Monday, October 24, 2011


     In a press release regarding Downhere's latest project ON THE ALTAR OF LOVE (2011, Centricity Music), the following words are written: "As students of history, Jeremy, Jason, Marc and Glenn have come to recognize and appreciate the fact that their faith is not simply their own-but that it's part of a much larger communion of believers that stretches across cultures and thousands of years."  This album is an examination of that faith.
     'Only the Beginning' sounds like it could be the theme song of a movie and presents life as a passionate pursuit: "This is only the beginning/Press ahead forget what's behind, forget what's behind/And the good work He is still perfecting/A new name, a new dream, a new life/And this is only the beginning/This is only the beginning."  'Rest' is a radio friendly invitation to find peace in the person of Christ: "Come to Me, you tired and heavy-laden/Come to Me with all your weariness/Here with Me is where you'll find your haven/And I will give you rest/Yes, I will give you rest."  'Let me Rediscover You' is powerful and marvels at God's greatness: "How can I say I know You/When what I know is still so small?/Let me cry 'Holy, Holy, Holy'/Let me awaken to Your majesty/And see a glimmer of Your glory/Let me abide in You/Let me rediscover You."  'For Life' is a poetic song that reflects on things to be thankful for: "For a pretty girl and for falling in love, oh love/For spring ice churning the driftwood shore/For birdsong air and windswept hair/For fiddle head strings and flower bows" and "For everything revealed to see/For what's kept in mystery, oh Lord/From the finer things to the shirt on my back/The less I have the less I lack."
     'Living the Dream' has a circus type feel to it and highlights the importance of having a positive attitude: "As for me, I'm singing a new song/I'm not gonna dwell inside some alternate reality/I feel free-I'm making the best of it/Seeing with eyes that find the heart and soul of true beauty" and "Every day Love makes the promise/That we can be great if we want it/And we are living the dream/Highs and lows we'll take on together/Choosing joy whatever the weather."  'Seek' is a pop/rock song that offers this advice to humanity: "The call left unanswered/Will quickly take its toll/Seek while He may be found/Delight in Him in these times/This is the invitation/We've been waiting for/Seek while He may be found/Call on Him while He's near/Don't you fear, He won't hide."  'Glory by the Way of Shame' is a ballad about the power of forgiveness: "She cheated on him twice but for fear she never told/She finally confessed before her heart ran cold/With pain in his eyes, he walked out of the house and drove to town/Bought her a white wedding dress/Came home to her and danced."  'Holy' is a worshipful modern hymn: "You bore my shame/And in death carried my sin/Worthy Lamb, who gave Your life/Now, I can live again/Who was and is and is to come/The Father, Spirit, and the Son/Holy, holy, holy One/Holy, holy God."
     'For the Heartbreak' has a happy sound to it and shows evidence of a mature faith: "Thank You for the heartbreak/Thank You for the pain/Thank You for the sadness/On the gloomy days of rain/Thank You that the hard times/Have a reason and rhyme/Thank You that the healing makes the beauty shine/Thank You for the heartbreak."  'Turn this Around' is a midtempo request for divine intervention in one's life: "I feel the toxins in my veins/And deeper routed through my heart/I don't want to stay the same/If there's healing for the broken/Save me from me/I'm calling on the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief/Can You make a change in me?"  'The Altar of Love' is a magnificent song of true surrender to God that features the fiddle: "Lay down your idols/Lay down your possessions/Lay down your shrines and/Your worldly obsessions/Love will ask of you more than treasure/When you're willing to trust/Blessing far outweighs the loss when you lay it all/You lay it all on the Altar of Love/In the holiest room/Where the curtain was torn/By the ultimate wound/Oh, the Altar of Love/Where the glory resides."  'Reveal the Kingdom' has a laid back feel to it and reveals a desire to live life with an eternal perspective: "Be Thou our strength, to carry through/The hope of grace and bear the truth/As we wait for You to.../Reveal the unseen Kingdom/The glory of the new Son/Where ever more His love imparts/The kingdom in our hearts/Reveal the Kingdom."
     The black and white photography of the four bearded bandmates in period costuming on the album cover and in the booklet are a nice artistic touch.  ON THE ALTAR OF LOVE is a very strong Christian rock record produced by Mark Heimermann. I'm rating it 90% and recommending it to fans of Sanctus Real, Kevin Max, and Mercy Me.  For more info visit or