.V. was remixed for it's European release on Mascot Records in 1998 as an HDCD.

Standout tracks include "Metatron" which features one of the longest, fastest guitar solos ever recorded, and a burning cover of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic "Heaven on Their Minds" from the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

The album was again later released in 2000 via mp3.com with 2 bonus tracks was remastered for sale at Byrd's page at mp3.com page (now redundant). If you own a copy of this you have a TRUE collectors item.  The track "Metatron" went to #2 on the mp3.com progressive metal charts 10 days after release, and remained there for 9 straight weeks. The track was still top 10 at mp3.com after six months with many thousands of plays and downloads.


1996 Shrapnel Records

Cold Paradise
Death (is)
Dolly Dagger
I've Got A Line On You
Lighting The Sky
The Long Road

"The Apocalypse Chime" saw James Byrd teaming up with former Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason for 9 tracks that run the gamut of rock and metal.
Recorded in late 1995 and released on Shrapnel Records in 1996, "The Apocalypse Chime" was Byrd's last album on the Shrapnel label but suffered sonically at the hands of a limited budget.

Byrd comments, "I had a contract for two albums. This one, and Son of Man. I wanted to make "Son of Man", the label wanted a vocal album. I had limited funds for two albums, so in the end, I'd used all the money to make "Son of Man". By the time I had to make "The Apocalypse Chime", I only had enough money to pay the players. I had no budget left for mixing and mastering, so the production is awful, and it's made worse by a "mastering" job from hell. The guy who mastered the album really made a mess of it I'm afraid because it sounded much better before it was mastered. But I never even heard what he'd done until it had gone to press. It's really a shame because one of my favorite songs that I've written is on that album; 'Visigoth'".

Despite its sonic shortfalls the album was well received in the press for it's hard-hitting performances and writing and was recommended in the Martin Popoff book "The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 3: The Nineties".

"The Apocalypse Chime" is now out of print.

James Byrd - All Guitars & Bass.
Robert Mason - Vocals. Chase Culp - Drums.
Doug Roberts - Keyboards.
Evan Sheeley - Bass on Dolly Dagger.


1995 Shrapnel Records

In The Beginning
The World Requiem
Ezekiel (son of man)
Yeshua - Adonai Elohim
Out Of The Temple
The Teacher / Beatitude
Golgotha / The Right Hand Of Power
In My Fathers House

More focused than "Octoglomerate", and very classical in it's approach, "Son of Man" marked Byrd's 4th release and second instrumental album. Recorded and engineered by Byrd in 1995, "Son of Man" brought Byrd international fame as an important instrumentalist when Yngwie Malmsteen granted his first, and to this day, his only personal public endorsement of another guitarist .

Malmsteen's uncompensated endorsement of Byrd to Shrapnel Records brought Byrd into the limelight when Malmsteen proclaimed him as "The most exciting European sounding guitarist I've heard in years". Byrd was featured in Guitar magazine as "One of The Ten Best Guitarists You've never Heard Of", and proclaimed to be "Too good to be true".

Additional proclaimations by Malmsteen in interviews of Byrd as "A great Guitarist" and a guitarist "who really has vision" furthered Byrd's visibility in the press, and "Son of Man" became the most critically acclaimed guitar instrumental album ever released on Shrapnel Records.

Label budget constraints meant Byrd was not entirely satisfied with the final product, "I wish I'd gone a different mastering route. There's some kind of processing in the mastering that enhances the stereo field, but this tended to pick-up the reverb on the tracks and make the album sound a bit too wet, plus it tended to smear my faster guitar lines".

Long out of print the album has been known to see prices in excess of $80 on ebay.

James Byrd - All Guitars, Fretted Bass, Keyboards & Piano.
Bill Roman - Fretless Bass.
Chase Culp - Drums.


1993 Shrapnel Records

Heavy Water
War Hero
Yoshimi's Mourning
Time Alone
Mourning World Blues
Dances With Knives
Why Have You Forsaken Me


Byrd's first all instrumental release, "Octoglomerate" was recorded in 1993 for Shrapnel Records. The album features a blend of Hendrixian space-rock and neo-classical influences which remain unique.

"Octoglomerate" marked Byrd's introduction to Yngwie Malmsteen who upon hearing the album, asked to meet Byrd. The two became good friends when Byrd found that Malmsteen admired his music and vision.

