Corpus Christi


Metalcore,Melodic Hardcore,Thrash

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Originality in the metal landscape is a difficult trait to come by these days. Only a handful of innovative bands will be the true bearers to the progress of the genre, and the imitators will follow. If Cincinnati’s Corpus Christi has any say in the argument, their explosive, guts-and-glory style of metal will be one of the former.

Risen from the ashes of two former metal outfits, Corpus Christi’s founding members, guitarists Jarrod Christman and Jon Pauly, sought to assemble the ideal lineup for their new venture. By adding bassist Chris Towning, vocalist Will Henry and Justin Evans on drums, the band finally had its foot in the door; however, a Victory Records band was in need of new talent. Bury Your Dead recruited Towning to fill its bassist position, and with much encouragement from his bandmates, he signed on. This left the door wide open for Phil Smith, who filled the slot with panache and cemented the quintet.

Fueled on the riff-tastic sounds of bands like At the Gates and In Flames, Corpus Christi has used that inspiration, but not imitation, that made it instantly appealing to Victory. Within a matter of days, the band was discovered and signed, delivering a collection of metal carnage that was too good to pass up. Though comparisons to As I Lay Dying, Atreyu and Killswitch Engage have been common, Corpus Christi prefer not to be lumped into a category or subgenre, but to create its own separate entity. “In this day and age, everyone looks for someone else to compare you to,” Christman said. “But really, we’re metal and we can leave it at that.”

Another influential mark that has been left on the band is their beliefs, which play a subtle-but-powerful role in their music. Corpus Christi, which is Latin for “the body of Christ,” face the stereotype that many think one can’t be “Christian” and “metal” simultaneously. However, while the guitars thrash and the feel may be dark, many of the lyrics are rooted in a positive place, even when described with dark subject matter.

“To be a Christian metal band comes with a unique set of hurdles, but we play this music because we love it and it’s an extension of our personalities,” Christman explains. --“We love the music, and not necessarily the trappings often associated with it.”

It won’t be long before both of those seemingly separate worlds will know Corpus Christi. The release of their debut, The Darker Shades Of White, features a band that has continued to pound the pavement with their boisterous live shows, showcasing an album constructed with elements that will appease any critics from either side of the spectrum.

“The goal has always been to write great songs, and it always will be. Songs that people want to listen to over and over again, songs that are remembered, songs that last, songs that you can’t forget,” Christman said. “We want to put out the best album we can, with the hopes that it will be the best metal album that people have heard in a while, and to leave them wanting more.”

Spoken like a band that has no problem differentiating from the pack.

However, before the band could release their next album, the band ran into a rather unique problem.
“Everyone left, and as a result we got the best lineup yet,” said Christman of their changing roster. “It sucked to lose everyone but it turned out to be for the best. There’s a higher morale, and these new guys are a blast to be around,” he adds.

The new breath of life is the result of other bands falling apart. During the summer of 2009, Max O’Connell was on the road with the former Corpus Christi lineup selling their merch. On a random stop, he was asked to step in for Micah from Oh Sleeper, leading Christman to realize that O’Connell’s vocal talent could carry a band. When the former vocalist left Corpus Christi, there was no question in Christman’s mind of who would fill his shoes. “Max was our first choice,” said Christman. Meanwhile, Derek Ayres and Poling were working together in another band based in Cincinnati that just so happened to break up a short while before Corpus Christi. “Perfect timing,” said Christman about the series of events, “We had known them for years before from the Cincy scene anyway, so it was the logical next step.” It turns out that the ties between these future band-mates dates back to 2006, the year in which Corpus Christi had their first show with none other than Ayres and Poling’s old band, The Beneath. Christman had known Rhoads his entire life since the bassist’s family attended the church where the vocalist’s father preached. A couple years ago, Christman found out Rhoads was in a metal band and ended up playing a few shows with them. Fatefully, and conveniently when Corpus Christi lost 4 out of its 5 members, Rhoads’ band broke up leaving him to join the revamped Corpus Christi, adding the final layer needed to complete their new identity. “Everyone’s timing of their band’s disassembly was just perfect,” said Christman.

Corpus Christi , Latin for “the body of Christ,” continues to stay true to their Christian faith, and in doing so they further shatter the stereotype that music with a greater meaning cannot be expressed via metal. “To be a Christian metal band comes with a unique set of hurdles, but we play this music because we love it and because its extension of our personalities,” Christman explains. Hardships aside, it cannot be denied that their music has led them to a serious list of accomplishments.

Listen to Corpus Christi Here


Album Title Year Label
The Darker Shades of White2009Victory Records
A Feast For Crows2010Victory Records





United States

Record Label:

Victory Records

Christian Label:


Years Active: