The music of Brooklyn duo ERAAS creates an entirely self-contained world an illusory, mysterious, at times supernatural realm that conjures a sense of suspense while being seductive. From the brief dialogue that precedes the pummeling beats of opener Looking Glass; to the closing hiss and crackle of the title track, Initiation represents a coming of age for the band. For anyone who s heard their 2012 self-titled debut album, Initiation is the culmination of the different themes explored there, honed, refined, pushed further and fashioned into its own unique world; a weird and alluring junction of ghostly atmospheres, punishing percussion, spectral vocals, phonography and sound design, all interwoven into a captivating atmosphere that is distinctively ERAAS' own.
With Initiation, the band seem to be looking for a sign of hope within the emptiness that surrounds them, trying to make amends with those in their lives, but not quite sure how to. A struggle we can all identify with. The songs on Initiation flow one after the other, creating an entirely immersive experience, playing out similar to a short film full of unexpected twists and turns. Listening to this record feels like a journey of sorts faceless intruders, dreams of non-existent lovers, ghosts in the doorway, immortality, betrayal, and revenge trying to make sense of it all.
Old Magic; is underpinned by a clattering hip hop beat, and fractured vocals echo through the mixes, bewitching and eerie. The steady, plodding bass of The Dream; pushes the listener through deserted courtyards and winding hallways where yearning vocals and interlocking rhythms are almost palpable. The static, atmospheric interludes within the songs draw upon found-sound and sampling, contextualizing the album further as it plays out. These spaces create the transitions, often very visual - that allow the characters, and the listener, to come up for air, to make sense of it all. There's a distinct industrial grind to the sound of Looking Glass; and the insistent rhythms of Above, which plays out like a chase-scene through an empty city in the middle of the night in some out of date film's depiction of the future. The repetitive gait of penultimate track Splitting; churns with forbidding indifference as its descending synths set the stage for a soliloquy, seemingly about a broken friendship, flipping itself over into the orchestral throes and spoken word that ushers in the album closer a cogent and trancelike consummation of the journey that precedes it.