Review: The Neverclaim – Encounter: A Live Worship Experience

neverclaimFrom the first swelling refrains of The Neverclaim’s Encounter: A Live Worship Experience, one is reminded of a youth camp worship experience, with full-bodied songs that burst with energy and excitement, framed by vertical lyrics sung with passion and earnest fervor. It’s the type of musical experience one associates with unbridled enthusiasm and belief and that’s just the case with this latest from the pop/rock outfit.

The record is a natural outflow of the band’s heartbeat, as each member serves as an active member in their local church fellowships and allowing those relationships to reflect through their lives and music.

“Every story of hope in a desperate situation starts with an encounter with Jesus,” shares lead singer Jeremiah Carlson. “He alone holds the power to break off chains of fear, shame, anxiety and depression. He alone can redefine who we truly were made to be. He can take all the brokenness from our past and turn it into something beautiful.”

The Neverclaim channel this passion into their first track, a rousing live rendition of their hit “Our God Wins,” a track whose soaring energy sets the tone for the rest of the record with its forward percussive notes and rich electric guitar. Carlson’s vocals are primed and ready and he lays it out here while “Testimony” follows with similar energy and thoughtful progression of thought from experience with God to testimony.

“Through Christ” operates through some pleasant quiet space before building to a rousing conclusion built upon trust and faith in Christ’s faithfulness and power as “Encounter” builds upon this hope, begging for an encounter with God, Carlson’s voice passionate and pleading over more kicking drumbeats and guitar riffs. Providing a moment of quietude, “Where You Are” picks up that thought and runs for it, continuing to ask for God’s presence with praise while following with a tasteful cover of “Breathe.”

Beji George’s beats are again front and center on the Jesus-centered lyrics of “Man of Sorrows,” accented by Mitchell Maldonado’s ripping guitar before the track ebbs into a simple chorus of “Hallelujah” that would have only been better had they managed to capture a bit more of the live crowd in the recording. Celebrating the freedom of a life lived in Christ, “Rules and Reigns” is bright and energetic, Carlson’s voice exuberant before seguing into a passionate rendition of “Touch the Sky.” Finally, the band closes things out with a faithful take on the classic hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” a fitting conclusion to an album centered on that very theme.

The Neverclaim’s Encounter: A Live Worship Experience is a passionate, energetic, and Christ-focused celebration of Christ’s character, His interaction with us, and a prayerful plea for more that is surprisingly fresh. A welcome addition to today’s rather overloaded worship shelves, The Neverclaim leave their mark on this collection of tracks.

 

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