02. All Is Grace
03. Après Le Temps
04. The Bright Field
07. A Crowd Of Stars
09. Before The Ending Of The Day
One of music’s most elusive and enigmatic acts lifts the veil (a fraction) to present Beauty Will Save the World. Since forming in the mid-1980s, the reclusive Revolutionary Army of the Infant Jesus have confounded musical classification and studiously declined every invitation to explain their unique form of musical and artistic experimentation. Initially, the Liverpool outfit built their reputation on their extraordinary immersive multimedia performances, which combined multiple layers of visual imagery with elements of ritual, enigmatic samples, field recordings, and mesmeric live music. Their cult status was further reinforced with the release of the now-much-sought-after two studio albums The Gift of Tears (1987) and Mirror (1990) and two EP collections, Liturgie pour la Fin du Temps (1992) and Paradis (1995). Now, in 2015, the appearance of a new RAIJ album and the apparent relaxation of their strict vow of silence are generating predictable excitement and expectancy. Beauty Will Save the World does not disappoint. RAIJ’s intoxicating mix of ethereal beauty, dazzling soundscapes, and oblique mystery reach new levels of intensity and subtlety. The album title — a quotation from Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky — is one of the many literary, cinematic, and spiritual references underpinning RAIJ’s unexpected comeback. Founding members Paul Boyce, Jon Egan, and Leslie Hampson, joined by a fresh wave of collaborators, have crafted an album of unique beauty and originality. Prolonged silence seems to have deepened rather than dimmed their creative impulse. As ever, it is the breadth of musical genres, cultural references, borrowings, and retrieved sounds that defines the RAIJ aesthetic, but there is also a more consistently meditative and melodic strain that underpins the album’s integrity and purpose. In a rare insight into the RAIJ’s creative method, Jon Egan explains, “Although our work takes elements and inspiration from many disparate sources we have never viewed it as deconstruction. We are looking for the thread that connects every manifestation of beauty, however fragile, transitory and seemingly accidental.” “There is renewed interest and appreciation of our music and that’s great,” says Leslie Hampson. “We have never tried to cultivate obscurity or anonymity, we simply wanted to avoid having to explain and justify a creative process that isn’t necessarily premeditated. Isn’t it enough to listen to and experience it?” CD includes one extra track.