New metalcore group Corpus Christi (a group that is actually from Cincinnati, Ohio and not, as one might believe, from the southern Texas city) got their major label start when they signed to Victory Records in September 2008 - a label that also houses popular mainstream groups like Bayside and Between the Buried and Me. Their debut full-length album, The Darker Shades of White, is everything that metalheads love.
Corpus Christi has an intense set of musicians. Drummer Justin Evans has that much-needed ability to be diverse. He can go from blazing fast right on down to a slower pace for breakdowns and moments that don't require as much speed. Also featured here are guitarists who may have to douse their fingers with water to put out the fire after their set. There are definitely plenty of rock and metal riffs, but it doesn't stop there, and they throw in a lot of technical, quick-finger work. Add to that the straining Oh, Sleeper-esque screams at the forefront of the group (screams that, at times, could also be compared to the screams heard from Spencer Chamberlain on Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety album, only a little deeper), and Corpus Christi is definitely a figure looming on the horizon, yet making its way toward us, demanding metalcore fans to go out and buy The Darker Shades of White.
One thing that is sometimes noticeable in Christian bands on mainstream labels is the substance - or lack thereof - in the lyrics. With Corpus, the substance is there. Whether the topic is the love of our Savior, or even simply the hopeless finding hope (as in "Marilyn"), it's there. The former can be found in "Until The Day." It speaks of longing for the day we can be with Jesus: "United souls screaming, 'How long?' Over the sound of our hearts breaking, 'How long until the day we become one?'" and later recognizing that that day is coming, and we'll know God's true love. But there's a bit of confusion when it comes to "Sacrifice." Through most of the song, it seems as though they're talking about their sacrifices and what they give just to live for God and to be with Him when their lives are through ("In life or death, my all for you, this is my sacrifice, live and die for you without hesitation"). But the last few lines seem as though it might be referring to the love of a wife, and the sacrifices you have to make to be with the one you love, which are many, no doubt ("Were it mine to give, I'd give you the world, and seal it with a kiss goodnight."). So it seems that that song could go either way. Point being, the songs contain substance, and sometimes focus on our Creator. Hopefully they keep that up throughout future releases as well.
Upon first listen to The Darker Shades of White, it's instantly obvious the talent that these guys have. As mentioned, the music is fantastic, and the screams are powerful and almost demanding. The only problem I've noticed throughout the album is the singing vocals that accompany the songs (Killswitch Engage style), usually in the chorus, sound like they still need a little work. Aside from that, however, fans of bands like August Burns Red or Inhale Exhale will find a new artist to fall in love with in Corpus Christi.- Review date: 2/8/09, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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