Album Review :
Encomium - The Day Love Came

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Band: Encomium
Title: The Day Love Came
Label: Altar City Music
Release Date: April 15, 2009
Review By: Scott L


01. Love Without End
02. The Day Love Came
03. Live It Out Loud
04. My Love
05. Light That Broke The Night
06. Revolution Anthem
07. You Are My God
08. Only King
09. Your Song
10. proskuneƑw

“Oh, my stars and garters.” Is what I would have said if I were an 80-year-old woman. Thankfully, I’m not. So my reaction was more along the lines of, “Where have these guys been hiding?!” I’m still looking for the answer to that one. “The Day Love Came” is Encomium’s third release. Count them with me… one, two, three. Why haven’t I ever heard of these guys before?!

The word encomium, in case you’re curious, is Latin for a formal expression of praise. Typically done in a public setting. Sorta like the old Roman victory processions where everyone would line the streets to pay tribute to a returning general that had won some battle against the barbarian hordes. In this case, Encomium is a 3-piece out of Portland, Oregon that puts out some seriously ear-friendly rock. Striking a balance between modern rock and modern worship, I’d put these guys in the same category as Rush of Fools, This Beautiful Republic, and Sevenglory. Sweeping rock choruses and passionate ballads. All this with top notch production. Which should be expected given the fact that this full-length CD was released through Altar City Music.

If you’ve got either of their previous releases, you’ll find some repeats here. But, although I haven’t heard their prior CDs, I’m gonna guess that production is up on the versions released through the label. Maybe not re-recorded, but I’m gonna figure that they were at least re-mixed. Just a guess. And by the way, if you do have one or both of their other CDs, I’m holding you personally responsible for my not knowing about them. Ah, deferral… I feel better. You?

Lyrically, Encomium is right on target. Kinda like that twelve-year-old you hate to meet in Call of Duty deathmatches. These guys save the allegory and the allusion for the alt-rock crowd. Wow, I felt that one. Anyway, consider the song “Only King” for a moment, “O’ Jesus, You’re all I want in this life / O’ Jesus, You’re all I need in my life / where would I be if it wasn’t for You / what can I do if I’m without You / there’s really nothing I want more / than more of You in my life / forever I will sing my praises to You, my only King”. More Jesus in one song than in most whole albums. And the majority of the songs here have the same heart at their foundation. But what I love is that they don’t ever come off as canned or pretentious. Which is no small feat, particularly for a third release.

Standout track was “You Are My God”. All I can say is Altar City Music needs to push this one for radio play. This song could put a wicked beatdown on ninety-five percent of what’s being played on the majority of CCM stations.

Overall: I really liked this CD. I liked the music and I liked the heart behind it. Encomium plays sincere worship-oriented rock and aren’t intimidated to let you know that they serve Jesus with everything in them. You certainly won’t be left searching through their MySpace trying to figure out whether or not they’re saved. Praise God for that.

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