"Octoglomerate" also marked Byrd's first effort at engineering, having been recorded by Byrd in his basement on a single 8 track machine with almost no equipment other than his guitars, amps, and a bare bones studio setup.

"I did this entire album with a single eight track machine with no track bouncing. Still don't know why it sounds good, but it does, and I have no idea how I pulled it off. I had to print all my effects while tracking because I only had two devices: One old Midi-verb, and an even older ddl".

"Octoglomerate" is an album made with virtually no commercial considerations according to Byrd, and the album features very extended concepts, embodying elements of blues, jazz, flamenco, classical, funk, and metal. Impossible to put in one category, Octoglomerate generated critical acclaim not only from Malmsteen, but in the guitar press as well.

"Octoglomerate" is now out of print.

James Byrd - Electric & Classical Guitar, Keyboards, Bass Guitar on 'Octoglomerate' and 'Why Have You Forsaken Me'.
Jeff Robinette - Drums, Sequencing & Percussion.
Joey Blair Mudarri - Bass Guitar & Fretless Bass Guitar.


1990 Shrapnel Records

Into The Light
Let It Out
After The Fire
Fallen Warrior
Angel Of Mercy
Driven By Desire
Eye Of The Storm
Remember Love
Bay Of Rainbows
Fly To The Sun

Recorded under his own name in late 1989, Byrd's 2nd album was released in Japan and Europe to critical acclaim in 1990 on the Apollon and Road Runner labels, respectively.

Although slated for release on Shrapnel Records in the U.S. in 1990, a lawsuit between label president Mike Varney and his distributor left Byrd's album undistributed in boxes for an entire year while ads ran claiming it's availability.

Featuring the same melodic writing style that won critical acclaim for Fifth Angel, the album was a strong seller in Japan and Europe. "James Byrd's Atlantis Rising" charted at #14 in Asia, and was a top 20 metal release in European territories.

The album marked Byrd's first instrumental track, "Bay of Rainbows", a majestic anthem featuring backwards guitars and soaring melodies. The album is now out of print.

"James Byrd's Atlantis Rising" is now out of print.

James Byrd - Guitars.
Freddy Krumins - Vocals.
Ken Mary - Drums.
Evan Sheeley - Bass



1985 Shrapnel Records / 1988 Epic

In The Fallout
Shout It Out
Call Out The Warning
Fifth Angel
Wings Of Destiny
The Night
Only The Strong Survive
Cry Out The Fools
Fade To Flames


The genre defining album of the Power Metal movement. Fifth Angel is on its umpteenth world re-release and Byrd has never seen a cent from Epic.

Considered by fans of melodic power metal to be a defining album of the genre, the album that launched James Byrd's recording career is now in it's umpteenth worldwide re-release from which Byrd has never seen a cent in royalties from Epic.

The band Fifth Angel was created by Byrd in late 1983 and quickly snatched-up by California guitar-whiz promoter Mike Varney and signed to his label, Shrapnel Records. The album made it's debut on Shrapnel in late 1985 and garnered critical acclaim in the press, particularly in Europe.

In 1988 Fifth Angel were signed to Epic/ CBS Records and the debut album was re-mastered, given a new cover, and re-released. Feature articles in major magazines like Metal Edge, Hit Parader, Pulse, and a whole slew of European publications propelled the band into the heavy metal spotlight.

Byrd landed endorsement deals with Ibanez and Peavey and full page ads featuring him ran in major guitar magazines. The band signed with Concret Management and Marketing but Byrd parted company with Fifth Angel at the same time.

Fifth Angel went on to record the next album without Byrd, but broke-up upon completion of the recording. Drummer Ken Mary went on to play with Byrd on "James Byrd's Atlantis Rising".


Secondhand Smoke
A Tribute To Frank Marino

2005 Wildmess Records

Byrd performs "The World Anthem".

The Spirit Lives On Vol.2
A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix

2004 Lion Music

Byrd contributes a solo to"Burning Of The Midnight Lamp".

Beyond Inspiration
A Tribute To Uli Jon Roth

2003 Lion Music

Byrd performs "Still So Many Lives Away".

Warmth In The Wilderness Vol.1
A Tribute To Jason Becker

2001 Lion Music

Byrd contributes a solo to "Outro Jam".


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