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A Beautiful River of Praise
Posted June 30, 2014
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer


Few and far between are worship bands that lead their audience into the presence of God quite like this one. Bellarive, translated to "beautiful river," is one of the most authentic and anointed groups in music today. Just a few moments into an album, or better yet a live show, and it's clear that this is a group of people dedicated to what they do and Who they do it for.

Bellarive, comprised of Sean Curran, Melissa Mage, Mike Mage, Zach Glotffelty, Josh Luker and Kenny Werner, desire to make music not just for the people in the church, but for anyone who will listen. The main goal of the group is to craft artistic worship music to sing straight to the heart of God.

So far, they've done just that extremely well. Their first album with Sparrow Records, The Heartbeat, released two years ago and proved to be a strong start for the Orlando natives. It held great moments of worship and gave them a push into the world of Christian music. A few tours and many summer camps later, the crew is back with their sophomore release, Before There Was.
Starting off with the energetic "Let There Be Light," Bellarive delivers the same lyrical depth and beauty we've previously heard and loved from them. A sincere prayer from the heart of people longing to be closer to the heart of the Father, the song requests "here in this moment / as Heaven and earth collide / break down the walls / open our eyes / let there be light."

Slowing down into a more worshipful tone, "Your Great Love" displays Melissa's elegant vocals and speaks of the extravagant love of Christ that has sealed us and made us His. Recently released "Calling On Fire" is a graceful prayer of seeking more of God: "we're calling on fire / God come set our hearts ablaze."

The first single and new music video from the album, "Lazarus," is a well-polished track that begins in an almost haunting mood. The song features beautiful acapella parts and powerfully sings the power of God to raise dead things back to life.

The album moves to a more electronic/pop feel in "Save Us," but quickly reverts back to worship with one of the most intimate pieces featured in this collection, "I Belong To You," which praises God for the deep way He knows us and keeps us. The band describes radio single "Bring Us Back" as a summer song, seemingly a perfect fit because of the upbeat pop sound.

My personal favorite moment found here is "Hallelujah, To Saving Grace," in which Sean and Melissa's vocals work together to sing of the amazing grace that causes our sin to be left in the grave. Another engaging time of worship, "From The Very Start," carries a graceful piano melody from start to finish and closes out the record on a note of praise for His continued faithfulness.

Closing Thoughts:
Before There Was is a huge step for Bellarive. The band managed to maintain the same core sound and lyrical methods found on their previous release, yet made it more mature. It's a sure sign they're growing as a group and further validates their status as one of the most underrated acts in Christian music. One of the most creative, anointed, and authentic worship bands in the business, it's obvious that Bellarive has big things ahead as they continue to lead their audiences into the presence of God beautifully in the way this album did. Before There Was is certainly the most exciting and promising worship album we've seen so far this year, and is sure to be categorized as one of the best of all time.

Song To Download Now:
"Hallelujah, To Saving Grace"

View All Music And Book Reviews By CaitlinLassiter_NRT | View CaitlinLassiter_NRT's Profile

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