By Christophe Lorentz
It was thanks to the second wave of cold and darkness that swept through rock in the early 90s, that Corpus Delicti came to life in Nice, France - a city yet better known for its beaches and carnival than for its music scene. Corpus Delicti was the exception !
In the midst of a dark music revival (then labeled "dark wave"), the quartet made a strong impression with their first album "Twilight" in 1993: carried by an evocative and distinctive voice - in which Bowie's influence is already evident, the group's melodic and hard-hitting gothic rock fuses the best of the great alumni of the genre (Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Christian Death, The Cure) with an energy, creativity and sense of melody that will quickly allow them to stand out from second-rate bands which then start to appear in Europe…
Corpus Delicti has not only sound and songs, but also style and personality. Visuals and look worked out (but never outrageous), presence of the iconic Roma on drums, undeniable charisma of the singer Sebastien, strong presence and inventiveness of the guitarist (Franck then Jerome) and Chrys'impeccable bass lines…
The combo works at full speed thanks to an ideal alchemy, which will give birth to three remarkable albums (“Twilight”, then “Sylphes” in 1994 and “Obsessions” in 1995), will be worth to them to tour Europe and then United States with the tenors of the new dark international scene of the moment (Das Ich, Faith and the Muse and Rosetta Stone), to be signed on European and American labels.
But the most intense fires are not the ones that burn the longest: victim of conflicts that animate its members, Corpus Delicti broke up in 1997.
Except for Roma, its members will not remain inactive, and will be involved in many musical projects in solo or in group (Kuta, Curl, Kom-Intern, Press Gang Metropol...).
But during this time, the cult around Corpus Delicti continues to grow, thanks to a community of loyal and connected fans around the world.
Rediscovered today by a younger audience, the group is regularly ranked in the Top 10 must-haves of Gothic rock around the world; the Sens Critique site even ranks them among the 35 essentials of the genre - the only french band quoted alongside Cure, Bauhaus or Joy Division, and states that "their second album is a masterpiece of the genre"; the Italian music magazine Ascension speaks of them as "an the most incredible mix between Bowie, Bauhaus and Christian Death", while it remains the only French group quoted by the reference site Postpunk.com as one of the essential artists of the genre !
A very complete biography (“Corpus Delicti - La Déliquescence des ombres” by Tony Leduc-Gugnalons) is even published by the French publisher Camion Blanc in 2011.
In 2020, the titles of Corpus Delicti have more than a million views on Youtube, and average 20,000 plays per month on Spotify – and that increases every month!
Galvanized by this evidence that the music of Corpus Delicti has never ceased to fascinate an audience that has only grown over the years, regularly solicited by requests from around the world, regenerated by a post-punk revival which cites as an example, eager to fill a new public who did not discover them until after their separation, the original members of Corpus Delicti (Sebastien on vocals, Franck on guitar, Christophe on bass guitar and Roma on drums) have therefore returned to the rehearsal room.
Immediately, the past 23 years seemed to disappear, the pleasure of playing together returned, and the alchemy that made the quartet one of the leading figures of hexagonal post-punk works again. To be continued ...