Before The Ending Of The Day

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Here we are then, in the still time at the very close of the year, between Christmas and the arrival of the new year. Thoughts stretch out from the small and immediate to the past year’s joys and miseries and what the next may drop in our lap. Biblical rains and floods befall the land. This is not a christmas record, not at all, but if this is not the right time of year for The Revolutionary Army Of The Infant Jesus then I don’t know what is. This is their first record for 20 years. Their mix of experimental, folk, and spiritual elements have brought comparisons with Current 93 and Dead Can Dance in the past. If they are roughly in that area at least, I think I prefer their better moments to either. It’s a bit like post rock without any of those overplayed, overblown crescendos. Or maybe not. Their name comes from Bunuel, this album’s title ‘Beauty Will Save The World’ from a Dostoevsky quote, there is a song in French, a setting of a poem, a lengthy sample from cult snake handler documentary ‘Holy Ghost People’ and a reimagining of an old hymn. I think it’s fair to say they are not afraid that you might think them pretentious, indeed it seems they don’t really care what anyone thinks at all and move to their own special rhythm. As a result they wear all the weighty literary and cinematic references lightly, as inspirations for their own music that they happily to pass directly to the listener to consider as well. The title here is apt and seems to be providing a guiding light for the new incarnation. The music is less industrial than older efforts and the best of this record is truly beautiful. In the main it is a calming and lovely thing, there are a couple of moments I’m less keen on but it is well worth a listen in this quieter time of the year – their setting of R.S. Thomas’s ‘The Bright Field’ is particularly gorgeous… but for some reason we can’t share the youtube clip on here so instead here’s ‘A Crowd Of Stars’ which, in older and simpler times, would be the obvious choice for a single off the album.

HGP10

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