Corpus Christi: A Feast for Crows

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Corpus Christi: A Feast for Crows
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Corpus Christi: A Feast for Crows
Melodic Death Metal, Metalcore
Victory Records
July 6th, 2010
Release length: 43:32
Myspace
Corpus Christi is actually a very popular name. No, this is not the US Power Metal act, nor the Brazilian Black Metal act, or even the already well established Black Metal act Corpus Christii. Infact, this is the polar opposite of Corpus Christii, though it’s only missing one “i” in it’s name. A Feast for Crows is from the Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore Christian themed Corpus Christi from Ohio, and oh what a clustered album that this release weaves. One minute you have mid-career Darkest Hour influenced material, a somewhat Groove a la A Life Once Lost influence, then Demon Hunter tinged Metalcore, scattered about through the album before the band manages to even try to begin being original, leaving very little solid flow to the album.

The start of A Feast for Crows really is confusing. For much of the release, there is a strong Demon Hunter influence present, mostly through the band’s breakdowns and how the clean vocals are performed, which can be noticed greatly during “Betrayed Redemption”. These clean vocals are actually really soothing and very suiting to a Christian-themed band and work well with the songs later on in the album as the band seems to progress towards a more original sound and away from incorporating influences. However, first you have to suffer through songs that simply don’t flow naturally between one another. The first track is an introductory one with an audio sample thrown in that does it’s job well to establish that this is a more Christian-based album, but that’s about it really, but luckily is done nicely so that it doesn’t feel like it’s just tacked on for no reason like many albums from various bands before. However, while the next track, “A Portrait of Modern Greed”, introduces us to what the album will have later on, it still has a bit of a Darkest Hour feel to the music, even with the clean vocals which are devoid completely of that soothing feel that comes later, especially during “Monuments”, which finds the band suddenly switching to a more A Life Once Lost or even Lamb of God style Groove Metal. Even though this makes the music a little heavier, the song itself is not that great in the first place and just jumps around wildly between styles, clashing greatly with each other and the rest of the material on the album.

“Betrayed Redemption” is really where the music starts to come together, although it doesn’t change anything as far as influences go. This one actually has a rather strong Black Dahlia Murder feel in the guitar work for the most part with a huge Demon Hunter presence in the chorus that is simply undeniable. However, up to this point, this is the most enjoyable track off the album. Once you reach this track, you start to enter smoother sailing as you pull out of the treacherous waters that are a band confused as to what they want to sound like. Of course “Little Miss Let You Know” is the track that really establishes the rest of the album, however the band throw in a random Southern Rock moment a little more then half way into the track that really doesn’t even need to exist and will leave the listener scratching their head confused, and is essentially the last of this style of wacky compositions for the band. The track “Windwalker” is an instrumental that really isn’t all too great, though it does bleed into “Broken Man” and kind of becomes a bit necessary to listen to, and could almost be looked at as an introduction to a whole other album as the material here becomes more consistant and seems to build on the more original sound that “Betrayed Redemption” and “Little Miss Let You Know” started.

The remainder of A Feast for Crows is actually quite enjoyable and, as stated, really starts to find it’s own voice for the band. The music on here really doesn’t have a huge display of influence and idol worship as the rest of the album goes, and it’s much more consistant and well composed. “Invictus” is the real stand out track on this release that shows a great vocal performance that brings the band’s clean style away from the soothing methods from above and manages to keep the song heavy throughout, though the music that accompanies the guitar solo doesn’t quite seem to fit, but the solo itself is one of the better ones off the entire release. While these last five tracks still aren’t anything all too spectacular, they are the most enjoyable tracks to listen to and show the potential that the group does have to put out a well composed album, especially if they were to write more songs as solid as “Blood in the Water”, which is another song that has a great performance, has a solid flow from start to end, and a more powerful vocal performance in the clean singing then the established Demon Hunter soothing singing approach prior.

To put it simply, there’s only a few songs on A Feast for Crows worth looking into, and honestly they aren’t all that impressive anyhow. Corpus Christi clearly has some talent, as showcased by those later tracks mentioned, but until the band is willing to recognize this approach and build more upon it, this band will continue to sound like a clustered fodder band that won’t really make it past the devout Christian metal fans and scene kids, though this audience is indeed kind of large at this point. If you don’t happen to fall into either of these categories, then A Feast for Crows by Corpus Christi is really an album to just pass by, especially since this release becomes a bit of a struggle to sit through even on the first go around until the better material kicks in, but by then it’s just a little too late for salvation.

01. The Red Horse is Upon Us – 1:39
02. A Protrait of Modern Greed – 3:49
03. Monuments – 3:55
04. Betrayed Redemption – 4:28
05. Little Miss Letyouknow – 4:21
06. Windwalker – 2:12
07. Broken Man – 4:30
08. Blood in the Water – 5:19
09. Invictus – 4:41
10. (Seeing You Again) For the First Time – 5:20
11. Shephards in Sheep’s Clothing – 3:18

Overall Score: 2.5/10
Corpus Christi (band)Digital review copy of this release provided by Victory Records.