Delirious? to release Kingdom of Comfort

|PIC1|The RIAA Certified Gold-selling, globally impacting Christian rock band Delirious? return with their eleventh studio album, Kingdom of Comfort, set to release April 1, 2008 on Sparrow Records.

It is the first new studio album since the acclaimed 2005 release, Mission Bell, Delirious?'s Kingdom of Comfort questions everything, from cancer to consumerism, "five star" dreams to slums and poverty. It is an album that calls for sacrifice, social justice and love.

Recent tours have taken Delirious? to some of the poorest countries on earth where they've faced encounters with life that made poverty personal and forced hard questions to be asked by each member of the band. The visits have sparked a newfound commitment to social justice and compassionate ministry as an outworking of their being drawn ever closer to the Kingdom of God, as opposed to the kingdom of comfort.

Taking their renewed faith, thoughts and questions about these journeys into the studio, the band emerged with an album full of songs that encompass every aspect of highs and lows they faced in their travels.

"We just can't carry on the same way in any sphere of our lives," says Delirious? frontman, Martin Smith. "Everywhere you go there's a shift happening. People are evaluating what's truly important in life, and I think our new album reflects that urgency."

"Seeing children looking for scraps on the rubbish dump they call homes in Cambodia and the education and feeding projects in the slums of Mumbai [India] really had an impact on us," adds lead guitarist Stu G. "It wasn't possible to simply proceed with business as usual. We had to ask ourselves, 'What am I building? A kingdom of comfort? Or a kingdom of heaven?'"

With the album's first radio single, "We Give you praise", Martin confirms that we are to walk on the road of life and not give up. "We blame the devil for a lot of our troubles, but most of my trouble comes from me, my flesh, the old man. We have been saved from ourselves. That's the most amazing thing. Left to my own devices I would perish."

Literature also played a big part in the writing of Kingdom of Comfort, inspiring the songs and the mission. In fact, not only did authors inspire the new album, some have also joined the band in the mission writing stories to encourage charity in conjunction with the new album.

Delirious? plans to share these stories with their fans as four authors have been confirmed to participate so far: the Rt Rev Graham Cray, Bishop of Maidstone and the chair of the working group who published The Mission Shaped Church; Brian McLaren, author of The Secret Message of Jesus; Craig Borlase, author of The Naked Christian: Taking Off Religion To Find True Relationship; and Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution.

"We are made to live for something bigger than ourselves - this thing we call the Kingdom of God... God's dream for the world," writes Claiborne. "This is the realm where the last are first and the first are last, where the poor are blessed and the peacemakers are the children of God.

"This whole Christian thing is not just about going up to heaven after we die, but it is about bringing God's Kingdom to earth. This is the Gospel that should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."

And Delirious? is comfortable playing in front of over a million people, like they recently did in India. It is not as natural for them to travel to the slums and serve food to the poor, but that's exactly what they did in India. Afterwards, Delirious? arranged for a bus to bring about 40 of the women and children they served food to in the slums to the concert. As the children and their mothers, who were prostitutes, danced and sang at the concert, the band was inspired to write "All God's Children (Sing Hallelujah)", which is featured on the new album.

Taking these experiences with him, Martin began considering how he, along with the international Christian music community, could truly make a difference in the world together.

After 18 months of prayer, countless business meetings and careful planning, Smith's dreams were realised when the first annual Compassionart conference met in Perthshire, Scotland.

In what he described as a "I-can't-stop-pinching-myself moment", Smith, along with Stu G, Michael W Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Darlene Zschech, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Israel Houghton and other internationally-respected songwriters teamed up to write songs with 100 per cent of the proceeds from the songs and forthcoming album going to the charities of their choice.

As Compassionart stories are told by numerous media globally, from the Associated Press to the Washington Post to Worship Musician, Delirious? will continue to circumvent the globe to inspire music lovers worldwide. The band has closed for the Pope in front of a million people in Germany, played for 1.2 million in India, toured with Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams and more.

Receiving its second Gospel Music Association International Award last year, Delirious? travelled to at least 25 countries in 2007 alone, carrying on the tradition of spiritually challenging lyrics, while pointing people to see the wonders of what God has done for them.

More information about the band can be found at the newly designed www.delirious.co.uk, with even more content available by joining the band's "Living Room" at www.delirious.co.uk/livingroom.

Lifestyle