kindly donated by Craig S.
REVOLUTIONARY ARMY OF THE INFANT JESUS
THE GIFT OF TEARS
Original Issue: 1987 Probe Plus (PROBE 12)
Margot-meter: 4,5 moons / 5
1 Come Holy Spirit (9:29)
2 Tales From Europe (4:06)
3 The Miller (4:09)
4 De Profundis (3:37)
5 The Singing Ringing Tree (2:06)
6 Beauty After The Fall (9:16)
7 The Dream (4:47)
8 Lament (Ashes In The Water) (3:11)
9 Transfiguration (5:31)
10 Communion (3:14)
from Opuszine (find more here and here!)
“Mystery”, “whimsy”, “confusion”, and “otherness” are all words that could easily be applied to the strangely-named Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus (indeed, if the name alone made you roll your eyes, you may just want stop here).
The Liverpool-based RAIJ is often lumped in with the rest of the “apocalyptic/experimental folk” genre, alongside groups such as Current 93, Death In June, Sol Invictus, and The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud.
Like those artists, RAIJ’s music is a blend of folksy, acoustic instrumentation, cryptic lyrics full of sacred/apocalyptic imagery, and trance-like vocals that seem more like invocation. However, the band also incorporates ambient and industrial sounds a la Les Joyaux de la Princesse, as well as plenty of samples from European films (Andrei Tarkovsky and Jean Cocteau seem to be as big an influence as anything), old Russian speeches, and tattered radio broadcasts.
This record is easily one of my favorite albums of all time. It's proof of an unjust world that this album has scarcely been available over the past ten years. Except those rare copies offered at prices of an arm and a leg.
Eschewing economics, the beautiful music of RAIJ has bucketloads of passion, mystery, innocence, and is rife with an adventurous spirit of experimentation. You can literally hear the joy in their musical discoveries, from track to track. In it, you'll hear a valid attempt invoking the spirit of Europe: From otherworldly Gregorian-style chants to madrigal acoustic guitars/flutes to echo-chamber percussion and floating electronic soundscapes, even excerpts from Cocteau's movie ORPHEE. That is, a musical journey from medieval times to our electronic era. And it's breathtaking to hear such imaginal leaps through their sound.
It wouldn't be too off the mark to consider their music in the "apocalyptic folk" tradition of, say, Current 93, Death In June, etc. And like this style, it takes acoustic instruments and collides them with electronic manipulations. But this collision is done in a way that is totally singular and without peer.
Only an anarcho-Christian collective like them could have brought all of these elements together: Acoustic-electronic, innocence-wisdom, lucidity-confusion, Christian-pagan.
Michael Thomas Jones